I have a 6 year old Shih Tzu and recently brought home a Shih Tzu puppy - 4.5 months old. The older dog was initially scared of the puppy but they have made great strides.
However, the puppy routinely tries to eat the big one's food, steal the toys and when he sees the older dog go to one of the dog beds, jumps in ahead and lays down. I feel like my older one is being bullied!
How do I ensure that the little one becomes respectful?
Hi This is actually very normal puppy behavior. When you bring a second dog into the family sometimes it's the older, resident dog that causes the problems, other times it's the puppy!
You're fortunate that your older dog is tolerant of the puppies antics as that's not always the case and a lot of conflict can result. Generally the older dog will make sure that a puppy doesn't 'cross the line' and a bark, snap or growl will show the younger one where that line is.
It's best not to interfere unless someone is getting hurt or showing signs of being truly upset about the situation. Older dogs tend to allow a puppy more leeway than an older dog and as their relationship develops they work out the pecking order between them. Follow your gut though and if you feel the pup is being a 'bully' correct him.