I feel like the worst dog mom in the world right now. Ranger obviously feels unsure of his place now that there is a new dog in the pack. Paisley seems to have taken Ranger's spot as #2, pushing him into the #3 spot, which used to be the cat's ranking. I can tell Ranger is struggling.
The reasoning behind adopting Paisley was to make sure Cricket has a companion once Ranger and I move. In some ways, that plan is coming together wonderfully. Cricket and Paisley get along great and they play together constantly. The only problem is that Ranger ends up on the sidelines watching.
I've been doing my best to make sure Ranger knows he's still my baby, but I can tell he is uncomfortable. Last night I took him outside with me while the girls stayed inside and we sat on the patio. He sat right next to me and pressed his cheek against mine. If I moved, he moved. He just needed that contact and reassurance.
Later when I put Paisley in her crate for the night she got upset and spent at least 15 minutes crying and barking before I went to her. Ranger came to me immediately, clearly upset by the crying puppy. But... He wouldn't let me near her. He didn't attack me, he's not that kind of dog, he just planted himself in front of me and wouldn't get out of my way. So I sat on the floor and talked to him for a few minutes. Poor boy. He sat right in front of me and put his chin on my shoulder and grumbled to me while I petted and talked to him.
By the way, Paisley only calmed down and stopped crying when I brought her and her crate into the living room with me. She whined a little bit then went to sleep.
I'm not sure how I can effectively communicate to Ranger that he is not being pushed out of the pack by Paisley and that he will be my baby until he moves on from this life. The best I can do is spend extra time with him- rides in the car, snuggling, Mommy-Ranger time without other dogs, etc. I'm thinking of moving his mini training sessions into the front yard too instead of the back yard where the other two dogs can watch through the windows.
Do you have any suggestions for assuring a dog that they are not being pushed out of the pack?
I'll end this with a cute picture of Ranger: