Why can't they just get along?

Dodo is just the sweetest, most mellow little dog you can hope to meet…back when she was on her own. However, since she’s used to being the only dog around for the first seven years of her life, she has become quite stressed and high-strung since we got our second dog, Percy.

Over time, the snappy attacks have mostly ended unless Percy gets seriously out of line (by trying to steal one of Dodo’s toys, say). However, I still think that Dodo is in a state of perpetual tension and anxiety, which makes me sad.

My mother gave me a large pink teddy bear which Dodo has taken to playing with in an aggressive way and she always ends up humping it, a rather disturbing sight. It’s not like I’m grossed out by dogs humping things or anything like that, but honestly I’m wondering if I should take the bear away for her own good. And it’s not just the bear. Any game or tuggie I play with her now gets her so aggressive and riled up it’s hard to tell if she’s having fun or whether she’s just about to have a nervous breakdown. And of course Percy will try and get in on the game of tuggie, and she just unleashes this fury on him. I guess he can count himself lucky that she haven’t tried to assert her dominance by humping him yet.

There is usually relative peace in the household as long as I don’t try to play with either of them. They tolerate each other. On very rare occasion they will even snuggle which is very cute. However, as soon as I try to play with either one of them, it always ends with Dodo going nuts. What do I do, hivemind? (or more realistically, stray dog?)

When they have at it with each other, how do you react?

We had a similar problem a while back. We solved it by saying absolutely nothing – no raised voices, no “NO.” No “bad girl” or anything. Just immediately stop playing and put the aggressor in the other room or outside. Only let her out once she’s calmed down. As soon as she starts, repeat. No smacks, no shouting, that’s very important, as to the dog, it’s all attention, which is what she wants.
Silent treatment and ostracism is what worked for us. Be patient.

It didn’t help with my overuse of commas, though. Unfortunately.

It is also very effective with SO’s and children