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Introducing new dog to resident dog

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  • Introducing new dog to resident dog

    Hey folks, need COTH advice here.. am also going to consult w/dog trainer if things escalate. So far, no sign of that but things might get dicey and I'd like to be prepared.

    Adopted a rescue, took her home Sunday and she growled low at the existing goofy, friendly exhuberant dog. He got the message and has all but avoided her. Tuesday they passed in the hallway, too close for comfort for Miss thing, so she snapped in his direction. No further interactions between the two; they avoid eachother with wide distance between.

    Existing dog had a dental today, came home recovering from anesthesia, and still a bit dopey. Miss Thing gave a short, low growl, but Dopey dog didn't get the message, passed by closer than usual with no further reaction from Miss Thing.

    Miss Thing was turned into the rescue as 'found on the highway'. Her nose is considerably scarred from previous fights. She's about 2/3 the size of Dopey Dog, and half deaf. Emaciated and has terrible sinus infection. Passive about food, but will eat (thankfully) more enthusiastically when Dopey dog is 10' away.

    Dopey dog hoovers food now with her here, tho' she's made no effort to steal his food. Hence, I feed them in separate rooms; she in the bathroom and he in the living room.

    No unavoidable problems presently, but I worry things could go south quickly. Anybody have any advice? I don't leave them loose in the house together.. she comes with me to work. But I'm hoping next week we can keep them separated with a baby gate. Too soon? Is keeping them separated in this fashion asking for trouble? They avoid eachother while we're in the house, but I wonder if more time apart will create more tension on reunions.

    Thoughts? And thanks in advance.

    ETA: They're not home *ALONE* together unsupervised yet. But they coexist peacefully, yet avoiding eachother when we're home.
    Last edited by Sansena; Jan. 28, 2010, 08:55 PM.

  • #2
    We've had the same problem, but with two males (both have been neutered). I crate train my dogs. Wouldn't trust a baby gate. Once they are used to the crate (and it is their private place and theirs only), all of my dogs have used their crate to rest and sleep in even with the doors left open. Much better that coming home to a disaster.


    • #3
      It is early yet in the integration of a new dog, but if this persist, why would you want to have two dogs living together that don't get along well?
      I don't think that is fair to either dog, to have to live watching their backs all the time.

      I have seen this time and again and felt sorry for the dogs and the owners and the sometimes bad fights that happen.
      If you had a friend come over to live with you that you could not stand, would you want to be forced to live with that person you don't care for?

      Dogs, like people, have their likes and dislikes and we should honor them, within reason.


      • Original Poster

        Bluey.. I agree, but don't you feel this is a bit early to put the Kaybosh on this?

        My last dog had a similar reaction to goofydog. Took about 3 weeks, a month to warm up each other. And when she died 2 months ago, they would cuddle together on their dogbed or the couch. It was a slow transition, but they genuinely got along well at the time of her death, and I daresay Goofydog was griefstruck at her passing.


        • #5
          I had similar problems - very small issues at first, never escalated until BAM - one day I'm on the computer and they had a (small) brawl.

          They are now good buddies and live/play contently.

          The difference? Strong obedience training with the new one. Establishing MY place as pack leader. While I thought I was in control before etc etc, she was smart (perhaps more than me..teehee) and was slowly manipulating me. So I connected with a great trainer who got her, got me, and got my goals. We worked for an hour a week (with trainer, daily for 20+minutes) for ten weeks.

          It takes time and effort. The thing is that you *must* nip this now before someone gets physically or mentally hurt. Best of luck, keep us updated.


          • #6
            It's still really soon.

            Take things slooooowly. Our foster homes and adoptees are encouraged to introduce the new dog slowly over the course of a week or so (dogs are always either securely separated or supervised during that time), as we've found that to ultimately be the safest way. A little grumbliness is to be expected. Just make sure it's not because either of the dogs is resource guarding *you*. Keep toys picked up during the introduction period, and feed separately. Reward incumbency! The original dog gets everything first. Work on obedience training with the new one (and the old one if you haven't). It can be helpful to take them on "parallel walks" with each other (two people, walk side-by-side with dogs on leash at first and then later if that goes well switch to long lines).

            While you certainly don't want to live with dogs who are mortal enemies (it does happen, more often with two bitches), realize that there are likely to be some squabbles as they adjust. Folks who are unfamiliar with dog-dog interactions can find perfectly normal behavior pretty alarming, so do bring in a qualified trainer (http://apdt.com/petowners/choose/default.aspx) if you're unsure.

            Good luck!


            • #7
              Take the more energetic dog for a long brisk walk. Come home and get the other dog and walk them briskly together with one on each side. No stopping to sniff spots or each other. Walk for about a half an hour.

              Repeat daily.

              Keep toys/treats and other high value items picked up when dogs are together.

              I've rescued numerous dogs and usually within a few days they are ok with each other, if I've done the above.


              • #8
                Originally posted by Sansena View Post
                Bluey.. I agree, but don't you feel this is a bit early to put the Kaybosh on this?

                My last dog had a similar reaction to goofydog. Took about 3 weeks, a month to warm up each other. And when she died 2 months ago, they would cuddle together on their dogbed or the couch. It was a slow transition, but they genuinely got along well at the time of her death, and I daresay Goofydog was griefstruck at her passing.
                Yes, it is too early to say how this will work out and I did say so right off.
                The second post explains better, when you said you had previously introduced another dog and how it went.
                I didn't know that, so gave the standard advice we give in our dog club, although training is of course already in progress with the new dog.
                Still, these are touchy situations and in some cases it ends up bad if people are not very careful.
                Glad to know that you already are experienced with these situations and your old dog.

                I will still say that I find is sad when dogs really dislike each other and, after time and training has been tried, they have to live in the same house, but separate.
                That I have never thought is fair to both dogs and the people living like that.
                My question still stands, if two dogs still don't get along after training and time, why make them live together?
                My opinion, life is too short for that. Others disagree.


                • #9
                  Bluey- I also would hate to see where two dogs that don't like each other have to live together. However in our area if an adopter returns the dog to the local shelter for any reason it is normally a death sentence for that dog.
                  One of our local shelters has that rule.
                  In the best of times it can be hard to place an adult dog. It is much harder than ever. It may be that new dog would do best in a home that has no other dogs- that would further reduce the pool of available adoptors.
                  For an owner it can be a tough spot to be in. Do they send dog back to shelter to an almost certain death? Do they find their old dog a new home because that dog is generally fine with other dogs? But is that fair to their old dog? Or do they suck it up and leave things as is?

                  I just got in a foster dog last night and am working on introducing him to my crew of 3. It has been interesting. He is not neutered yet. I have an 8 month old not neutered lab puppy. (My contract with my breeder does not allow me to neuter him until he is at least 12-14 months old. So he will get done but just not yet.)

                  OP- Good luck. I don't have any specific advise. I introduce new dogs to my crew all the time but don't have a set routine that works for every dog. We just take it as it comes. Generally I do try to give some quiet time away from existing dogs to new dog. I also have a dog, Rosie, that is about 12 years old. I try to give he breaks from any commotion.
                  All dogs have to sit or down for any treats. My version of stressing obedience.
                  I do find it does take at least a week for them to warm to each other. One of my last fosters it took more like 3 weeks.
                  Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community. (Tidy Rabbit)


                  • #10
                    Good luck with your rescue. It is hard , trying to do the right thing by both dogs. I agree it may be too soon to give up. Time will help. We've had our rescue , Lola, the Lovely, almost a year now. Our young GSP was coming two and Lola was ????- no idea , just OLD. They met for a "meet and greet " at the shelter and Lola did growl a few times as we walked them and Bella tried to make her play. But, this old dog had few options. She's very arthritic , so her adoption chances were slim and we HAD to take her home. When I picked her up , she walked into the house as if she'd always been there and they have become best buddies. Luckily, I was able to be home during the day for the first week, but no incidents, and things got even better with time. Give it more time. Our GSP Rescue suggests removing all toys for a time, try to give equal attention to both, feed separately and demand obedience, as far as "sit' for treats , etc and reprimand each for any "discussions" that might occur. They do have to work it out themselves and it may take time.


                    • #11
                      In our dog club, we go to train to other member's houses, so our dogs are used to new places and dogs and some times some dogs just really don't like each other.
                      We train them to behave civilly, but it is for a short time and that is fine.

                      There are a few in the position of two dogs that don't get along and they can't find a way to rehome one, so they all, dogs and people, endure.
                      That is life, some times you have lemons and make the best you can with them.

                      Still, when starting out, train, confine and give it time, but then is the time to decide what to do, if by chance they just can't get along.

                      I think your dogs have a good chance yet, because they didn't just have a few serious fights right off, which is a definite bad prognosis.

                      The important observation here I think is to determine if they are close to the same in dominance, to make it clear people are boss and there is no fighting to happen.
                      Another concern is if one dog is not that well socially apt and keeps stepping over the boundaries the other dog thinks should be upheld.
                      One dog is more "in your face", doesn't respect personal space, the other more polite and grumbles at those uncouth, rude ones.

                      As long as that is what is going on, it can be worked out.
                      If there is really a situation where the twain shall not meet, then it is more questionable how to proceed.

                      Good luck sorting this out. Any pictures?


                      • Original Poster

                        Ask and ye shall receive..


                        They napped 4' away from eachother this morning


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Sansena View Post

                          They napped 4' away from eachother this morning
                          Can't see that, is under password.

                          Great, I was wondering, if the problem is only a bundling social nitwit and a serious but sensible older dog, that should not end up in fights, as it can when two are very, very dominant, which your dogs don't seem to be, from your description.
                          Generally, two such dogs come to an understanding, although at times the serious one has to grumble about it.

                          Sounds like you got it made, with a little bit more work.
                          Now, could you please use a different link, one that doesn't require a password?

                          Edited to change "horses" for "dogs".
                          Last edited by Bluey; Jan. 29, 2010, 12:32 PM.


                          • Original Poster

                            Changed preferences.. photos now open for public viewing.

                            I hope.
                            ETA: This is the new addition/ adoptee from her Petfinder ad. She's since been groomed and gained a few pounds. I'll post an 'after' pic soon. If you poke around the photos, you'll see where the black chow & Goofydog cuddled on the dogbed together, snow melting off her coat in droplets.

                            Damn I miss that dog...
                            Last edited by Sansena; Jan. 29, 2010, 12:04 PM. Reason: More..


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Sansena View Post
                              Changed preferences.. photos now open for public viewing.

                              I hope.
                              ETA: This is the new addition/ adoptee from her Petfinder ad. She's since been groomed and gained a few pounds. I'll post an 'after' pic soon. If you poke around the photos, you'll see where the black chow & Goofydog cuddled on the dogbed together, snow melting off her coat in droplets.

                              Damn I miss that dog...
                              Nope, still can't get in...


                              • #16
                                Have had many dogs in pairs, groups. They are similar to people in that they need to get to know each other and their boundaries. It might take awhile and even a small "tiff". They are pack animals, it just might take awhile to establish a pecking order. Feeding them separate and reducing competition for attention will help. Many dogs that start off in an adversarial relationship end up being friends.
                                Two un-neutered males of the same age can be an issue, but usually an older female and younger male should be fine. The female is still scared and is going to take a while to get comfortable, even if there was no other dog.
                                I would give it time and try not to add "your" stress to the situation. Dogs are sensitive to how their owners feel and if you are worried it affects them. Assume that things are going to be fine and let them work out their relationship, if they are laying that close together, their must be some level of comfort. Relax. Smile. Enjoy them.

                                BTW good for you for taking in a stray.


                                • Original Poster

                                  Resuce dog's photo is on my profile page here now.