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Introducing a new dog
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sewme47
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Date: 10/30/13 5:21 PM

We will be taking care of Sadie, my DD's dog, for a week--a female 80 lb pitbull mix who is docile, friendly, and just as sweet as any dog I've ever met. Then there's my dog, Sammy, a neutered male cockapoo--also sweet, but territorial and afraid of big dogs.

How do we introduce our visitor to minimize Sammy's anxiety (which would trigger his fear-based aggression?)

I've read conflicting advice...do it outdoors with both on leashes....put new dog in a crate indoors and allow the other dog to approach when ready...allow both dogs to check each other out from opposite side of a fence.

Has anyone had to do this? Any helpful advice?
Thanks!

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Date: 10/30/13 6:25 PM

I'm sure you are aware of the Cesar Millan, the Dog Whisperer. His website has loads of great information. NAYY. Here is some info from his website you may find helpful.

"Dog Problem: Bringing a New Dog into the Pack

Nina Pyykkö: We are getting a new puppy next Summer. So we´re a bit worried, if our dog is not going to like this new fellow… how our dog should meet this new puppy?

Stephanie Salus: We are thinking about getting another dog. We currently have an 8 year old female lab mix (adopted rescue) and she has been our only dog. We are not sure how she will react to a new dog.

Cesar Millan: Two important things to keep in mind when bringing a new member into the pack. The first is that the new dog should have a lower energy level than the other dogs in the pack. This is not always possible with a puppy, but I discuss this in more detail here. The second important thing is that your new dog and your pack meet on neutral ground, outside the home, so there will not be territorial issues — ideally, on a long walk together. I discuss this in more detail in my book A Member of the Family."

Here is the link to the above quote if you'd like to find some more information....
Cesar Millan

beauturbo
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Date: 10/30/13 7:05 PM

I don't think I would do that, and for only taking care of that dog for just one week. It might be different if it was going to be forever or a real long time instead. But, just since because I think you can even kennel a dog for a few hundred dollars for just a week someplace instead. So then I think not worth it at all, to even try like that.

Sounds like both dogs are actually wonderful and nice dogs. And very much loved. But they don't even know each other now at all. But also your little cockapoo, you already even know well, and you know he has has real territorial issues of his own, and you say you know he acts aggressive from fear. And he might act aggressive towards that other dog. He might even try to bite it. And he is probably a lot smaller than that other dog, and so if there is a dog fight, or sqauble, even if that other docile, friendly dog just try's to defend it's self, your dog is probably more likely to get hurt than the other bigger one.

Plus the other one may not even be able to control the release of it's jaws in the same way as some other dogs. And any kind of dog issue between them, would not be it's fault at all either, but consequences to it could be real serious also. So I think you may be setting yourself up for some dog problems and if any of the dogs get hurt, it would not even be their fault at all, and more the humans involved instead maybe.

A couple hundred of bucks to kennel a dog for a week, is way cheaper than even a vet visit if either of them were to get bit by the other one at all too. Unfortunate dogs don't listen to human words of reason, and if push comes to shove, just kind of each act instictive instead most times. I think you got a lot factors working against you there. Personally, I would be kind of just thinking about that.

poorpigling

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Date: 10/30/13 7:34 PM

A word of advise here. Do not do this.. Our pit mix is sweet, calm, docile, friendly etc.. and no way will I still after two years let her in the room with two of my other dogs.. And with some dogs... when they attack they attack the neck and will jerk it around till they snap it and break it.. Dogs sense fear.. and that alone might provoke the pit to attack.. Do not expose your little cookapoo to the pit at all.. He is capable of killing a dog that much smaller..
And believe me they can be friendly at one moment and turn vicious in a split second.. no warning..
So either take turns crating the dogs. .or keep them in separate rooms at all times..

sewme47
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Date: 10/30/13 9:43 PM

Thank you for all of these helpful responses.

DD and DSIL don't want their sweet Sadie to be boarded because she has diabetes. She does best when fed, exercised, and given injections at the same times everyday. I'm home during the day, and I know her care routine.

However, it looks like the best way to handle this is to keep them separated. We have a comfy finished basement where Sadie can hang out with my son...we'll just have to keep the door closed.

It's kind of a relief to know I don't have to try to convince these doggies to be friends. :-)

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Date: 10/31/13 0:05 AM

Do the intro on neutral turf before the visitor comes for the extended stay. Worked for my dog who does not like other dogs, or people. He just tolerates them.

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"Improvise, adapt and overcome." - Clint Eastwood/Heartbreak Ridge

cinca
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Date: 10/31/13 0:52 AM

I was going to ask if you have a situation where you could keep them separated.
At least if you do decide that they are stable and could interact, do not leave them unsupervised together, ever.

I have a lab-american eskimo mix, who is in need of socialization due to a change in our situation. I took her to a doggie day camp and had her assessed by an expert because my little Abby (60 lbs) is separation anxious and insecure due to too much isolation. After she was assessed, I decided she could have other dogs over to our house to play, but only under constant supervision. She has been a total of 3 times to the doggie day care and now is more easily able to meet and tolerate new human males. This is a major milestone for her.

Your case sounds like the perfect content for a Ceasar Milan episode.

Don't worry. Keeping dogs separate is a common solution to an undesirable interaction result. We did it for 7 yrs. when one of our dogs went dog aggressive and the option was to put her down. Could not do that.

You sound very conscientious and I am sure it will go ok. I do not blame your kids for not wanting to board her. Good for you for dedicating yourself to a happy solution for everyone involved.

clothingengineer
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Date: 10/31/13 10:18 AM

I agree with the others. If you're not making this a permanent living situation then I would keep them separated. Lots of dog maulings are done by "sweet and docile" pit bulls that "wouldnt hurt a fly". The problem is that they're bred to fight with other dogs. We used to have a pitbull/Jack Russell mix (I know, what a combo - the shelter got it wrong and we didn't realize it until much later on). She was VERY good with people, loved children, loved puppies even, but HATED other adult dogs and we had to carefully supervise play because sometimes she would take it too far. One time her and our Great Dane were playing outside and she suddenly latched onto his ear and wouldn't let go! The poor Dane was screaming and we had to run over to break it up. And keep in mind the Dane was probably around 165 pounds and the pit mix was about 50.

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Kim12469
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Date: 10/31/13 11:21 AM

I did pitbull rescue for years, fostered, etc and I have three Staffordshird Bull Terriers and three Staffy Bull/Border Collie crosses. I kind of agree with everyone that if you have the ease of keeping them seperated, then that's probably the easiest fix for the short time the visitor will be there.

However, both dogs will know the other one is around and I think some sort of introduction would be appropriate. They don't need to be buddies but they should be able to acknowledge the other is there without issue. I would take them to a neutral location, keep them on leash, wander around together but not right next to each other. See how they react. The pitbull sounds tolerant of other dogs but maybe the little guy is more reactive. Maybe it will be moot as the little one will be too afraid or reactive to even do a casual introduction.

And for the comment above about pitbulls controlling their jaws....GIANT MYTH! They have the same control and jaw strength as any larger breed of dog.

But, I am a bully breed lover and I have always gone by the rule that you can never trust a pitbull not to fight. Mine are crated if not supervised, we don't go to dog parks and I tell you any true pitbull owner who loves and understands the breed would not put their dog in that situation. Pitbulls don't "snap" but they are very large terriers and well terriers are terriers!

Anyways, I think reaching a common acceptance that the other dog is around is a good goal for the visit. If your little guy is fear aggressive, then desensitizing him to the other dog would be a good idea. Like I said, they don't need to be buddies, but tolerance would be good. You can still keep them seperate but if the pit comes up to go out and the other dog is there and freaking out, it won't be fun.

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sewme47
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Date: 10/31/13 2:37 PM

Wow, so much to consider. I am fascinated by dog pack behavior.

Anne, I am sorry to hear about your Dane getting so badly bitten. I don't know how you managed to break up the fight. Actually, my little cokapoo has the the same temperament as your pitbull-jack Russell (omg, what a mix!!) He loves puppies and most people but growls & barks at most other adult dogs, except that he is OK with female dogs who are submissive--like my daughter's pitbull mix. However, we have not had other adult dogs come INTO our house, except when we fostered a mama dog and and her litter. My Sammy ignored the mama but was quite protective of the puppies!

Kim, there is a special place in heaven for those like you who do animal rescue! Bless you. :-)

I am looking forward to babysitting my grand-dog and making sure that she is safe and well cared for while DD is away. And I absolutely agree with all who have emphasized that the dogs should not be left together unsupervised!



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