Well, this is what it can feel like for the resident dog when a newbie four-legger enters into his world.
Instead of the nuclear approach of bringing home a newbie and expecting the dogs to organically get along, try a different tack. By making gradual introductions and protecting the existing dog's property and personal space, the two dogs are much more likely to hit it off rather than fight.
Instead of the stranger invading your home, imagine a pleasant day trip to the beach. While swimming in the surf you encounter a like-minded individual and strike up a conversation. You get along so well that you spend the afternoon chatting and before you know it, it's time to go home. You're reluctant to part and are about to exchange phone numbers when your partner invites your new friend home for supper. Instead of the sadness of parting, you experience the joy of more time together.
See the difference?
In terms of two dogs accepting one another, those early meetings are crucial for setting the tone of the future relationship.
Acceptance is most likely to occur when there is a clear pecking order between the two dogs. This is because it is tussles for supremacy that are most likely to undermine their relationship. Since the new dog is entering into the established dog's territory, it is only fair to have your dog treated as if he's in charge with the newbie in a subordinate role. When the dogs receive this message loud and clear, they will get along together just fine.
In addition, it's helpful to have:
I myself and my dog Bella had to move in with my daughter. She has 3 dogs. A shepherd lab mix 8 yrs old, English bulldog male but neutered and a female spade pit bull 4 yrs old.all dogs accept my dog except for the pit. The pit is very layed back and sweet. Never been aggressive but a month ago did kill a cat that got into the back yard. We keep my Bella separated from the pit. When the pit sees my dog Bella the pit growls and barks at her. Any suggestions how we can possibly safely try to get the pit and my dog Bella to get along. My dog does not try to get around any of the dogs. She doesn't bark, growl at any of them. In fact her favorite is the shepherd lab mix.my concern is the pit and my little Yorkie mix dog Bella. My daughter has a huge back yard, probably close to an acre. Could we maybe put the pit and my dog on leashes and walk them around I'm the back yard keeping my dog at a safe distance from the pit. Bella is not going to try to even get near the pit. The problem is with the pit. Bella and the other 2 dogs get along fine. Any helpful suggestions would be very appreciated.
Hello Cindy, How does the Pit do with other dogs outside the family? The issue could be a general lack of socialization with dogs other than the two they were raised with, in which case something like a G.R.O.W.L. class might help her get along better in general with new dogs if you can find one in your area for her to attend. The issue could also be predatory toward your Yorkie, in which case teaching the Pit to avoid your dog would be the best approach, since prey drive isn't something that you can get rid of but something that's managed long term. Prey drive toward other dogs is uncommon, so it's less likely that. It's more likely due to a lack of socialization with small dogs or pup being possessive or resource guarding around the new "intruder" in the house. Walking the dogs together with distance between them is a good exercise. Check out the Passing Approach and Walking Together methods from the article I have linked below. With dogs on leash I would practice those, starting with the Passing Approach method. I wouldn't allow them to get to the point where they can actually sniff though without professional supervision and the Pit wearing a basket muzzle, that they have been desensitized to ahead of time though, because of the size difference. I would also work on obedience commands to help with management like Place, Come, Heel, Out, Leave It, and crate training for the Pit. Out and Come for your dog to let them know when they need to move away from the Pit if they tense up also. For up close training together once they are doing better on leash with space, I would work with a professional trainer in person due to the safety concern involved. Passing Approach and Walking Together methods: https://wagwalking.com/training/greet-other-dogs Muzzle introduction video - this should be done gradually, only progressing through the steps once pup is relaxed at the current step. Usually a two week process. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJTucFnmAbw&list=PLXtcKXk-QWojGYcl1NCg5UA5geEnmpx4a&index=6&t=0s Out - which means leave the area: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Leave It method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Place command: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O75dyWITP1s Down-Stay: https://www.thelabradorsite.com/train-your-labrador-to-lie-down-and-stay/ Heel- Turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Come - Reel in method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-whippet-to-recall Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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