Okay, so we’ll admit that we like staying home on a Friday night in our PJ’s, ordering Thai food and tuning out the rest of the world, just as much as the next person. In the company of our dogs of course, though. While not interacting with other people is a great choice for us humans from time to time, your dog is a different matter altogether.
In the wild, dogs are naturally pack animals and use their interactions with each other to form complex social structures. Dogs perform many tasks together in the wild. From hunting to sleeping to working together to raise young and protect their families, dogs frequently travel and operate with other dogs. It only makes sense, then, that teaching your pooch to accept another dog would be a critical behavior for your pet’s social well-being.
If you’re bringing home a second dog into your household, it’s critical that you know how to properly introduce your current pet with your new companion. Setting the stage for positive interactions will help ensure doggy harmony in the future, lowering stress and preventing hassles such as gating and separating your canine family members.
Even if you don’t plan on bringing home a new dog any time soon, it’s inevitable that your furry friend will need to mind their manners around other dogs at some point in their lifetime. Dog parks are great sources of off-leash interaction and play. Veterinarians’ offices will typically have multiple patients waiting in the lobby to be seen and no trip to the pet store would be complete without the occasional friendly sniff. It’s essential to start your dog off as young as possible with good doggie manners and reserved interactions with other pooches in order to set the foundations for a lifetime of good behavior.
Before you get started teaching your dog to be accepting of other canines, it’s important to point out that some pups should not be home taught. If your dog has previously displayed serious aggressive and potentially harmful or dangerous behavior you should enlist the services of a qualified canine behaviorist or trainer that specializes in aggression. You should never put yourself or a friend or family member at risk by creating a dangerous dog fight scenario.
If your dog hasn’t displayed previous aggressive tendencies, then training can begin and requires only a few special items to get you up and running. You should have a sturdy flat buckle collar and leash for all dogs. Stay away from pinch, prong or choke collars for introductions as you want to create as much positive reinforcement as possible. Toys and treats should be on hand but are reserved for more advanced interactions, after dogs have gotten to know each other, in order to avoid contention over these coveted items. Grab another adult to help introductions go smoothly and you’re ready to try out one of our training methods for teaching dogs to accept another pooch in their lives.
Ruby has met our daughters dog who is a golden retriever over and over and accepted him fine. But she will still growl at him at least once every visit. And has. Attacked him twice even as he cowered submissively at her feet. We don’t know how to get her to not do this and to accept him as a friend who wants to be a friend and play. It’s been very frustrating. And scary.
Hello Angie, It sounds like it's time to hire a professional private trainer to help you in person. You need someone who can evaluate what's triggering the aggression - is pup not social enough and simply lacks tolerance - and that needs to be built. Is pup resource guarding - and that needs to be addressed. Is pup fearful and reacting out of that when the other dog gets too close? How to treat this depends on a lot on why pup is behaving aggressively. Check out Sean O' Shea from the Good Dog Training on Youtube for a general resource related to aggression. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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I have Lola since 6 weeks she has a lovely temperament and I have had no issues with her.
I am looking to take my friends guide dog after she retires this year. These dogs do know each other well and go on walks together no problem
When the guide dog Skye comes to my house Lola doesn’t like it she will sit on my knee and show her teeth when Skye sits by me she is stiff and no relaxed at all. How can I integrate Skye into my home without causing Lola or Skye any stress
Hello Rachael, It sounds like Lola is actually acting possessive of you. I would start by gentle building Lola's respect for you ahead of time so that she doesn't feel like she can guard you from the other dog, but instead takes her instructions from you. Check out the three methods from the article I have linked below, as well as work on teaching Lola commands like Leave It, Off, Out, Place, and Down ahead of time. Respect methods- recommend all three https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you 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 Off- section on The Off command: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-train-dog-stay-off-couch/ I recommend practicing the Walking Together method from the article I have linked below with both dogs if your friend lives nearby now. Work on getting both dogs working together via a structured heeling walk, where both are expected to focus on their owners and heel behind your leg during the walk while around each other. If Lola isn't already great at heeling, check out the Turns method from the article I have linked above. https://wagwalking.com/training/greet-other-dogs When they first start living together, I would have both spend a lot of time on their separate Place beds, calmly coexisting that way. Crate or confine both away from each other when you can't supervise. Not allow either on the furniture or onto your lap unless invited, and generally you be the one to make and enforce house rules for both, so that neither is trying to control the actions of the other dog, but obeying your house rules. I would start structured and with lots of boundaries, walking them together to help bonding, and giving more liberties as they show they can be respectful of each other and are comfortable with each other, listening to your rules for how they should interact. You can reward both with a treat when the other dog isn't looking when you catch either being calm and tolerant around the other dog - but keep your rewards sneaky because you don't want either rushing over and causing a fight over food. You simply want to encourage good manners around each other. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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