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Hi All! My fiance and I just adopted our second pup from a shelter 4 days ago. She's an 8 month old lab mix, very affectionate, sweet, and calm (for her age). We've had Penny (our 5 year old doxy mix) for about 4 years, and she was a spoiled brat only dog. The dogs are doing pretty well for their first really 4 days of knowing each other. Bailey (the lab mix) was really weird about Penny being around while she ate (resource guarding?) and snapped at her, and when I came home they both ran up to greet me and Bailey snapped at Penny again, but nothing some behavioral coaching can't help. They have no problem walking around each other, laying on the couch together with us, and taking treats together at the same time. I really think they'll be best buds at some point, it just takes time... Penny is a little upset with me but she'll get used to the idea I hope and take Bailey as her new, sweet sister.

Here's my question- I heard that dogs need one 'person' all to themselves. Penny is definitely my shadow - as in, she loves my fiance to pieces, but I am her human. Initially we got Bailey to add to our family but also my fiance picked her out so he could have 'his dog' even though they are both our children. Is this a thing, and if so, is there a way to reinforce it with the dogs? I don't want Penny to think that I'm no longer her human, and I don't want Bailey to attach to me to the same point where there's some animosity. What are the thoughts on this? Has anyone ever gone through this?

Our friend who went through this said this, "When you first adopt a pup you're in the 'oh shoot we made a terrible mistake' phase for a bit. Then it turns into the 'okay, this can work' phase, and finally the 'we LOVE having two dogs' phase." I am so relating to this right now. I cried the first two days thinking I had disappointed Penny in getting a second rescue, but I think it will be the best for all of us in enough time.
 

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Mother of three here! My fur family integrated in a somewhat different, but similar way. My dog, Amora, was an only dog for the first 2.5 years of her life, and I am definitely her person. Her & I moved in with my boyfriend and his dog, Hercules, who grew up with a lot of different dogs (My boyfriend had a lot of roommates with dogs at various points in their lives until he moved out of his own.) Amora acted a lot like Penny did towards him. You can tell she prefered the only dog life as she is still a little sharp with him from time to time. She did mellow out quite a bit as they are perfectly fine together and have even snuggled once. Herc panicks looking for his pack mate if he can't find her. My boyfriend and I got a puppy together, and Khonsu definitely picked me as his person, whereas Herc's person is definitely my boyfriend - understandably so. So that makes two dogs "my dog" and Herc is "Tyler's dog." I have yet to hear that each dog needs their individual person, as if that were the case, Khonsu would have picked one of my two roommates rather than me. It is much more apt that a dog's person is the one that cares for, feeds, and trains it. That, of course, makes sense as that all takes time, and when the time is utilized properly, a bond develops. However, I've also heard of households where the person with the natural air of leadership, regardless of their involvement, will be chosen as "Master". This, I suppose, is because the dog comes into the house and can feel the already set pack hierarchy. Which is fine, the only time this would pose a legitimate problem is if the dog thinks it's higher than a human in pack hierarchy, such as a child or a naturally timid adult.

However, to answer your question, dogs do not need their own, separate person in a house. In cases like a breeders house, or a large-pack household, where 6+ dogs live and there's only a select few amount of human folk there, that could be chaotic.

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I know for a fact that each dog doesn't need it's own individual person. I had a dog named Hey You. She never bonded with anyone, but loved being around everyone. I was her main contact, raised her from a puppy, so one would think she would have bonded with me. But nope, she was her own dog and independent as all get out and no one person 'was hers'.

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Stormy
 
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