Dog Forum banner

1 - 3 of 3 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
My question is simple....are there situations where new dog will simply not be accepted by the dogs in the home? Or would you say it is always fixable?

--You can answer that question alone if you don't want to read the long post below. Thank you. --

I'm watching a dog for a friend, but she's fell on hard times and I think she would let me keep him. I didn't want a third dog (my 15 year old chihuahua died just a few weeks ago, so I wanted to keep it at two dogs for awhile.) This dog is a neutered male Cairn Terrier, approximately 3 years old, she got him from a rescue about 2 years ago.

My dogs are a black spayed female lab/border collie mix. She's 45 lbs, about 6 years old, I got her from the Humane Society as a two year old. I also have a neutered male...looks like a corgi/Scottish terrier mix, he's approximately 3 years old and weighs 20 lbs.

The lab mix is aggressive with other dogs. She is especially bad when on the leash. I can't do the suggested introduction technique of letting them meet on neutral ground while leashed. When I got the corgi mix I had him in a crate in our house and let her sniff and get used to him like that for about an hour, and miraculously they seemed to be ok together. Well, I tried this with the cairn and that was a huge mistake, I'm afraid. They both bared teeth, lunged at each other, it was bad. I've had the cairn at my house for about a week now, but I'm just keeping the cairn in our home office while the lab is out, and after about an hour or so I put the lab in our guest room and let out the cairn. The corgi mix stays out all the time. I will say, my corgi mix has seemed very depressed since the cairn joined us. He will play with him a bit, but gets annoyed, and is jealous of any attention I give the cairn. He just seems sad.

I want to add that the cairn lived with a lab and a Great Dane, both male, for the past two years. I've seen him interact with these dogs, the GD doesn't really bother with him, but the lab would play with him and the cairn would growl and nip....not really aggressively but I think showing he's the boss despite his small size. This lab took it in stride, either gave up or playfully kept aggravating him. If the cairn gives my female lab that same reaction (growling) I'm afraid that will be all it takes to escalate the situation.

So, any suggestions for reintroducing the cairn to the lab? Should the corgi mix be present? Are some dogs destined to not get along?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
917 Posts
Sometimes some dogs just don't like each other and there isn't much you can do about it. But I wouldn't give up. I'm not sure of the best way to attempt to get them living together. I've had luck with walking the dogs together. I did it with Vegas because he was terrified of Freyja when she first came home. It also worked with my mom's scottie, Dickie. He attacked Freyja when they first met. So we leashed them up and walked them down the street. Within minutes they were fine together. I was actually shocked. I don't expect it to work that easy for you, but it could be a start.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
442 Posts
I guess the answer to that question would really be dependent upon how you define "accepting" :)

I think it is entirely possible to get many dogs to the point that they tolerate/aren't bothered by each others presence and can be around each other under close supervision, but that there are many cases where such dogs won't ever be "friends". That said, is your lab x more reactive in that it is difficult to introduce her to dogs and her aggression is increased on leash, but once she accepted your corgi x she has been ok? Has she made other dog "friends"? Or on the contrary, have there been dogs that she's been ok with, then had aggressive episodes toward?

I would avoid letting them around each other while one is crated, as the crated dog will always feel more defensive due to their confinement and will likely either show defensive behavior (growling, showing teeth, etc) or may prompt such behavior from the other dog by being nervous at being sniffed, stared at, etc by the free dog. I would instead use gates if you want to try to introduce them by exposing them to each other in the house. If you are concerned they may fight over/through the gate, have someone with each dog on leash to control accordingly if needed. Since they have already had one snark at each other and are probably in the "enemy" category currently, I would discourage them from meeting at the gate, and instead either use a tiedown so they stay at least 5 feet away from it or someone holding the leash to keep them well away and busy doing something else (playing games, doing obedience or tricks, whatever).

This will be easier if they already respect gates as a barrier, if not, definitely keep them on a leash, even if you don't need to use it. It may take months of being "near" each other without actually meeting for them to become accustomed to each others' presence, and then you can begin to allow them to be out together on leash (one person for each dog at first). Unless they clearly want to be "friendly" towards each other, I would encourage polite disinterest in each other. Eventually (potentially months), by doing this, they may be able to hang out in the same area without bothering each other, and it's possible they may even decide they want to be friendly toward each other after a period of time. Even if they appear to want to be friendly/play with each other, I would discourage it if you are concerned that the cairn's play style will be offensive to your lab x. The key with this scenario is supervision and a human controlling all interactions- if they never provoke each other, there shouldn't be an issue, but you have to maintain physical control via gates or leashes, possibly indefinitely.

Can your lab x be walked near other dogs? Say, her on one side of the street and another dog on the other side? If so, you could use walking to introduce them, you would just need 2 people (one for each dog), and spend however long walking at a distance until she is no longer reactive, then move closer, etc. It could take weeks or months to actually get them walking side by side, but done correctly, is usually a fairly effective way to introduce 2 dogs that are prone to conflict. If she's too reactive that close, you could do it in a park or other open area, where you could start them at a greater distance apart.

It sounds like the cairn probably didn't really like the play style of the lab at his previous house, so I would watch any play carefully and intervene if anyone looks to be trying to avoid or not having fun. Honestly, I would discourage play at all at this point since it could trigger a fight, but I'm just a big wet blanket :) . I would keep your corgi x separated when doing leashed (or not) introductions between the other 2 dogs, but he could potentially be out with either of the other dogs when just hanging out in the house.

It also would never hurt to involve a trainer and get their take on things. They can actually see your dogs, and may have specific recommendations based on their behavior at a given time. There's always a risk when introducing any dog, and the only way to totally prevent a potential fight is to keep them totally separate (though even that can fail if a door or gate gets left open!), and in some cases, it's less stressful to keep dogs separate vs trying to integrate them. You seem to have an ability to separate the dogs via door for now, and that is absolutely the safest bet, particularly when you aren't home. I wouldn't trust a gate to separate them when you aren't there, and even if they become friendly, wouldn't leave them alone together given their history.

I would talk to your friend if possible and see if she has interest in having him back. If not, and you don't feel up for the additional stress/work of adding him permanently, the rescue group may be willing to take him back and place him.
 
1 - 3 of 3 Posts
Top