Dog Forum banner

1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello!

Next weekend I'm picking up my new Great Dane puppy, Phoebe, and I'm not sure how to introduce her to my other two Great Danes: Bella and Oscar.

Background Information:
Bella is an older dog, she is 9 years old. She used to be very friendly and playful but now she is aggressive because she has been bitten several times. We used to have another Great Dane but he passed away and she was very good and loving towards him. Last year we got Oscar and were excited for Bella to have a new friend in the house but as soon as he stepped into the house, ready to play, Bella snapped at him. We had to keep them separated and closely watched for a few months until Bella got better with him. We found that Bella wouldn't mind him as much when we were at the park rather than at home. I understand that she was trying to protect her home from Oscar, a new intruder.

I was wondering how I could introduce Phoebe to Bella and Oscar without the same situation happening. I don't think Bella's reaction will be as bad this time around but I want to make sure I am introducing them properly so everyone is comfortable and feels safe. Oscar is a friendly dog, I think he'll be happy about her arrival, I'm more worried about Bella because she is older and more aggressive.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
851 Posts
Congrats on new puppy!

What about as a starter introducing Bella to puppy at a neutral place such as a park, or in front yard of your house, or at a shopping center, or friend's house, etc? Then walk the two dogs together, giving space as needed. I have found parallel walking helps dogs acclimate easier.

Also for sure, I would give lots of small yummy HIGH VALUE treats (meat, cheese, chicken,etc) to both Bella and puppy at the same time.
Have Bella sit nicely/calmly if she can and you gently dole out treats. Have someone help you at first if possible so each person has a dog to work with, in case there is some stress between the dogs. If Bella knows any tricks or cues, ask Bella for the tricks in front of the other dog so Bella won't be so hyper focused on the new dog. Reward heavily with food and praise to both dogs at the first meeting so you can get off to a GREAT happy start. First impressions count, right?

Some people like to have new dogs off leash at first meeting so the dogs can be more free to read each other's body language. I am a bit more cautious about dog interactions (esp at first) so I feel more comfortable having both dogs on leash...just in case. But a loose leash if possible.

Also then you can do a first quick sniff and pull the dogs back for reward/praise for a polite greeting done well. And if your older dog is not feeling it at that moment, a leash will allow you to gently guide her to some distance which usually calms a nervous dog down.

If you aren't familiar with dog body language and calming signals, read up on them online before bringing new doggie home. This has helped me immensely when introducing my shy nervous Gracie to other dogs AND when cautious Gracie interacts with our new bubbly puppy!

That's all for now from me. Gotta go feed my doggies....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
If Phoebe is a girl, it is hard for Bella to accept a new puppy, related to the same gender and Bella's fixed characteristics. Normally, each elder dog in the family dislikes a new member, as it fears to lose the family status or receive less love from you. However, they are happy to play with friends at home, so it's suggested to build a good friendship outdoors before going home. Choose a dog-friendly park and let them meet naturally. Until they gradually play together, you can take her good friend back home. Good luck to you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
851 Posts
INormally, each elder dog in the family dislikes a new member, as it fears to lose the family status or receive less love from you.
I personally have never experienced this at all with any of my dogs. If fact most of my dogs have always been very accepting and happy about gaining a new doggie family member. But maybe because I have set them up for success from the first meeting and made sure to give all my dogs loving attention. And most importantly I make sure each dog is comfortable with the others. Knowing how to read my dogs' body language and calming signals is key!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
I personally have never experienced this at all with any of my dogs. If fact most of my dogs have always been very accepting and happy about gaining a new doggie family member. But maybe because I have set them up for success from the first meeting and made sure to give all my dogs loving attention. And most importantly I make sure each dog is comfortable with the others. Knowing how to read my dogs' body language and calming signals is key!!!
:thumbsup: Yes, the first meeting is very important! You are a good owner!
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Top