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Discussion Starter #1
I have to ask these questions because of a past incident years ago. Quickly, I live with my sister to help take care of my nieces while she travels on business, so all these dogs are hers, I just basically take care of them. When Fenrir (the pitbull) was 2 years old my sister took him, our other dog Snow (Elk Hound/Husky mix) to her friend's farm house with my youngest (and very small) niece to meet her friends new puppy. I tried to warn her that she was introducing dogs who have never met other dogs in an unfamiliar environment with the niece they are super protective of (they don't like dogs going near her when she goes on walks with me, but there has never been a real problem with me).

Unfortunately for everyone, they released the dogs all together into the yard while they were all on their phones. When the puppy ran to my niece to see her, Fenrir attacked. The puppy was killed instantly. I was not there for any of this. It was a pretty traumatic incident for everyone. Fenrir was not put down, and got a small amount of training (but my sister found the trainer on Facebook, so I don't really trust it).

It's not 5 years later and Fen and Snow are both 7. My sister is now picking up that puppy English Bull Mastiff in a few weeks. There's no talking her out of it, and I'm being placed in charge of introducing them (she doesn't want to be in the room). Personally, I think it's going to be ok this time around. Fen is older, he's had more training, and it'll be in a controlled environment without nieces or freaking out sisters involved.

Having said all that, and largely trusting Fen not to attack (I'm definitely in charge with him), I -really- don't want to overestimate my abilities here and would greatly appreciate advice.

I'm thinking of placing the puppy in his cage in a moderate sized room. Then I'll bring in one dog at a time (Fen first) to let him sniff the puppy in the cage and get a feel for how he reacts. All goes well I'll bring the puppy out slowly . I really think it's going to be ok, Fen is older and more mature and I'm at least aware of what could happen. I'll keep Fen on a lead, but I'm on the fence about placing a muzzle on him at first (I'm worried the muzzle will upset him and make him uncomfortable). After that, we'll limit their exposure for a while until they all seem to get along.

I do need an answer to this as there is no talking my sister out of getting this puppy. And I would -really- not have to see another heartbreaking sight of my niece covered in puppy blood as she tried to get it and save it.

One more time, I would like to stress that Fen and Snow are very well-behaved at 7 years old now. But I really don't want to be overconfident and get an innocent puppy hurt. Also, I guess I should mention, I don't have any problems with them when I walk them around other dogs...unless my niece gets too near another dog, they're protective of her (she's a super small girl)

Any advice would be appreciated keeping in mind that just not getting the puppy isn't an option (although it's what I'd prefer, I don't think we need a 230l dog, Fen is 105 and that's enormous for a pit breed and snow is near 100 herself)
 

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Ideally, strange dogs do better if introduced on neutral ground but it does sound like you have thought it through.

A muzzle might be a good idea, in fact it is good to muzzle train dogs anyway for these 'just in case' occasions. You are right it will upset him and make him uncomfortable if you just put it on. It needs to be introduced slowly, I will attach a video that should help.


I have to say though, it is quite irresponsible of your sister to insist on getting a puppy but then take no responsibility for it.
 

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Yeah well, it's a repeating pattern in my family. When my oldest niece moved out she went all pet crazy in her new apartment (I get it, she was excited about being on her own). Among other things she got two chinchillas, but they ended up fighting with each other. Without consulting me at all, my sister told my niece that I'd love to have a chinchilla. This was based on, 12 years ago, I babysat my friends chinchilla for 6 months and enjoyed the experience. Didn't hear anything about it until, 3 months later, I go out of my door and my niece's chinchilla is a cage with all his stuff outside it.
That wasn't even the first time. Years ago my dad got sick and I moved in to help him out until he recovered. For some reason he got really into sugar gliders: bought the books, watching youtube videos, figuring out what he needed to buy to keep them, one of my sisters even ordered a sugar glider to keep the one he wanted to get company. Then, one day I come down the stairs and there are 3 ferrets in a cage. Seems sugar gliders aren't easy to find, and ferrets are and so...
When my father recovered enough that I could leave, I ended up having to take the ferrets with me. He'd have never have been able to give them the care they needed.

I've pretty much raised and trained the two dogs we have now, as much as I can claim to train anything anyway. I'm confident that the entire situation will work out fine and the worrying will be for nothing. But I'd rather worry and prepare and have it been wasted time, then not consider the possibilities and be caught flat-footed, maybe that's the Army in me still. A semi-joke I like to tell people is, "I'm a pessimist because pessmisim is better. When you are a pessimist you're always either right, or pleasantly surprised.". I say 'semi' because I'm not actually sure I don't really believe that. I suppose the unsaid part would go, "When you're an optimist everything either meets your expectations or is a disappointment."
 

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Try introducing the new dog in a crate at first. Put either the puppy or the older dog in the crate and let the other one loose in the room. Maintain supervision.

I second the idea of using a muzzle. Until you are sure your dog isn't going to attack the puppy then you need to take precautions to avoid a repeat of earlier events.
 

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Ummmmm...
Fenrir attacked. The puppy was killed instantly.
There's no talking her out of it, and I'm being placed in charge of introducing them (she doesn't want to be in the room).
Trying not to sound rude or overstep, but this is an unrealistic expectation to put on someone else with potential serious consenquences.

just not getting the puppy isn't an option (although it's what I'd prefer, I don't think we need a 230l dog, Fen is 105 and that's enormous for a pit breed and snow is near 100 herself).
You are the one who is and will be taking care of the dogs and puppy. Doesn't look like you think this is a good idea and are wanting to take this on either.....
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I'm not thrilled with it, but it's going to happen. Trying to prevent it is pointless wasted energy. I realize it's unrealistic, but people do crazy, dumb shit all the time. I'm trying to get the best information I I can find to hopefully prevent anyone from getting hurt. The initial week or so will be the hardest, but I'm positive it'll end up ok, but I want to be realistic, even if no one else in the family is
 
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