Second Dog – Adding a New Dog into Your Home

Many of us consider getting a second dog, in the hopes that she will help keep our existing dog busy and out of trouble. However, if our resident dog is not well trained, it is more likely that our new dog will pick up on his bad habits.

In the end, we will have two furry terrors, instead of just one.

I got Husky puppy Shania, one year after my first dog, Shiba Sephy. I waited a year so that I had time to bond with Sephy and properly train him. Only after I had solved most of his behavioral issues, did I consider getting another dog.

One of the biggest challenges of getting a second or third dog, is the process of introducing her to our existing pack, and getting everyone to accept her. Here, we consider how to successfully introduce a new dog into our home.

1. Meal Time Ritual

Meal time is especially important in a multiple dog household.

Dogs are opportunistic by nature, and during meal times, I have observed that they will try to steal each other’s food. This can often trigger food guarding and food aggression behaviors.

I supervise my dogs during meal times, so that there is no stealing. They each get several interactive food toys to work on, and I make sure they give each other space, while working on their toys.

Often, Husky Shania will work diligently on her items, while Sephy will just lie around sunning himself. He will wait until she is done with her toy, and then pick through what she has left behind.

He is such a moocher! 😀

Sometimes, he will test coming in before Shania is finished, in which case I will step in and body block him away. Through this process, my dogs learn that I will enforce meal-time rules in a fair and consistent manner, so they do not need to do it themselves, with their teeth.

2. Attention, Affection, and Rules

After getting a second dog, it is natural to pay more attention and show more affection toward her, especially if she is a puppy.

However, we must resist that temptation, and try to treat both dogs equally.

If we give our new dog more attention and affection, we may create competition between our two dogs. This may later lead to conflicts and aggression. Instead, I make sure all my dogs follow similar rules, and get similar rewards for good behavior.

If we are too lenient with our puppy and let her get away with more, our existing dog will likely observe that, and pick up on those same bad habits.

I like doing group obedience training with my dogs. This helps them work together as a team, and be comfortable with each other around people, food, and toys. It also helps them to associate together-time with rewards and positive outcomes. I also do their grooming sessions together, including teeth cleaning and fur brushing.

Supervision is very important, especially in the beginning. I teach my dogs what the rules are, and what to do when under stress. In this way, they learn good play and interaction habits. In fact, I still supervise my dogs, but less so now that they are older, and know the rules around the house.

Still, Shiba will always try something from time to time to test his boundaries.

He is that cool! 😎

3. Play-Time Rules

In addition to meal-time rules, play-time rules are also important.

Since Shania is a three legged dog, Sephy may sometimes overwhelm her when he gets over-excited during play. I always make sure he does not get too rough with her.

I manage the excitement level of all of my dogs, by throwing in many play-breaks. During a play-break, I call one dog over to me (the more food focused one), get her to do some simple commands, and reward her well for it. This usually gets the other dogs to join in, so we do a brief group obedience session. These brief breaks help my dogs to calm down, refocus on me, as well as practice doing commands in the middle of play.

I also institute a no-humping rule, because it can be seen as a dominance move by other dogs (especially new dogs). I do not want my Shiba practicing these types of behaviors. The more he practices it, the more likely he is to repeat it; possibly in an inappropriate context. Shania also dislikes it, so humping is a time-out offense.

Some people prefer to let the dogs “work it out for themselves”.

Personally, I think it is best for us to set and enforce play-time rules and household rules. By doing so, I ensure that there is no bullying, and my dogs do not become fearful of each other. Since I am the one correcting their behaviors, my dogs are free to enjoy each others’ company, and need not use aggression. They learn to see each other as playmates and equals. If there is ever any trouble, they can come to me and I will take care of it. To me, that is what leadership means.

4. A Quiet Place to Rest

When I first got a new dog, I made sure that Sephy had a nice and quiet place to rest, away from the nibbles of a playful puppy. Like us, a dog may want some time to spend, in peaceful solitude. This is especially important if our resident dog is older, and tires more easily.

A puppy can be a crazy ball of energy and a big handful, not just for the people around the house, but also for the existing dogs.

I set up a consistent routine for my second dog, similar to what I did for my first dog. I make sure that she has a fixed schedule for meal-time, play-time, walk-time, and sleep-time.

When it is time for sleep, little Husky goes into her crate or puppy pen. In this way, my adult dogs get to rest, and so does my little puppy. Now that Puppy is older, it is no longer necessary to manage them so closely. Both dogs are able to regulate themselves, and give each other space when they need it.

Still, they each have separate crates that they can go to whenever they want, and they also have access to the backyard.

If I am not home, which does not happen often, Husky prefers to stay out in the backyard and Shiba likes staying in the house. I still do not fully trust them to be alone together, because their play can get pretty crazy, they may get over-excited, and end up hurting themselves.

5. Conflict Over Resources

When we get a new dog, there is a lot of uncertainty. Everyone in the family is learning how to interact with Puppy, and Puppy is learning how to interact with everyone else.

Conflicts may arise between our two dogs, when they both want the same thing at the same time; for example, food, toys, sleeping area, or our attention and affection. An effective way to keep the peace, is to be clear about resource ownership and teach them how to resolve conflicts without aggression.

For example, if one dog is chewing on a toy, I am there to supervise and prevent stealing. If I am not fast enough and some stealing occurs, I usually replace what was stolen plus an added interest. The thief has to either go to his bed or go to timeout, thereby temporarily losing his freedom. In addition, I also reward my dogs for staying calm together, and for working together with me.

In summary, I try to maximize positive interactions with the new dog, as well as minimize bad encounters. The more positive experiences my dogs have with each other, the more they will accept each other as part of a team. The opposite is also true.

If we establish clear dog-to-dog interaction rules, our new dog will quickly learn what is expected of her, and our existing dogs will also know what to expect from the new puppy. This reduces uncertainty, reduces stress, and helps everyone to relax and enjoy each other’s company.

Second Dog – Double Trouble or Double Fun?

So which is it?

Is a second dog double the trouble or double the fun?

I think if properly handled, a new dog can be a big enhancement to everyone in the family.

I am very glad Shania joined our family. Everyone has a happier, much richer life, because of her spirit, exuberance, can-do’ness, and overall awesomeness!

However, she was a lot of work, especially in the beginning, and the dog bills are much heftier.

Still, Shania gives a thousand-fold more than she gets, and Sephy will be the first to say that he loves her more than words can say. When she is away, he just spends his time moping around the house.

Thanks to Colleen and Reptar for bringing up this fun and important topic.

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  1. brhi says

    Hi, I love your dogs. They’re so cute and I’ve actually always wanted a husky myself! But I need help with my own dog. I was given a four year old Chihuahua dachshund mix this August. I observed a few issues he had that his owners pretty much ignored almost completely. These issues consist of food guarding, horrible insecurity, and fearful aggression. These problems did not seem that bad, and they had five dogs and wanted to give him away so I thought why not, I’ve worked with a few dogs before and have a boxer who is very well rounded that we raised. I was definitely wrong. We brought him home and his problems seemed to get worse, he constantly attacked our other dog. What I could tell he was doing it out of fear, at least that was what his body language was telling me. He would not even let her sniff him without him just quickly going into a frenzy, and then once I got him to stop if there was any loud noise or anything he would just freak out and run and attack our boxer again, even if she wasn’t even doing anything or near him. After a long time and hard work I got it under control and it went from a attack or two a day to no attacks at all in months, he pretty much tolerates her now and will even run around with her and they get along pretty okay. But now my parents got a boxer puppy. He was doing a little okay with the puppy but then I noticed his pupils were huge, he was shaking and whining and trying to get up in the puppys face and I intervened by grabbing his collar and having him sit and he still wasn’t calm. When the puppy went to sniff him he would stiffen up and sit and give the puppy the same look he would give our other boxer before he attacked her. So I tried to snap him out of the fixation on the puppy but it was to late and his mind was already in fight or flight mode as I could tell, and he never chooses flight unfortunately. But he went to attack her so I pushed the puppy away quickly and got between them and just took him and put him in his kennel. How do I get him to tolerate her like I got him to tolerate the other boxer? Also when he meets new dogs he always runs up on them and gets in their space, but once the dog just goes to sniff him he does the stiff sit and then just attacks. I do not want him hurting this puppy whatsoever, I cant afford it because my parents would get rid of him and that means I failed to help him, once I realized how bad his problems were I told myself to not give up on him no matter what. He has bitten me to once when I got between him and the other boxer and I still don’t want to give up on him but I’m starting to loose hope! Please help me.

  2. Kirsten says

    I have a 15 year old Westie/maltese mix who is blind and mostly deaf. We also recently adopted a 5 year old Westie from a puppy mill. They are both spayed females. The newly adopted dog is well socialized with other dogs since she came from a puppy mill. She had no problem with our 15 year old and our grand dog, a male Westie, who is 2. Two weeks after we adopted the puppy mill survivor, she escaped from her harness and took off. It took 4 days to find her and retrieve her because she is skittish, afraid of men, and didn’t yet know she belonged to us. During those four days she lived in the woods nearby. The dog recovery group helping in her retrieval said after 48 hours they start to become feral. Anyway, we were overjoyed to finally have her home. A few days later, she viciously attacked our blind and deaf 15 year old Westie. This was totally unprovoked and not your typical dog fight. The blind dog just walked through the room and the new adopted one leaped off a chair and went for the jugular, clenching her neck. I had a hard time getting her to let go. Blood was everywhere. It was the most vicious thing I had ever seen between two dogs and my senior dog really couldn’t defend herself. She had puncture wounds around her neck, but did not require stitches. I hate to imagine what would have happened if I hadn’t been right there. So I called the Westie rescue and asked them to come pick the newly adopted one up immediately because I can’t and won’t put my 15 year old dog’s life at risk. She is currently in a temporary foster home. I asked the vet why this would happen. Was it jealousy? She said maybe but more likely that in the animal kingdom, it is common for animals to kill the weak and dying within the same species. I am devastated and do miss and loved the new adopted Westie. She was very sweet and worshipped me. The night before both dogs and I were all cuddled on the sofa, so it is so hard to understand why this happened. My senior blind Westie, who sleeps constantly, seems unfazed by a new dog in the home and has always been submissive. I am wondering if she did go feral and this is why. After she got back she would bark at my husband when he walked through the room. She never did this before she got lost in the woods. Did I do the right thing or did I give her back too quickly without giving her a chance? Could she have been rehabilitated? If you think there is hope and my senior dog’s life is not at risk, I will consider taking back Help!

    • shibashake says

      I don’t have any firsthand experience with missing dogs, but this thread has a discussion of how some dogs may go into a shock state (which some people call a feral state) after going missing from their families.

      As for dog-to-dog aggression, there can be many reasons for conflicts between dogs. Dog behavior is very context dependent, so to even begin to understand the source of the conflict, one would need to meet with the dogs, get to know their temperaments, past experiences, routine, surrounding environment, and more.

      I have a three legged dog, and I have observed that some dogs may target her because she is different or perhaps more vulnerable. But even there, her disability is only one contributing factor, and there are many other things that come into play including the temperament of both dogs, training, exercise, routine, energy level, physical health, and other surrounding factors. When I need to understand the source of conflicts between my dogs, I get help from a good professional trainer who can visit, observe my dogs within their regular context and routine, read their body language, and help me develop a good and safe plan for rehabilitation.

      When looking for a new dog, I take my time and make sure to find one that will fit in well with my existing dogs and our lifestyle. This is very important because an inappropriate match will make it difficult for everyone, especially the new dog. Going to a new home introduces a lot of stress to a dog, so bouncing around homes will often worsen a dog’s stress symptoms and behaviors.

      When I get a new dog, I manage her carefully and use leashes, gates, and other management equipment to keep everyone safe and set my dogs up for success. I do not leave my dogs alone unsupervised until I am very sure that there will be no issues.

  3. John says

    Hi there, I’m loving your articles! A week ago we picked up our Husky pup (8 weeks old) and she seems to be learning commands rather quickly. We are working on Sit, Lay, and Come at the moment and she does pretty well. her crate training is coming along nicely as well. Very limited accidents in her crate now. With all that being said, we ran into a problem. We have a 9 year old beagle who can become food aggressive when it comes to treats and that triggers our puppy to start barking at him. This happened two days ago. We keep our Husky on a lead, so we separated them and redirected her attention which seemed to work. However, today with no food involved, our Husky basically went berserk on our beagle. There was absolutely no trigger. She took an aggressive stance and was trying to lunge towards him while barking at him. I got her to sit and stop barking and then praised her, but then she would do it again. From there I walked in a different direction with her which worked until she saw our beagle again. Eventually I got our Husky to calm a bit with our older dog near her and I gave both dogs commands to sit, followed by praise and treats. Again, this calmed our Husky and our Beagle had no signs of aggression, but I could tell that our Husky was still “not herself” you could say. She also nips at his legs which he hates, so when I notice her going in to bite, I pull her back a bit with a firm “No”. What could have triggered this behavior? Every time our Husky eats, we take a bit of her food and hand feed her and gently put a hand in her dish while shes eating. She never growls when that happens or shows aggression. I’m at a loss. Sorry my comment is a long one, but our Husky also went a bit crazy today when she knew it was dinner time. She heard the bag open and she stopped listening to commands and began barking and whining extremely loud. This is also the first instance of this. When we prepare her meals, we have her sit, and we do not put her bowl down until she sits and stays in place until the bowl has touched the floor. Was she just having a really bad day? Any help would be appreciated, Thank you!!!

    • shibashake says

      Thank you John.

      Based on what you describe, there are two key areas –
      1. Food guarding and feeding.
      2. Dog-to-dog aggression.

      Dog behavior is very context dependent, so in cases of aggression, especially when multiple dogs are involved, it is best and safest to get help from a good professional trainer. A good trainer can read the dogs’ body language, observe them within the context of their regular routine and environment, and help identify what is triggering the dog’s behavior.

      In terms of food guarding and feeding-
      1. I make my dogs work for all of their food. I use most of their daily food as rewards throughout the day for following house rules, bite inhibition training, doing obedience exercises, following play rules, doing grooming, being calm around each other, and more. Whatever is left-over, I put in interactive food toys so they need to work for that too.

      2. I did a lot of frozen Kongs to keep my Husky occupied during puppy-hood. Husky puppies have a lot of energy so it was a structured and positive way for her to exercise her mind. In the beginning, she couldn’t get all the food out by herself, so I would help her, which teaches her that having people around during food time is a really good thing.

      3. Dogs commonly develop food guarding issues because they associate people or other dogs coming near their food with negative events. I prevent food guarding issues with my dog by helping her associate people and other dogs coming near her and her food with positive and rewarding experiences. For example, I help them get food out of their toys, I reward them for doing work for me, for following house rules, for being calm, etc. I follow the Nothing in Life is Free program with all of my dogs.

      4. At the same time, I set my dogs up for success and protect them from negative experiences. For example, if I keep stroking my dog while she is intent on eating, this may quickly become an irritant, which can lead to frustration and then aggression. Intermittently taking away my dog’s food bowl, or putting my hand into her bowl while she is eating, may also disrupt and lead to frustration and aggression. Instead, I may put my hand in and show her that I am adding something yummy in her food toy, which turns the action into something positive and rewarding. Of course I *do not* do this with a dog that is already food aggressive.

      5. Finally, resource guarding can occur over any type of resources. Food is a common resource that dogs guard, however, they may also have conflicts over toys, sleeping area, attention from people, etc. In addition, a dog may be ok with *her* people, but may start guarding with other dogs, or from new dogs, new people, etc. Behavior is very context dependent.

      My dogs are also keen observers and they learn from observing me and observing each other. For example, if my dog sees that when another dog shows aggression, he gets to eat in peace, without anybody bothering him, she may learn to try this behavior because it is rewarding to do so. However, if my dog associates people with rewards and getting more food, then the last thing she wants to do is keep people away.

      More on how I prevent food guarding behavior with my dogs.

      As for dog-to-dog aggression, that can be caused by many many different things. The existing food aggression can certainly be a contributing factor.

      What exactly was the Beagle doing when Husky started showing this behavior? What was the puppy doing before? What is the puppy’s daily routine? What kind of interactions do the dogs normally have? How is the Beagle with other dogs? Does he enjoy playing, does he prefer to be left alone? Has the puppy tried to initiate play? What kind of daily exercise does the puppy get?

      We have a 9 year old beagle who can become food aggressive when it comes to treats and that triggers our puppy to start barking at him.

      What did the Beagle do that triggered the barking? How many times did this occur? Does this always happen when there are treats around?

      Based on what you describe, I would get help from a good professional trainer, who understands operant conditioning principles and desensitization training. When I had problems with my Shiba Inu, we visited with several trainers and it was great to have another pair of practiced eyes, help me identify what things were triggering my dog’s undesirable behavior.

      My trainer also helped me with reading my dog’s body language, with management, timing, and much more. Finally, we also did dog-to-dog desensitization training to teach my Shiba to be more comfortable around other dogs. Desensitization exercises can also be adapted to help with food guarding issues between two dogs, but this is best done under the guidance of a good professional trainer.

      With my dogs, I set up clear dog-to-dog interaction rules and I supervise closely to make sure that everyone is following my rules. I also manage their routine and environment carefully, so that I do not expose them to situations that they are not ready for, and that would trigger undesirable behaviors. Prevention is best.

      Successful experiences will help my dog build confidence and trust. Similarly, negative experiences will undermine that trust, form negative associations, set back training, and worsen my dog’s behavior. Management is key – so that I not only maximize positive interactions, but minimize negative ones. I try to always set my dog up for success and create a routine and environment that I know will result in positive outcomes.

  4. Efi says

    Hello!I have a dog ,her name is Ruby,she is two years old and she is 2,5 kilos.We recently rescued a dog and he has been living in our house for less than a week ,his name is Bruno,he is six months old,16 kilos and very energetic.Our existing dog,Ruby, is very spoiled.Because of her size ,we let her constantly get away with lots of things.For example we let her sleep wherever she wants.On the couch,on the bed,on our pillow.The problem is that our second dog is much bigger than her and he will grow bigger as we go so we decided not to get on the couch or on the bed because there will be no room left for us to sit or to sleep.Of course he sleeps with us but beside the bed and not on it (our bed is very low so it doesn’t make much of a difference,it is like a matress on the floor.)We let Ruby jump on our guests but we can’t allowed Bruno to do so .So, we know that we treat them unfairly ,the question is do they know?Do they understand?And if so what could we do in order not to have so many different rules between our dogs.I have heard that we have to associate the second dog with positive experiences,so if I forbid my existing dog from sleeping on the bed or napping on the couch ,she will blame the other dog and they will never get along.Isn’t that so?
    Bruno has a very hard time accepting the rule “not on the couch” for example.I think he will never do that because he sees the other dog.Is that correct?And lastly is it ok for them to follow different rules now that the one of them is a puppy and change them later when he grows up..for example being allowed on the couch on our command as an adult dog.Can we have some restrictions for the puppy.Thank you in advance.I am so sorry about all these questions.Thanks again.

    • shibashake says

      Dogs like getting on the couch or bed because it is often very rewarding to do so. The couch is comfortable, it smells like their people, and they often get affection when on the couch. I teach my dog *not* to get on the couch by rewarding him really well for sleeping on the floor beside me. I have soft beds everywhere. I give him a lot of affection, food, and other rewards for sleeping on the floor or on his bed.

      I reward my dogs very very well, so in that way, I “spoil” them. However, I only reward them for doing positive or desirable behaviors. Consistency is also very important when training my dogs, so I keep my rules as consistent as possible, certainly throughout the entire puppyhood training period. I also establish a very fixed routine and everyone in the house enforces the same rules, using the same techniques.

      My dogs are great at observing each other and at observing me. They know what things will get them the best rewards, and those are the behaviors that they will repeat. If one dog gets rewarded very well for getting on the couch, my other dogs will try to get on too, because they see that the behavior is very rewarding. It is a matter of motivators.
      More on how dogs learn.
      More on how I trained my puppy.
      More on how I set up rules and teach my puppy self-control.

      I also teach my dog the “Off” command so that I put the “getting off furniture” behavior under command control. This article from the ASPCA on hand-targeting has more on how to teach a dog the Off command.

      I usually have more rules for my dog when he is young and still in training. After he has matured, I can relax some of these rules depending on temperament and behavior. However, dog behavior is very context dependent, and with multiple dogs, the situation becomes even more complex. I consulted with several good professional trainers when my Shiba Inu was young, and that was helpful for us.

  5. Jason says

    I have had a mix German Shepherd/Rot for ten years. She has always been a loyal dog with a ton of energy, but has been very needy. Recently, my wife and I have got new jobs and haven’t been able to spend as much time with her. We noticed that she has got along with other dogs that are calm, but not crazy. We decided to bring a second dog into the house for her to have another friend. We went to the shelter and adopted an 8 year old lab mix that is very calm and relaxed, but does enjoy to play occasionally. The new dog was at the shelter for almost his whole life, so he is scared at just about everything. We cannot seem to get the dogs to have anything to do with each other. The new dog just seems like he is constantly stressed even though the old dog is not around. My old dog growls and won’t get near the new dog and if he passes by, she growls. They have not fought and the new dog has not shown any aggression towards the old dog. We have a “safe place” for the new dog and he uses it all the time. What can we do to help them be less stressed and to get used to each other?

    • shibashake says

      When I get a new dog, I focus on two things-
      1. Creating certainty.
      I set up a fixed schedule and a consistent set of rules for my dogs. I supervise closely during periods of interaction, to make sure that everyone is following the rules. In this way, my dogs know what to expect from each other, what to expect from me, and what I expect from them in return. This creates certainty, and certainty helps to reduce stress and conflicts.

      2. Maximizing positive experiences and minimizing negative ones.
      When I got a third dog, my Shiba Inu did not take well to her in the beginning. He was older at that point, more set in his ways, and did not particularly like change.

      At the start, I put a lead on my new dog and I made sure that she did not approach any of my other dogs, especially when they want to be alone. This is important, because I want to minimize any negative interactions. At the same time, I try to create as many tempting and rewarding situations as I can. For example, I would do a lot of obedience exercises with my new dog, structured play sessions, handling exercises and more. I make all of these exercises fun and very very rewarding. This helps my new dog to learn the rules of the house, learn to trust me, and helps to create a good bond.

      At the same time, when something fun and rewarding is going on, my other dogs would join in. I let them come on their own, so they get to decide when they are ready. When they join in, I engage them all, keep them calm, and get them to do work for me. I then reward them extremely well with food that they don’t normally get, praise, affection, and more. In this way, they learn to stay calm around each other, and most importantly they learn to associate the new dog with positive and rewarding play and events.

      I did this many times during the day, and I never leave my new dog alone with my other dogs until I am very very sure that there will be absolutely no issues. Shiba Sephy began to come to our group obedience and handling sessions. He learned that the new dog is actually a big plus to his lifestyle, and not a minus at all, since I prevent conflicts before they occur. After about 10 days, Sephy accepted the new dog into his circle of trust, and things improved significantly.

      However, I still supervise them during meal time, play time, and other high excitement situations. I continue to do group training, and they still have a fixed schedule and consistent rules.

      I talk more about what I do in the article above. Dog-to-dog desensitization exercises may also help.

    • Anonymous says

      We have a female Chihuahua that isn’t spayed, a Jack Russell/Feist he hasn’t been neutered, and a male Chihuahua that hasn’t been neutered. The Jack Russell started trying to attack the male Chihuahua when the female was in heat and now he is always trying to attack him. How do I handle this?

    • shibashake says

      Even though pet dogs rarely have the opportunity to reproduce, intact male dogs will still vie for the attention of females in heat, and females will still compete for access to a male.

      With my dogs, I always try to set them up for success. The more positive and structured interactions they have with each other, the more trust is established, and the more comfortable they get with each other. Similarly, negative events will erode that trust, create negative associations, and lead to more stress and conflicts.

      To help my dogs get along, I want to not only maximize positive events, but also minimize negative occurrences. Management and supervision are key. I set up clear dog-to-dog interaction rules, I supervise very well, make sure that everyone is following my rules, and I interrupt before things escalate into anything more serious.

      I also manage things carefully, so that my dogs are not exposed to situations they are not ready to handle. For example, I do not leave my dogs together unsupervised until I am very very sure that there will be no issues. If I cannot supervise, I keep them separated. I talk more about what I do in the article above. However, my dogs are all spayed and neutered.

      Dog behavior is very context dependent, so the temperament of the dogs, routine, environment, past experiences, and more will all play a role. This becomes even more complex when multiple intact dogs are involved. Given what you describe, it is best and safest to consult with a good professional trainer who can help with structure, retraining, and management, especially when the female is in heat.

  6. Tash says

    Hi there, I have a 7 Month old Jack Russell and his name is Max, he was about 2 months when i got him, and he’s toilet trained after 5 months and sleeps in the laundry and is happy with him. We recently just got a Labrador x Golden and he’s name is Russell and he’s 8 weeks old, we got a big bed for Max and Russell to share which is fine for Russell at some point but Russell keeps taking a wee on the bed and everywhere else, I tried putting pads around and when I do I spray a wee spray that I got from the pet shop that attracts dog to do the loo and it didn’t work and I’m stuck with that. There’s also another problem Russell keeps stealing Max’s food and their both fighting in the house all the time. And now I’m stuck with Max sleeping in the laundry and Russell sleeping on my bed… I just need advice that are matching with my problems which is Sleeping together, Russell’s toilet problem , playtime and eating time. Help.. Please

    • shibashake says

      With my dogs, I set up clear dog-to-dog interaction rules, and I teach each dog what those rules are. In this way, my dogs know exactly what to expect from each other, what to expect from me, and what I expect from them in return. This creates certainty and certainty helps to reduce stress and conflicts.

      I supervise very closely during meal-time and play-time, and make sure that everyone is following my rules (e.g. no stealing, no humping, no bullying). By supervising closely, I can redirect my dog as soon as I see questionable behaviors, and prevent things from escalating. I set up a fixed routine for my dogs, I carefully manage their environment, and I always try to set them up for success. I talk in greater detail about what I do with my dogs in the article above. I have a section on play-time and one on meal time.

      How I potty train my puppy.

      However, dog behavior is very context dependent so each dog and situation are different. When in doubt, I get help from a good professional trainer.

  7. may says

    we have a medium unspayed dog. she has always been a bit rough however we got two small dogs and she’s very rough with them. one is a neutered male and unsprayed female. female is 6 months. the female is the only that plays with our old dog. but she keeps getting rough with her. like today I was playing tug of war with the new female dog and she got on the floor and our old dog went after,bit her neck and tried to swing her. (the dog was fine just scared) she’s very pushy with the new dogs (like she trys very hard to sniff them,even when we push her back)what can I do to stop her from being so rough? ( i think she (the older dog) just wants to play with the young one but gets to rough)

    • shibashake says

      What is the daily routine of each dog? What type of training are the dogs used to? What are the rules of the house?

      With my dogs, I set up clear and consistent dog-to-dog interaction rules, and I slowly teach each dog what those rules are. There is no bullying, no humping, and no stealing. I make sure to always set my dogs up for success and I manage my dogs’ excitement level by throwing in many play-breaks.

      I supervise and use management equipment such as leashes and gates as needed to keep everyone safe. Management, structure, and rules, are extremely important when introducing a new dog. All of this will help to create certainty, and certainty helps to reduce stress and conflicts.

      I talk more about how I manage my dogs in the article above.

      More on how I helped my dog to be more calm around other dogs.

      However, dog behavior is very context dependent so each dog and situation are different. When there are multiple dogs, things get even more complicated. Therefore, when I had problems with my Shiba Inu, I got help from several professional trainers. A good professional trainer can observe my dog in his regular environment and routine, read his body language, and help me develop a safe and effective plan for retraining.

  8. Antony says

    I currently have hard time. We got a shiba inu puppy (female) Chio who is about 3 months old. And we currently have male shiba inu puppy who’s about 4,5 months old Yoshiro. Their first contact did not go so well. Because we brought female stratight to our house, Yoshiro smelled her and then attacked. My family is going mentall because he attacked a younger female. I say he was defending his home from unknown dog. We separated tham and Chio is not at our parent’s house. We went there yesterday with Yoshiro and after observing her for a while he became interested in her. To an extend we let them lick each other. However, when we loose the leash Yoshiro humps her and she, obviously, resists and tries to bite him. Please can you help us? Is there any way we can contact you except for this comment section?

    • shibashake says

      When I got a new puppy, I had her under supervision and on-leash until she learned what the rules of interaction are, and until I was very very sure that my Shiba had accepted her into his circle of trust. I talk about some of the things that I did when introducing a new dog in the article above.

      It is important to start small and to always set my dogs up for success. I set up a consistent set of interaction rules, there is no bullying, no stealing, and no humping. I supervise to enforce the rules, and I slowly teach my new dog what the rules are. Rules create certainty, and certainty reduces stress and conflicts.

      However, dog behavior is very context dependent and Shibas are usually very particular about personal space and greeting manners. Based on what you describe, I would get help from a good professional trainer, who has experience with training Shibas.

  9. Anonymous says

    I have a 8 year old daschund and a five year old daschund, two years ago i introduced a South African mastiff – everything has been fine, about 4 months ago Zoe the mastif attacked the female five year old with no injuries. Then about a month ago Zoe attacked my male daschund. He had to have his ear stitched up. Today she attacked the femal daschund again resulting in multiple staples and stitches. In all cases there was no food, toys etc. I have a four year old and three year old who adore Zoe but I don’t know if I can train her out of this behavior and if so how or should I find her another home with no small dogs. She has no food aggressions or issues with people/kids.

    • shibashake says

      What were the dogs doing before the attacks? Were they resting, playing, or something else? What were the people doing? What was their body language like before the fight? What are the dogs’ daily routines? Have there been any changes in routine or environment? Did anything different happen about 4 months ago?

      Dog behavior is very context dependent, so details are very important. In multi-dog households, things become even more complicated. This is why I would get help from a good professional trainer, who can observe the dogs, read their body language, and help determine the trigger(s) for the aggression. A good trainer can also help us manage things so that we keep everyone safe and help us develop a good plan for retraining.

  10. aden grace says

    what if my puppy is scared of my dog and does not understand a playing bow?he thinks that my dog will bite him and I have noticed that he also growls at my old dog when I am standing near old dog growls back and things go wrong. what should I do?how should I stop my puppy from growling and make him think of my old dog as playmate?

    • shibashake says

      How old is your puppy? How old is your other dog? How long have you had the puppy? What are the size differences? What are their daily routines like? Have they had any positive play experiences?

      With my dogs, I set up clear dog-to-dog interaction rules and I make sure to always supervise. In this way, my dogs know exactly what to expect from each other, what to expect from me, and what I expect from them in return. I also set up a fixed schedule for my puppy and I make sure she does not bother my adult dogs when they want to rest or be alone. Rules and structure create certainty, and certainty helps to reduce stress.

      In the beginning, I have a lead on my puppy so that I can keep her close to me and teach her what are acceptable interaction behaviors. The leash also allows me to quickly stop play when needed and to set my puppy up for success by not exposing her to situations that she is not ready for. I also make sure that my adult dogs do not overwhelm or bully my puppy.

      I talk more about what I do in the article above.

      However, dog behavior is very context dependent, and multi-dog households are complicated. Therefore, when in doubt, I get help from a good professional trainer.

  11. Courtney says

    I have a 6 year old staffie which is an older unsocialised dog, she is good with humans with doesn’t really respond to affection and if left alone a lot because she wants that. We recently rescued a 6month old shepsky from a bad home because we didn’t want to have to send her to a rescue centre instead. Since then we have tried to train her but she has been pretty set in her ways. She’s now over a year old and is extremely hyper all the time. She whines all the time. She wants to go outside constantly. Lately I haven’t had time to walk her so it’s understandable that she has a lot of energy and I will start walking her again. The problem is that whenever I do let her go outside in the garden(which is the most secure but it was suitable for the other smaller dog and we can’t afford the make the fences bigger) when she is outside she barks at everything and everyone and when she is with our other dog it is worse but because she is bigger it is worse for her to be jumping and barking. Tonight she jumped the fence and went for another larger dog. She isn’t aggressive with dogs that she is familiar with but unfamiliar dogs outside the garden or walking past them she gets aggressive and barks and pulls. I don’t know what to do with her. It’s getting worse as she gets bigger and I don’t think we can afford a dog trainer. I just don’t know what I can do for her to stop her barking all the time and wanting attention all the time and wanting out all the time and being aggressive to every other dog. She may have picked up my older dogs dislike to other dogs but she has had other calmer dogs to influence her but she didn’t change. I cant give her the opportunity to see another dog to desensitise her to it because I don’t have the facilities for this. I want her to be calm and ignore things while she’s out in the garden before people start to complain.

  12. SAV says


    • shibashake says

      When my dogs play, they often chase each other and may sometimes bark/vocalize. The more excited they are, the more rough play gets, and the more they vocalize. However, dog behavior is very context dependent so each dog and situation are different. Barking and chasing can be part of play or something else. It is not possible to say without seeing things and knowing more about the temperaments of the dogs, surrounding environment, etc.

      In general, I set the rules for my dogs and I do whatever “corrections” are necessary. I do not allow my dogs to correct each other. It is my rules, so I enforce them in a fair and consistent way.

      I want to set my dogs up for success and maximize positive time together, so that they learn good social manners, and learn to trust and relax around each other. If I see that my puppy is getting overwhelmed or uncomfortable during play because my other dogs are being too rough or getting too excited, then I make sure to stop play. I manage my dogs’ excitement during play by throwing in many play-breaks. I talk more about what I do during play-time in the article above.

      A puppy may allow an older dog to correct him early on, but as he grows and gains confidence, he may decide he does not want to tolerate it anymore.

      I make sure my dogs get along by creating positive experiences, minimizing negative experiences, and creating certainty. I do this by setting routine, rules, and structure. I supervise my dogs, teach them my rules, and make sure to be consistent and fair with corrections. In this way, they know exactly what to expect from each other, what to expect from me, and what I expect from them in return. This creates certainty and certainty helps to reduce stress and conflicts.

  13. nik says

    Hi I have 3 staffordshire bull terriers, mum dad and son, I have recently rescued another staffy but think he may be a cross, I have had him since 10weeks and is now a year old. He has attacked my eldest (12) and has now attacked the 9 year old but has caused 450 pounds in vet bills. We r dog lovers and don’t want to get rid of him but we also don’t know what to do

    • shibashake says

      Dog behavior is very context dependent, so when I need to change my dog’s behavior, the first thing that I look at is what triggered the behavior is the first place. What were the dogs doing before the fight? Were there toys, food, or other resources about? What were they people doing? What are the dogs’ daily routine like? What type of interactions do the dogs have? What type of training are the dogs used to?

      Given that fights have already occurred, it is best to get help from a good professional trainer. Dog fights are dangerous not only to the dogs, but also to the people around them, especially when they intervene to try and break up the fights.

      I help my dogs get along by-
      1. Setting up clear dog-to-dog interaction rules. In this way, each dog knows what to expect from each other, what to expect from me, and what I expect from him in return. This creates certainty, and certainty helps to reduce stress and conflict.
      2. Supervising my dogs very well so that I can redirect behavior before things escalate into something else. I want to try and maximize positive and rewarding interactions between my dogs, and also minimize negative interactions and events. When I cannot supervise, I keep the new dog separated until I am very sure that there will be no issues.
      3. Managing my dogs’ environment so that I set them up for success. For example, if there is any object guarding behavior, I remove all high priority objects from the environment that may cause conflict. Then, I do training and desensitization exercises to slowly change that behavior.

      I talk more about the things that I do with my dogs in the article above.

      However, dog behavior is very context dependent so each dog and situation are different. Things become even more complex in multiple dog households. Therefore, especially in cases of aggression, I would get help from a good professional trainer.

      However, given what you describe, I would get help from a good professional trainer.

  14. Danielle says

    I have a year and a half old ACD. I got her as a puppy so she’s been the only dog until a month ago. Me and my fiancé found a dog chained to a tree left to die and rescued it. I am trying to learn how to give both the attention they need. When they are in the house together all they do is extreme wrestle. We can’t get the ACD to leave the rescue alone or done times vice versa. We have a trainer coming to help with the ACD training but that’s still 2 weeks away. In order to stop the wrestling we seperate them but our poor ACD is getting the brunt of it. We kennel her to give the rescue some peace and time with us but when it’s time to switch we can’t. When we kennel the rescue and bring out the ACD the rescue looses it. She howls and barks and has even broken out of the kennels before. As we are in an apartment that can’t happen so we have to give in. I’m really hoping the trainer that’s coming in 2 weeks can help us get our ACD to leave the rescue alone so they can be out together that’s our goal is to have them relax around each other so we can all enjoy one another. Until she arrives do you have any sugustions for a happy mingling home? I don’t want to be dividing attention unfairly as the ACD was here first but other then going for walks all together she’s not getting time with me

  15. Ronin says

    I have an ackbosh marama cross 3 and a Rottie 4. we rescued rottie razor last year. everything was going good the odd fight would break out for no apparent reason. They both play with one another and do there job well. We live high up in the bush where grizzly bears and cougars live. They look after the horses and the farm and kids great. On a few occations they have chased a bear off when was hanging around to close to my four kids. They keep the coyotes away from the farm as well. They work well as a team but then they will attack each other.. To the point they are going to kill one another they both seem to be alfa material. For me they both listen to me really well. Very well behaved dogs. The other dog thor if they are fighting I yell he quits but Razor sees the opportunity to attack more. Razor bites to hurt where as thor has never left wounds. But is looking like its going to change. I can’t break them up nothing works. I can’t keep them separated. penned or chained for the wild life will kill them have had that happen to a dog already. These two really need help. I understand all to well about jobs and exercise and pack leader and that dose not seem to matter they both look at me as there leader but then they do fight more and more. any suggestions.

    • shibashake says

      What were they doing before the fights? Were they playing, and then play got too intense? Was there food, some object, a sleeping area, etc. that both wanted? Were there people around? Where were the people? What are the common elements in the surrounding context of each conflict?

      Dog aggression can be the result of many different things, and dog behavior is very context dependent. This is why in cases of aggression, especially serious aggression, it is best to get help from a good professional trainer. Breaking up a dog fight is extremely dangerous because a dog that is in the throes of a fight can redirect that aggression onto nearby people, especially when we try to physically restrain him.

      This ASPCA article has some good information on breaking up a dog fight –

      With my dogs, I set up clear dog-to-dog interaction rules and I supervise them very well, especially in the beginning. Rules create certainty, and certainty helps to reduce stress and conflicts. Supervision is important to that I can teach my dogs the rules, and make sure they are followed. I can manage their excitement level by redirecting their focus and doing play-breaks. I can identify common points of conflict and redirect their energy before things escalate. By identifying common triggers, I can also do desensitization exercises, to teach them to relax and be more comfortable around each other, in the presence of the trigger.

      When I cannot supervise, I keep my dogs separated until I am very sure that there won’t be any issues. I want to not only maximize positive, calm experiences, but also minimize bad interactions. The more negative experiences they have, and the more fighting they do, the worse things will become and the more likely it will happen in the future.

      I can’t keep them separated. penned or chained for the wild life will kill them

      I agree that chaining is a bad idea, even when there are no wild animals around. Chaining can lead to more stress, more frustration, and increased aggression.

      With my dogs, I have them inside the house a lot of the time, so when I need to keep them separated, it is safe. A good local trainer, who is familiar with open properties and the location can probably provide more suggestions.

  16. margaret higgins says

    Dear shibashake,
    I have a seven year old westie and two cats who all get on very well together, however while I was volunteering at a shelter I meet a gorgeous 1 year old dog (breed is unknow but is the same size as my westie) the rescue dog is very good with cats and dogs but I worry about my dog. She is only ok with other dogs and likes her personal space will this new dog be too much for her and would she be happier the way she is now. She adjusted to the cats very quickly with little trouble but the rescue dog is getting depressed so I would like to rehome him. Thanks in advance margaret.

    • shibashake says

      When I was looking to adopt a dog, I brought my Shiba to meet potential candidates. We did meetings in a controlled and neutral environment, and under the direction of a trainer from the rescue.

      Have the two dogs met? How did things go with the two of them?

  17. Anonymous says

    Hello Shibashake:)!My family and I are planning to get two dogs and I have a couple of questions. We plan on getting a Lab and golden retriever mix first and then a shiba. My first question is will they get along? Lab/golden mixes are very calm and eager to please and shibas are the opposite. BTW isn’t it strange that I like two dog breeds that are polar opposites:)? Anyway, my next question is how do I introduce them to each other? Should I wait a week or so before letting them meet each other? A new home is hard to adjust to and so is a sister.

  18. Lynn says

    Yes, 99% of the time, Bear will attack Fozzie when there is no food around and it is just my husband and myself in the house. I could understand this much better if there were resources around that could be causing this but there’s not.

    We simply cannot afford any more trainers and I did spend time talking to both the behaviorist and the trainer we had beforehand but my conclusion is that behaviorists and trainers cannot solve real problems like this.

    I agree wholeheartedly that the dogs pick up on our emotions and even though I have become less tense, the tension between Bear and Fozzie has not diminished. I still very strongly believe that it was something in the way Bear and Fozzie were raised/treated by their first owner (the man who had them until they were 9 and 11 months old respectively). I have had multiple dogs almost my entire life but I have never had a problem like this ever before.

    We absolutely never let them be loose together anymore. The only time we have them in the same room together is when my husband holds one on a leash as I hold the other. When Bear attacks, it is too fast to stop before it happens if they are loose.

    Of course I realize it is unrealistic for me to think anyone can truly help without actually seeing them but since those who have seen them couldn’t help, I thought I’d try anyway.

    Can you tell me very specifically what we might try to help this situation? We can spend quite a lot of time with them in the same room when they are on leashes but our goal is for all of them to be able to have the run of the entire house – together.

    It’s funny in that when we got Fozzie, we were only worried that he and Stuffy would get along – we never dreamed that it would be that he and Bear would not get along since they had lived in the same home from 8 weeks of age until we got Bear at 9 months of age.

    I have spent (no exaggeration here) hundreds of hours on sites, looking for ideas on this and have tried many things but absolutely nothing has helped. I think I mentioned in my previous message that Bear does not react this way to other dogs he sees when we go for walks or the neighbors’ dogs – it is only with Fozzie. And I still have this feeling that Bear, although he is the one who always starts the attack, is actually afraid of Fozzie and is trying to “prove” that he’s not, if that makes any sense to you. If fear is the motivator, what would the best approach be?

    You said that the first thing that you do with your dog is try to figure out where the behavior is coming from. That makes total sense to me. However, I have been trying to figure that out for over a year now and still have no idea. And as for what is happening around him when he does this – the answer to that is – nothing. As for location – the location is wherever Fozzie is. Of course, it’s been almost a year since we’ve tried having them together loose but that is how it was when we were trying to get them together. The main reason we stopped and started playing musical dogs and only having them in the same room on leashes is our fear of a fight that we might not be able to stop.

    If we have to, we will live like this for their entire lives (playing musical dogs). Or possibly as they get a little older (they are 2 years, 3 months old now), things might calm down on their own?

  19. Dog Day Afternoon says

    Newer dog to our 2 dog home is often aggressive toward our dogs at home & certain types of others when out at the local dog park.

    Our existing dogs are a blue merle male & a red merle female. The new dog is a pound pup female that was about 6 months old when we picked her up about 6 months ago.

    Usually the aggression starts between the new dog & the male at various times be it over hoarding of chewies or toys inside any unknown reasons outside in the back yard. This has already moved past a couple expensive vet bills.

    The larger concern is over the open range. When out at the park the new pup is largely fine with most dogs. There inevitably comes a time when one of the few other dogs show up and the problems ensue. The other dogs are always labrador types dark brown or black. There is immediate charging, no matter the distance, and the engagements begin.

    The issues have taken place since she first saw any of these dogs an resumes when / if they meet at another time.

    Her greeting growl sometimes is playful and other times seemingly otherwise.

    Not sure how to alleviate the dog at the park issue or the home problems with our pack. The new dog and the male never back down once a possession challenge has been issued no matter whom initiates.

    • shibashake says

      For my dogs at home, I set up clear dog-to-dog interaction rules – one of which is the no-stealing rule. This helps my new dog understand what is expected of her, what to expect from my other dogs, and what to expect from me. I talk more about what I do in the article above.

      For this to work,
      – I need to be around to supervise my dogs closely,
      – I need to exercise them, manage their environment, and set them up for success,
      – I need to have good control of them when necessary, and
      – They *cannot* be aggressive toward people.

      For more serious aggression issues, it is best to get help from a good professional trainer. A good trainer can help us get started on the right foot, and help us manage the environment so that everyone stays safe.

      As for dog parks, my Shiba Inu does better in smaller, more structured play groups, where I supervise and manage his excitement level. Here is a bit more on our dog park experiences.

  20. Lynn says

    We got an 8 week old chow puppy in February 2012 (Stuffy). We then got his brother Bear in September 2011. The same person who had Bear had the other brother, Fozzie, and we got him, also, in November 2012. Stuffy was neutered in June 2012 and Bear and Fozzie were neutered in November 2012. Bear and Fozzie lived in the same home from 8 weeks of age until we got Bear in September. I don’t know just how they were treated in that home. I have strong feelings that they were not treated well and left on their own a lot.

    Stuffy gets along fine with both Bear and Fozzie. Bear attacks Fozzie – rarely, we have been able to see what triggers it (Fozzie eating, me petting Fozzie) but the majority of the time, Fozzie isn’t even looking in Bear’s direction and Bear will out of the blue attack him. I have pulled Bear off of him when this has happened.

    We now play “musical dogs” in that either Bear or Fozzie is in the living room with a baby gate in the doorway while Stuffy and whichever one isn’t in the living room is in the rest of the house. We alternate each time they go outside to go potty and we alternate each night while we sleep. Each day we spend some time with each of them on a leash while we are in the same room. They can sometimes be laying down mere inches apart with no problems. But sometimes, again, Fozzie not even looking in Bear’s direction and Bear will try to attack him – however, because he is on a leash, we are able to stop that from happening.

    Bear is not inherently an aggressive dog – he sees other dogs when we go for walks and he doesn’t even bark at them and he gets along with Stuffy just fine (although we do have to be careful with our 2 cats that he tries to chase – we now have them in their own room when Bear is the one out in the main part of the house). I swear it seems like Bear would probably be okay with any other dog (although this has never been put to the test) – except for Fozzie.

    We have spent much more money than we could afford on a certified behaviorist in August of last year and a trainer 2 times in November. The behaviorist came to our house and without even observing Bear and Fozzie in the same room (the closest she even came to seeing Fozzie was from 2 rooms away), she said her primary recommendation would be to either euthanize Bear or rehome Fozzie. (I will not give up any of my boys.) With the trainer, our first appointment was at his business where we talked to him in a relatively small room, he had us drop their leashes and there were no attacks in almost an hour. The next time he came to our house and said we needed to let them “fight it out”. Against my better judgment we did that while the trainer was here for about 15 minutes. Bear attacked Fozzie, then Fozzie attacked Bear – there were no injuries from one another but Bear cut the pad of his foot on a cabinet and it cost a few more hundred dollars at the vet to fix that. The trainer told us to let them fight at least once each day and that within a week or two things should be settled. We did not let them fight anymore after that one fight – I totally don’t feel that is right. The trainer did tell us that he believes that it is actually Fozzie who is the dominant dog, not Bear. That didn’t totally surprise me as I’ve thought that Bear is like a child who gets picked on by a bully at school but tries to act like he’s the tough one. Yet Fozzie has never been the one to start anything ever. Needless to say, I will never look for another trainer or behaviorist after having thrown away so much money for absolutely nothing.

    We tried having a muzzle on each of them, thinking we may be able to try getting them together that way to start, but neither of them acts like himself with a muzzle on so that went nowhere. So we are back to having them together as my husband and I hold each of them on a leash and we can do that with very few problems. If Bear tries to lunge and attack, I quietly and calmly take him in the bathroom and have him sit in there for a 10-15 minute “time out” and when I bring him back out, he usually makes sure he sits or lays down with his back to Fozzie. We have also taken them for walks together (I take one, my husband takes the other) and they don’t even look at one another as we’re walking. I was told that should help them bond but it hasn’t helped – it hasn’t hurt, but it hasn’t helped either.

    As for the “recommendation” to euthanize Bear – yes, there are times that I cannot force issues with Bear because I get a little scared of him myself but nothing that would EVER make a death warrant suitable! He even got ahold of one of our cats one time (VERY scary) and had her in his mouth and was shaking her – I ran up to him, grabbed him by the extra skin on his back and shook him until he let her go – and just like with Fozzie – no blood, just fur. There have NEVER been any wounds but I just worry that all it takes is once.

    Yes, we have had to re-arrange our lives a lot – however, Bear has actually come a long way since we first got him. He was absolutely terrified of a collar and leash when we first got him – he now walks as if he were trained for years. We used to have 2 gates up so they were high enough that Bear and Fozzie couldn’t touch one another – we had gotten down to having just 1 gate up but have had to go back to 2 since the fight it out incident in November. Bear is a very loving dog 99% of the time and he is probably the most intelligent dog I have ever had in my life. He can have impulse control when he wants to (if I have a short lead on him, I have already seen him run towards the gate to growl, then have seen him think to himself “No, this lead is on me and she can get me away very fast so I am not going to do it.”) He taught himself that when he comes in from going outside and it is time to bring Fozzie out, he didn’t like being held – so totally on his own, he started going in the bathroom, looking at me as if to say “Yes, I know you have to bring Fozzie out – go ahead and close the door and I’ll be fine in here.”

    I’m sorry this ended up being such a long message but it has been about a year and 3 months now and we are just getting nowhere and I am looking anywhere and everywhere for any possible help for this situation. We have tried the nothing in life is free system as well as we can. I do make sure he sits at the door and allows me to go first at all times, I have him sit before he is fed, etc., etc.

    Any suggestions would be appreciated more than words can convey.


    • shibashake says

      we have been able to see what triggers it (Fozzie eating, me petting Fozzie) but the majority of the time, Fozzie isn’t even looking in Bear’s direction and Bear will out of the blue attack him.

      I am not sure I understand. So sometimes, Bear will attack Fozzie even when there is no food or no people around?

      With my dogs, conflicts can arise over resources. This can include obvious things such as food and toys, but it may also include less obvious things like space, sleeping area, affection, and more. Aggressive behavior can also be the result of other things, including over-excitement, fear, frustration, and more.

      The first thing that I do with my dog is try to figure out where the behavior is coming from. This is important because it will determine how I help him to overcome the problem and retrain the behavior. Dogs are fascinating to me, so I am always observing mine. I try to read their body language, and try to understand them better. This is not easy to do because people rely primarily on verbal communication, and we are not as practiced when it comes to reading body language.

      I try to think about what is happening around my dog when they show a particular behavior. For example, are there any resources around, are there people around, what are the people doing, is it usually in a particular location, is it during a particular time, etc. Understanding the surrounding context helps a lot with understanding the behavior and where it is coming from.

      Getting help from experienced outside people can also help. I had a difficult time in the beginning with my Shiba Inu (Sephy) and I visited with a fair number of trainers. Like you, we also got some bad ones, but there were also some who were helpful. It took time before I started to see changes in Sephy, but some of the trainers offered good information which helped us on our way.

      With trainers, I make sure to talk to them over the phone first and ask them a lot of questions. In this way, I can filter out the ones that don’t know what they are talking about. Here is more on how I went about looking for a trainer. The Association of Pet Dog Trainers also has some good information on choosing a trainer.

      I also started reading up a lot on dog behavior and training. This helped a lot in my trainer search and also helped with understanding Sephy. Here are some places that I go to for dog information.

      Here are some things that helped Sephy be more calm around other dogs. However, it is important to stress that Sephy’s reactive behavior was mostly due to over-excitement. In addition, I tailor my training to suit his particular temperament. A different dog has a different temperament, routine, past experiences, and more, and training will need to be tailored for all of those things.

      1. Dog to dog desensitization exercises.
      It is important with desensitization to always start small and never push the dog over his threshold. The goal is to teach Sephy alternate behaviors and to help him re-associate a previously “bad” stimulus with something positive. More on what I did with Sephy for dog-to-dog desensitization.

      2. Calm energy
      Sephy is very sensitive to the energy of the people around him. If he senses that I am worried, stressed, frustrated, or otherwise not-calm he will pick up on that, get stressed himself, and that will trigger his reactive behavior. With Sephy, I try to stay very calm at all times, and I always have a plan of action so that I can be decisive and stop things before they escalate.

      3. Clear dog-to-dog interaction rules at home.
      I set up clear dog-to-dog interaction rules. If there is a new dog, I slowly teach him those rules so that he understands what is expected of him and what he can expect from me and my other dogs. I *do not* let my dogs correct each other or “work it out” for themselves. I set the rules, I supervise, and I enforce the rules in a fair and consistent way.

      I try to create as many positive experiences as I can between my dogs. This helps them to see each other as allies rather than as competitors for resources. Here is more on what I do with my dogs at home.

      Additional care will have to be taken in cases of aggression to always keep things safe for everyone.

      Dog behavior is very context dependent and temperament dependent, therefore when changing behavior I always-
      1. First identify the source of the behavior and then
      2. Tailor things to suit the particular dog and situation.

      This is why, especially in cases of aggression, it is usually best to get help from a *good* professional trainer.

  21. Danica says

    hello! so, me and my family are currently in a crisis! we have just brought home a rescue dog to our rambunctious little yorkie-poodle. we just got this dog because he was found on a rural road alone, and no name or anything. seemed to me that she was just left there to die. but our dog we have at home, who is 4, is C-R-A-Z-Y. when we first tried introducing them we just walked our new dog in and just wanted to see what would happen. the new rescue is a 2-3 year old female lab-cross who is very calm. when we walked in, our small dog, Harley, went completely crazy. he barked all day today. and the new rescue would just sit there calmy occasionally grunting or growling while Harley would be yapping, and barking and nipping and everything you can think of. we do not know what to do, because the rescue is the most beautiful well behaved dog but our dog is just so crazy that we don’t know what to do. help would be GREATLY appreciated. email me, or comment back as soon as possible. thanks so much:)

    • shibashake says

      Large changes to the home environment can cause a lot of stress for some dogs. How does Harley usually react to new dogs outside the house? What is Harley’s routine like?

      When I bring home a new dog, I usually set up a fixed routine and a consistent set of house rules (including interaction rules). This helps to create certainty, which helps to reduce stress for everyone.

      Here is a bit more on how I help my dogs get along.
      Dog to dog desensitization exercises were also helpful for getting my Shiba Inu to be more comfortable and calm around other dogs.

  22. Samantha says

    Hello shiba shake!
    Me and my partner could use some help!
    We brought home Katsumi 6 months ago .. A very obedient well mannered 5 year old shiba. Katsumi came from what we call dog heaven .. Acerage for her and her dog relatives and handful of pack mates to explore and come and go freely .. A very maintained schedule orientated home with constant human interaction. When we first met her she was a very happy dog competing with her pack for our attention .. Even stealing toys from her grandma!
    We are having a few concerns .. Dog aggression is one right now .. We introduced her to my friends siberian husky and at first was clear it was going to take some work and after a month or so of constant visits, car rides and walks they are close friends .. Playing and cuddling!
    In the last month or so we have notice Katsumi seems “off” not playful her only excitement is her walks. Katsumis eating pattern is off and we have noticed excessive paw licking to the point of paw sores. Katsumi is moping any chance she can get and sleeps as if she has never slept before we are really concerned that dog depression is her cause of withdrawal. Our thoughts are the lack of play mates and feeling alone seeing as her first 5 years was spent in a large dog home. We are considering a second member into our family as we want her to be a happy dog we brought her home with us to give her a happy retirement and happy home! We could use a second opinion

    • Samantha says

      (We are taking her to the vet to get looked at to be sure she is okay and the paws get cleared up)

    • shibashake says

      I think the vet visit is a good idea.

      When there are sudden changes in behavior with my dog, I usually rule out physical issues first with a visit to the vet. Sephy’s behavior can change a lot when he is not feeling well. All my dogs love to eat and are usually quite active in the mornings and evenings. When they show a loss of appetite or a sudden change in energy level, it is often because of a physical issue.

      What food are you currently giving Katsumi? Sephy has a pretty sensitive stomach, and in the beginning, he started itching and having some digestive discomfort. It turned out that the kibble we were giving him (breeder recommended) contained wheat, which Sephy is allergic to.

      Let us know how things go at the vet. Big hugs to Katsumi.

    • Lorraine says

      Hi Shibashake,

      I am engaged, and my fiancé and I live in two separate households until we get married. I have a three year old Amer. Staffordshire terrier which lives indoors. My fiancé does not believe dogs should live indoors, and I truly don’t want to put him outdoors because he loves to be around people. I love my dog with all my heart and I don’t want him to think I have abandoned him. Would getting another dog to keep him company outside help ? I am scared he will become depressed if he is left by himself.

  23. Patricia says

    I have a 3 year old Westie, and, a month ago, we moved into a house where a 6 month old female Boxer lives. Anytime the Boxer gets a chance, it jumps on my dog, gets in her space, and/or paws at her…essentially tries to play with my Westie. My Westie always gets upset. She yaps, barks, snarls, growls, and nips at the puppy. I just assumed my Westie was trying to teach the puppy to leave her alone, so I don’t do much about my dog’s behavior except pull her away when it happens. Am I wrong? Should I teach my dog not to protect herself from a puppy twice her size? Whenever, the puppy comes in the room, but doesn’t get close enough to touch my dog, I do tell my dog “no” whenever she starts to stress about the puppy’s presence.

    In the meantime, the dog owner and I have been trying “quiet relaxed time” where we are able to get the two of them to relax (lay on the floor) near each other, and we praise them profusely. So, we are making small progress. I’m just really wondering if I should curb her behavior when the puppy tries to “play” with her as described above. (Fyi: The puppy’s owner constantly tries to teach it to stop jumping on my dog and people for that matter). Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

    • shibashake says

      Some dogs may not enjoy playing with each other because of size differences, energy level, and play style. At the dog daycare that I used to go to, they would group play-groups based on age, size, energy level and more. For example, small dogs do not generally like playing with my Shiba. He likes to wrestle and has a high energy play style which often overwhelms smaller dogs. He has the most fun playing with larger, high energy dogs, so I pick his playmates carefully and everyone can have fun.

      I also have a three legged Husky, and she can get overwhelmed during play by overly energetic dogs that like to jump on her. I make sure to protect her well and stop other dogs from overwhelming her. I always try to step in early and stop things as soon as I see any bad behavior. In this way, things do not escalate in a negative direction. Play should be fun, and if she doesn’t want to play anymore, I make sure that my other dogs leave her alone. What works well for my Husky is to have small play groups where I supervise things closely, and have good control of all the dogs involved. I also throw in many play breaks to manage the excitement levels of the dogs.

      In this way, my dogs learn that play with other dogs is fun, and that I will always protect them, so they do not need to use physical aggression to protect themselves.

  24. mandie says

    Hi im hoping you can help with my dilemma. I have a dog, jazzy, she’s 5 years old and as of around 2 years ago she is severely dog aggressive. I’ve taken her to the vet and they said it has something to do with her hitting puberty. we have another dog in the house and she is fine with her they get along great but any other dog she will attack. I have a lot of medical issues and am looking to get a service dog but i don’t know how to go about desensitizing jazzy. i have a friend who helps train other dogs and has a service dog herself and soon we will be trying so get her to be okay with submissive dogs. do you have any tips of how to avoid another attack and trying to get her to be okay with another dog in the house?

    thank you!

    • shibashake says

      Yeah, for something like this I would definitely work with a professional trainer.

      Here are some of my experiences with desensitizing my Shiba Inu to other dogs.

      I help my dogs get along at home by-
      1. Setting up clear dog-to-dog interaction rules and resource ownership rules.
      2. I slowly teach those rules to each of my dogs, I supervise them closely, and I resolve conflicts.
      3. I set up a fixed routine for all of my dogs, I have a set of consistent house rules, and I follow the Nothing in Life is Free program.
      4. I try to create as many positive and rewarding encounters as I can, as well as minimize negative interactions. I use management equipment such as gates, pens, leashes, or muzzles as necessary, to keep things safe for everyone.
      5. I manage my dogs’ excitement levels, and help them reduce stress by providing a very structured environment and routine.

      I talk more about my experiences in the article above.

  25. Daryl says

    We had a Maltese/jack Russell terrier mix. Then about a year later we had a border terrier puppy. Basically they get on very well a pine for each other if anything is happening to the other. However Ruby the Maltese is 4 and Daisy is 2 but now the bigger dog. If Daisy gets over excited she attacks Ruby and a fight ensues. I now know how to avoid it, but if they do fight what is the best way to stop it?

  26. Jan Parry says

    I wonder if you could help.

    I have a bearded collie just over a year old and a Brittany 14 years.

    Maisie (bearded collie) has started pushing Nala my older dog around, Herding her into corners and biting at her legs. This mostly happens when I come home from shopping etc, and when I get up in the mornings.

    I keep them in different rooms if I go out as I do not want my older dog bullied. She has arthritis, cataracts and is becoming a little senile according to my vet.

    If I put the older dog in her crate they both bark at each other incessantly.

    If the older dog goes into the garden the younger one will run into her knocking her over. I try to have a game with the younger one while the older one is passing water.

    Any thoughts or tips would be greatly appreciated.

    Kind regards


    • shibashake says

      My young Husky, Lara, is a bit like that. She wants to initiate play all the time, and she often does not realize her own strength.

      I have a three legged older Husky (Shania) so supervision and management are key. I set up clear dog-to-dog interaction rules, and I make sure to consistently reinforce those rules with Lara. For example, she is not allowed to chase Shania. During play, Shania can chase her or they can wrestle as long as both of them are on the ground. Otherwise, I stop play briefly, get them to refocus on me, and calm things down before trying again.

      If Shania has had enough, then I make sure Lara does not bother her.

      Lara is very energetic so I exercise her well with long daily walks, chasing games with me, and highly supervised play sessions with my other dogs. She also works for all of her food. During play-time, I throw in many play-breaks so that I can manage the excitement levels of all of my dogs.

      If I am not home, then Lara and Shania go into separate areas (one in backyard and one in the house), or I set up an enclosure for Shania so that she doesn’t need to worry about being bothered by Lara.

      I also set up a fixed routine for all of my dogs, a consistent set of house rules, and I follow the Nothing in Life is Free program. I make sure that whenever Shania wants some quiet time away from Lara, she can have it. I put a lead on Lara if necessary.

  27. jasmine says

    I have a dog he is 4 months old and its a bichon frise that is named bonbon. Then we got a red nose whivh is named Honey and they were fine for the first few days until bonbon got jealous of her. Always being with me so he growled at her and bark like if he don’t want her here.

    • shibashake says

      Conflicts often arise between dogs because of resources. When both dogs want the same thing at the same time, and neither dog wants to back down, then a conflict will arise. Frequently, this occurs over food and toys, but it may also occur over affection or attention from us.

      With my dogs, I set up clear dog-to-dog interaction rules, and if there are conflicts, I deal with it *before* it escalates into aggression. I also try to be consistent and fair with all my dogs. I talk more about what I do in the article above.

      If there is aggression, it is best to get help from a professional trainer so that everyone stays safe.

      Here is more on how I trained my puppy.

      Here is more on how dogs learn.

  28. says

    Hi ShibaShake,

    So we brought home our new Shiba puppy from the breeder this weekend. I currently have a seven year old half german shepherd half hound mix and he is showing some aggression towards our little Kuma. While the growling and occasional barking at Kuma is not all the time, Duke has lunged at Kuma a couple of times. My fiancee and I were both close by so we stopped it before it went any further. This was only the third day… so I am a little concerned. I realize that things like this take time… I just really hope Duke will warm up to Kuma.

    When we take them outside to walk, they walk fine. Duke does not growl or anything at Kuma. We took them to the park to run around and Duke would just ignore him if he got close. So it seems like it is a territorial issue.

    My fiancee lives about an hour from me, so she will be watching Kuma for the first few months. When the pup is more trained and house broken he will relocate to my place. In the meantime we will try to visit each other as much as possible so the two can interact.

    Do you have any advice on how to get my older dog to warm up? Or should I not force it?

    After I left with Duke, Kuma started having accidents in the house. And the accidents are all near where we keep Duke’s food bowl when we are at my fiancee’s apartment. Could this be Kuma marking his territory since Duke was mean to him? Or could he actually even miss Duke?

    Thanks for the time and advice!

    • says

      Oh and by the way, Duke is a rescue dog. He is typically very good with other dogs and loves to play like a puppy even though he is older.

      Could is just simply be that he knows Kuma is a puppy and doesn’t want anything to do with a puppy?

      thanks again!

    • shibashake says

      I visited Kuma’s page and really enjoyed the pictures and videos. He is really a furry ball of energy! 😀

      In terms of getting along, Sephy (my Shiba) didn’t get along with my Husky puppy (Lara) when we first got her home. From Sephy’s perspective, there was this new thing in the house and he was not really sure what to make of her. The new thing takes up the time of his people, takes up the time of his Husky playmate Shania, and keeps pestering him.

      Some things that helped with Sephy-
      1. I make sure to prevent puppy Lara from pestering Sephy. I set up a fixed routine for Lara, and when she is out and about, I am always there supervising her. If I am unable to supervise, I put Lara in her enclosure with puppy pads. If Sephy is off by himself and doesn’t want to be bothered, I make sure puppy does not bother him.

      In this way, both my adult dogs can rest, sleep, and relax whenever they want, free from puppy.

      2. I try to create as many positive experiences as possible. For example, I do a lot of training and grooming exercises with puppy. Usually this will attract Sephy’s attention and he will come over on his own. When he does, I include him in our training exercises, and make sure to reward both of them *very, very well* for working together for me. The more positive experiences I create, the more Sephy learned to see puppy Lara as an enhancement to his lifestyle rather than a competitor for resources.

      3. I set up clear dog-to-dog interaction rules.

      In general, I set up a clear structure and routine for my puppy. I also try to maximize positive experiences with my other dogs, and minimize conflicts. I talk more about what I do in the article above.

      As for the pee-ing, I think most dogs have a natural instinct to pee over the scent of another dog, especially when the smell is strong. All of my dogs will pee on areas that smell a lot like another animal (dogs, cats, deer, coyotes, etc.) when we are out on walks. I see it more as a social ritual, more like a ‘Sephy was here’ message. In most cases, my dog has not met the cat, coyote, or other dog before, so there is no history between them.

      Some dogs urine mark when they encounter nonresident dogs in their environments or smell urine left in their environments by other dogs. A dog’s environment may encompass his home, his yard, the route he usually takes when on walks, friends’ homes he regularly visits, and parks or other locations he frequents.

      Here is more on puppy Lara’s first 10 days. The worst thing was that she got hurt during a play session because I couldn’t get to her on time. Sephy accidentally ran into her and she sprained her leg. Because a puppy is small, she can get hurt even from regular play. From then on, I always have a lead on puppy (with a flat collar or harness) and I make sure I am holding onto the lead during play so that I am always right there, and have better control.

      I also follow the Nothing in Life is Free program with all of my dogs. Food can be a very useful motivator so I do not free feed any of my dogs. I also set up clear rules about food, toys, and other resources with my dogs so that there is no stealing.

      Big hugs to Kuma and Duke!

  29. Les Yates says

    We have a 12 year old German shepherd male who although not aggressive, does bark at other dogs when taken out. We also have an eight year old Chocolate Labrador female and both dogs get along well as they have been together since the lab was a puppy. Recently due to a very serious accident at her home my daughter is forced to re home her 1 year old Husky male. We would love to give the Husky a home with us but my dogs have never even met the Husky. What are the chances of all three dogs getting along.

    • shibashake says

      What are the chances of all three dogs getting along.

      That would depend on the temperament, social tolerances, past experiences, and more of the three dogs.

      In addition, I help things along by teaching my dogs that the “new dog” is a big plus to their lifestyle. I set up clear interaction rules, and I try to maximize successful interactions while minimizing negative encounters. I talk more about what I do in the article above.

      In this way, my existing dogs see the new dog as an enhancement to their life rather than a competitor for affection, food, and other resources.

  30. carolb says

    we have 4 re-homed dogs and have been asked to take on another. My first dog which was female was pack leader, 2 years ago she mothered a small collie that had been thrown out of a car. This collie was nervous but with my megs help she became better and now with meg gone she is my shadow! The new dog which is a 7 month old female german shepherd and although I am not worried about the others (boys) I am worried they might take against each other and fight. My husband and I have decided that the new dog be mainly ‘his’ so my girl will not be put out. I know to feed in a different place and sleep in different rooms.
    Any advise please? By the way we will be gradually introducing the dog. Her owners love her but with 4 children and working full time they cannot give her the time she needs and she is anxious to please.

    • shibashake says

      Some things that help with my dogs-
      1. I set up clear dog-to-dog interaction rules, for example, there is no stealing, no humping, and no bullying. I also do not let my dogs correct each other. I set the rules, and I try my best to enforce them consistently and fairly. I find that consistency is very important, so I coordinate things with other family members and we all institute the same rules, and apply the same consequences.

      While it is difficult not to have favorites, we try to be consistent with all of our dogs, and build a strong bond with all of them. In this way, when I am sick or need to travel, others in the family can easily step in and not introduce undue stress. Consistent and equal treatment also helps to lessen jealousies and conflicts between my dogs over people time and affection.

      2. Initially, I make sure to supervise the new dog very closely, especially during play time and feeding time. I manage excitement levels by throwing in many play-breaks, and try to redirect their energy into positive behaviors. Supervision also allows me to catch any developing conflicts before they escalate into anything serious.

      3. I try to create as many positive experiences as I can between my existing dogs and my new dog. I want to teach them that the new dog is a big plus to their lifestyle (results in more fun and more good stuff), rather than as a competitor for people time, affection, and other resources.

      Here is more on what I do with my dogs to help them get along.

  31. Michellee says

    We recently just adopted a new “second dog” from our local animal shelter. We currently have a two year old male collie Gus who is very sweet in a nature and super passive. He gets along with all the dogs we put him with, and did when we went and met Sadie. At the shelter Sadie was nice and playful, and was nice to Gus. Now that we’ve brought her home its been a nightmare. I set them down to eat and give them two separate bowls and instead of Sadie eating her own she will just growl till Gus doesn’t wanna eat anymore. I give them both the EXACT same toys, and let them have them together and separate but anytime their together Sadie will want her toy and take his just to lay it by her. Gus just seems depressed and sad because he isn’t the type to argue or try and get his stuff back. I’m just not sure if they need more time together or apart? Also, Sadie gets very aggressive if I am petting or paying attention to Gus. The shelter said she is a lab mix. I’m just scared she is actually going to get violent. What should I do?

    • shibashake says

      For more serious cases of aggression it is best to get help from a good professional trainer.

      Dog behavior is very context dependent, and a good trainer will be able to see the dog, evaluate her temperament, as well as observe her behavior within the context of her environment and routine.

      Dogs may sometimes protect food, toys, and other resources from other dogs and also from people because in the past, they have learned to associate other dogs and people with negative events (e.g. losing their food). This is also known as food aggression or resource guarding.

  32. abzz says

    recently ive got a new female husky pup 5 months old ,, where i do have a 7 months old pup”male” at the beginning they were not friendly as friendly .. but it was cool for them ..
    especially for my male pup as he have been with other dogs for 2 months and it as fine with him,
    but for the female that i just brought to the house yesterday she start getting jealous of the male when he comes around me,, and actually she infected im with the same thing ,, as soon as i go out for them they will start fighting and the only way to separate them is to go back inside the house. ive been and still trying to get them along with any ways .. but still the aggression in the middle of them .. n this cse , what should i do
    from your experience with the huskies direct me to the way where i can get them along

    • shibashake says

      Some things that help with my dogs-
      1. I set up clear dog-to-dog interaction rules. There is not stealing, no humping, no bullying, and I *do not* let my dogs correct each other. I set the rules, and if there are any conflicts, I will resolve them in a fair and consistent manner.

      2. I supervise them very well especially in the beginning so that I can teach them what the rules are, and resolve any conflicts *before* it escalates into a fight. The more positive and successful interactions they have, the more comfortable they will be with each other. The more fights they have, the more likely they are to fight in the future.

      3. I create as many positive experiences as I can by doing group obedience training sessions, supervised play sessions, and more. In this way, my existing dogs learn to see the new dog as an enhancement to their lifestyle, rather than as a competitor for resources.

      I describe more of what I do in the article above. For more serious cases of aggression, it is best to get help from a good professional trainer.

  33. Ashley says

    We just lost our 13 year old male GSD……….but are fortunate enough to have his 3 year old son ,whom is also a solid black GSD. We all are still morning the loss of the Dad, he was one of a kind!!! But I sense my male 3year old GSD is morning,I try and keep him busy and play,throw ball,walk ,do the normal, and he seems happy!! we tried bringing him inside,but he cried wanting out,so back in their old pen he went,seems ok ,but he is alone now and I do not know what to do for him ,other then what I am?? Should I consider getting another companion for him or wait?? I have read all the articles on this page…………….still at a loss…….. please try and give me advice???

    Thank you!

    • shibashake says

      I am sorry for your loss.

      I think we all need some time to mourn, and it is not such a bad thing. I am very close to my Husky Shania, so I know I will be pretty devastated when her time comes. But I also know that she will want me to move on and be happy, because that is how she is – living life, sharing her very best, and always ready for action.

      I will always remember friends and companions from the past, those who have touched me deeply, and I will always carry them with me. But when the time is right, I will move on and meet new friends.

      I can’t say when the right time is because that is different for each of us. I know though that difficult times are less difficult when spent in the company of friends, family, and those we love. And when the time is right, we will know, and we can help each other make the leap forward together.

      he is alone now and I do not know what to do for him

      He is not alone. He has you and you have him, and that is a very good thing to have.

  34. Amy says

    Hi There!
    We are looking at getting a second dog. Currently we have an all black 3 year old Male German Shepherd. We had tried to foster a 2 year old male german shepherd and it was fine for about 20 hours. The GSD we had fostered was over-energized, aggressive, and was not a fan when we would give attention to our black GSD, he would get very jealous. There was also no disciplining the fostered GSD as he would growl, eyes would go dark, and would get into a lunging position. This was TOTALLY different then our GSD as we got him when he was 10 months and trained him very well. Needless to say, the 2 year old GSD we had fostered needed to go back to the rescue and be fostered by someone else who we had found out bit and attacked it’s owner – so I’m thinking the issued lied within the fostered GSD, not mine.

    Anywho, we are looking to adopt a 6 month old female black GSD. I feel that this is a better match. Would you find that mixing genders is the best way to go? Our dog plays very well with other dogs both inside our home and out in neutral territory so when we had fostered this other one, we were shocked that it didn’t work. Any advice you can give would be great!


    • shibashake says

      Yeah, when I started looking for a companion for my Shiba Inu (male), I mostly looked at female dogs. I have read that in general, there are *fewer* conflicts between a male and female.

      Selecting the right gender can make a big difference in ensuring household harmony. Generally, dogs of the opposite sex make the best pairing for pets. Thus, if you have a male, get a female, and vice versa. Depending on the individual dogs, two males will also generally get along. However, two females is the most likely combination to result in disharmony.
      ~~[SPCA International]

      This is *not* to say that two females can’t get along, but the probability for conflicts is likely greater. I actually have 2 female Huskies and they get along very well with each other and with my Shiba.

      I think that while gender does play a role while getting a second dog, there are other more significant factors such as temperament of the dog, background, size, and energy level. My Shiba has a pretty dominant personality, so I made sure to pick more submissive dogs as his companions. He also likes wrestling and high energy play, which works out better with larger dogs. Smaller dogs get easily overwhelmed by him.

      I finally decided on a Siberian Husky for a companion, because they like wrestling, they are high energy, and they like to play. They are also affectionate dogs, which works out well for the people in the equation because my Shiba is pretty aloof.

      Here is more on how I picked a second dog.

      Let us know how it goes and big hugs to your boy!

    • Amy says

      Thank you so much for your response. I do appreciate it. I think that the second dog we tried to adopt was too dominant and as Gunner is an Alpha as well, the two did not jive at all. I am still on the hunt for my boy and will keep you posted! Thank you for your help!!

  35. kylie says

    I just got a new puppy she is a pit mix with husky …. she is really shy
    An when she explores the house my older dog bandit growls at her :( she always has her tail tuckedbetween her feet :( I want her to be happy here an I dint know if bandit will let her
    :( she always comes an cuddles close to me after he growls .
    Also my puppy does not like her harness an leash befor we adopted her she would go for walks without leashes an stuff she is a good dog an listens well I’m trying ti get her use to her name though, her name is sita (s-8-ta), she won’t move if I have the harnass on so i was wondering if I could get some advice

    • shibashake says

      Hello Kylie,
      Congratulations on your new puppy.

      In terms of keeping the peace at home, I set up clear dog-to-dog interaction rules with my dogs. There is no bullying, no stealing, and no humping. If there are any conflicts, I will resolve them in a fair and consistent manner. I do not let my dogs correct each other.

      I also set up a fixed routine and a consistent set of rules for my puppy and I supervise her very closely. A puppy that is still small can get accidentally hurt by a larger adult dog, even during play. That was what happened to my Husky puppy Lara. Similarly, I make sure that my adult dogs have a quiet place to rest and relax away from puppy.

      I also create as many positive experiences as I can between my new puppy and existing dogs. In this way my dogs will learn that puppy is a big enhancement to their lifestyle, rather than just a pest or a competitor for resources.

      I describe more of what I do with my dogs in the article above.

      If a dog has more serious aggression issues, then it is best to consult with a professional trainer.

      As for collars and harnesses, I slowly desensitize my puppy to these things, and pair them with good rewards and yummy treats. Here is a bit more on how I desensitize my puppy to a collar.

      Here is a bit more on how I trained my puppy.

  36. Lee-Anne Ebrey says

    What does it mean when our new puppy keeps presenting herself to our older dog by continuously putting her bottom in her face. They are both females. Sometimes they get on well and play and run around and other times they are nipping at each other.

    • shibashake says

      It is not possible to say without looking at the dogs.

      My Sibes sometimes do “butt-checks” with each other during play. It is kind of a wrestling move.

      Presenting the butt can also be a sign of submission, an invitation to play, or something else. It all depends on the surrounding context, and what is expressed by the entire body of the dog. For example, a moving tail accompanied by a relaxed and loose body posture, is very different from a moving tail that comes with a rigid and tense posture.

  37. Verna says

    Hoping to get advice on merging 2 families. I have a mini Xolo/Chinese Crested, a rescue, 16 lbs. My boyfriend has a standard Xolo, also a rescue, 50 lbs. The standard has been with him 2 1/2 years and from the beginning has been small dog aggressive. I’ve had mine 2 months now. Other than basic commands which we are working on, she’s been a joy to have and love. Our issue is the larger Xolo is so aggressive towards small dogs (she has attacked and left marks on other small dogs), that I am extremely concerned about them together. The larger is very strong and takes along of strength to hold her back once she’s in that mind frame she wants to pounce and attack the smaller. She seems to be getting better around people although there are times she gets visibly distressed when seeing people walking on the road or pathways within sight of her. Any suggestions would be welcomed. Thank you in advance. We really want to get them both introduced and hopefully become comfortable enough to be together on a daily basis.

    • shibashake says

      I did desensitization exercises with my Shiba Inu to help him with his dog-to-dog reactivity issues. The key with desensitization is to start with a weak version of the “other dog” stimulus (e.g. by using distance) and to always keep my dog below his reactivity threshold. In this way, Sephy stays in control the whole time, and is able to learn and reassociate other dogs with being calm and with positive rewards.

      Note though, that aggression toward small dogs *can* be the result of prey drive. Prey drive is an instinct, so it is not something that can be fully “trained away”. However, with proper training, management, and supervision, we can have it under control.

      Xolos are still a ‘primitive’ breed which is manifested in some of their behaviors and reactions. Some have a very high prey drive. They require respect and structure in their daily routine. Consistency is important when training a Xolo. Training should be more like play than like strict training. Xolos respond well to positive gentle training, not strict forceful training.
      ~~[Amoroso Xolo]

      Based on what you describe, I would get help from a professional trainer to accurately identify the source of the aggression, and then come up with a good and safe plan for properly managing the behavior.

  38. Ashley says

    I was wondering if you would be able to answer a question for me, or give me a little advice on the subject. My husband and I are going to be getting a 2nd dog this week (providing the new dog, and our current dog seem to get along when we introduce them) The issue isn’t really whether or not they will get along as our 2 year old Beagle has always been excellent with other dogs, and has never not gotten along with a dog, and it sounds like the 3 1/2 Border Collie/Jack Russell Terrier mix we are currently looking into has also never had any problems with making friends. Both are males, neutered, and well socialized. My only concern is the day we go pick the new dog up. The new dog, Jake, lives 5 hours away. We will obviously be bringing our Beagle Bentley along with us for the 1st introduction, but we’re not sure how we should set up the trip back with two dogs. Our Beagle rides well in vehicles, but only if he has his crate. (He freaks out if the crate door closes though) according to Jakes current owner, he also travels well, but I’m worried about the stress he’s already going to be under. If it was a short car ride, I wouldnt be so worried, but 5 hours in a new vehicle, with new people, and a new dog, that might be too much for him to take at once. We do plan on stopping at least once along the way to bring the dogs for a walk, but do you have any other suggestions? Jake is not trained to be in a crate while travelling. We do own an SUV if that helps at all. I just don’t want either of the dogs being in an unsecured area of the vehicle in case we were to get into an accident. We just don’t want to cause any more stress on either dog during this introduction period.

    Thanks in advance!

    • shibashake says

      Congratulations on getting a new dog.

      In terms of long trips, I prefer to put each of my dogs in a separate closed crate. As you say, it is safest that way.

      It sounds like it would be ideal if the owner of the Border Collie mix could drive him over to your place. Is this possible? If not, perhaps there could a meet in a closer in-between location?

      The issue isn’t really whether or not they will get along as our 2 year old Beagle has always been excellent with other dogs, and has never not gotten along with a dog, and it sounds like the 3 1/2 Border Collie/Jack Russell Terrier mix we are currently looking into has also never had any problems with making friends.

      Given what you say here, I would also consider meeting with the Border Collie without your dog. But this would also depend on Jake’s owner and whether he/she is someone you trust. Why is he looking for a new home for Jake? Would he take Jake back if things don’t work out at your place?

  39. Maria says

    Hello there,
    my brother recently brought home an adorable husky named Luna. She is around 11 weeks old i think and she has been biting like crazy! A couple of days after bringing her home, she had an unfortunate trip to the vet due to an injury inflicted on her by one of her brothers prior to picking her up. The cut got infected and needed stitches so she spent the first couple of weeks with a cone on her head, making her very irritable and snappy. Once the cone was removed, she seemed to be acting a bit better, but over the last couple of days, she has reverted back to her biting and naughty behaviour and the things that would once work and calm her down, dont seem to be working. Also, she seems to be getting more aggressive and stubborn. We are all really concerned and at our whits end with trying things to change this behaviour. Im more concerned as in the next couple of weeks, im bringing home a small shitzu puppy and am worried how Luna will interact with her. Luna has intereacted with other dogs, but im nervous about bringing in another dog, especially one remarkably smaller than her, as she seems very territorial when people or other dogs go near her things.
    Any help and advice on these issues would be great!
    Your dogs are adorable!
    Thanks :)

  40. Dan says

    Thank you for all the wonderful information. We have quite the pack at home with four rescues. Our oldest is about 3 and he is a Dauchshound/Golden. He has always been a grump. Just recently a small Shepard/Border Collie (about 2) came into our lives and he seems to be very calm and sweet. Our problem is the oldest one wants at times to attack the new comer. They walk great together and I have gotten them to relax near each other (both on leases attached to something). I am pretty sure it’s just a matter of time before the grump accepts the new guy and I am not rushing things but I sure would like to encourage them to be friends as soon as possible and not worry that they would get into a fight. We have had the Shepard mix about three weeks now and he just got fixed the other day.

    • shibashake says

      Heh, yeah Sephy was our grumpy one. He is also the oldest and is not a fan of change. I made sure to keep things consistent for him, and made sure our new dog did not disrupt his schedule and lifestyle. I would leave Sephy to roam as he pleases but have puppy on-leash. In this way, I can keep puppy from disturbing Sephy.

      Sephy really loves to play though, and he likes certain types of food. Therefore, I used those things to get him to see new puppy in a positive light. I would engage puppy in fun games, we would make a lot of noise, and invariably, Sephy will come up on his own to join in. I would continue to supervise and make sure everybody follows play rules. The more successful play sessions they had, the more Sephy warmed up to the new dog.

      I also do obedience training with puppy using food that Sephy likes, and he will come on his own to join in on those too.

      In the end, I think he was able to see that the new puppy would be a big plus to his lifestyle, with very few negative aspects. What worked for Sephy = Maximize successes, minimize negative encounters, and let him make the decision to join in on his own.

  41. Samantha says

    Hey there, we have an 8month old siberian husky male. We saved another dog who is also about 8months old and is a Labrador female. Now our husky seems to love playing with her etc but he seems to have gone from our happy, silly playful pup who has a real personality to a really quiet cuddly dog who doesn’t like playing with us as much anymore. Any idea why this would be happening? do u think it’ll just take time for him to go back to normal or does this second dog provide a problem. We show them both the same amount of attention etc, feed at the same time, but separate, play with both of them, they both sleep inside and if need be both get put outside together. Any ideas?
    Would be much appreciated

    • shibashake says

      Yeah, when we first got puppy Lara, Shania spent a lot of time with her as well. When Lara went into her puppy enclosure for nap time, Shania would be outside making sure she is ok. When Lara wakes up, and goes out for potty and play, Shania will come along too. 😀

      After some time though, we all settled into a comfortable routine, and each dog likes spending time with each other, as well as with their people.

      he seems to have gone from our happy, silly playful pup who has a real personality to a really quiet cuddly dog who doesn’t like playing with us as much anymore.

      Is he still as energetic as before, but just spending a bunch of his energy on his new friend? Has anything else changed, for example with his appetite? When did you rescue the Lab? Has she gone for her vet checkup?

      A new dog will usually create changes in routine and behavior for everyone in the family. Here are some things that help with my dogs –
      1. I make sure that everyone is healthy and that the changes are not a result of any physical issue.
      2. I set up a new routine as soon as possible, and set up consistent interaction rules. Changes in routine can cause uncertainty and stress in dogs. Setting up a consistent schedule and rules will help to reduce uncertainty, and show everyone what to expect.
      3. Both Shania and Lara are very food focused, so we do a lot of fun activities together involving food. I follow the Nothing in Life is Free program with all of my dogs.

      Big hugs to your two pups!

  42. Steve says

    I have two 4-year-old Boxers. They’re siblings (Bradley, a neutered male and Bella, a spayed female). I took them both to obedience training when they were puppies and aside from some 3 or4 rough play instances, during the past 4 years, there have not been any problems.

    I took Bradley and Bella to my brother’s house (he has a docile female yellow lab, who both my dogs have been around, before). All three dogs were running and playing in the yard for quite a while, then we brought them into the house. Bradley and Bella began staring each other down, and began fighting… I mean REALLY fighting. Blood was drawn; and I had to physically separate them. They calmed down, relaxed for a few minutes; then went at it again. I brought them home in separate vehicles and observed them throughout the night. There was no repeat of the aggressive behavior… until this afternoon. The same behavior occurred. I separated them until they settled down, then let them meet each other again. They’re laying down together on the couch with me, right now, like nothing happened. It’s like Dr. Jeckyl and Mrs. Hyde. I’m sickened by their extremely violent interactions and very concerned about how to stop this behavior. Please help.

    • shibashake says

      With my dogs, I have noticed that when there are new or less familiar dogs about, things may change. For example, my Shiba may start wanting to protect my Siberian from the other dog. Also, sometimes both dogs may want access to the new dog, which creates conflict.

      I supervise all of their play sessions, even now. During play, they are in a highly excited state, and that is when they are most likely to lose their self-control. With my dogs, it really helps to always manage their excitement level and frequently refocus their attention into working for me.

      Based on what you describe, it is difficult to tell what is triggering the aggression. Probably best to get help from a professional trainer who can observe the dogs, read their body language, as well as observe their environment and routine.

  43. Daniella says

    Hi there

    We have a 6 month old male Siberian Husky Zeus, his been an absolute champ with training and everything else and had him since he was a puppy:) We just recently got a 7 week female puppy as we felt he was just ‘too alone’. Unfortunately Zeus seems very protective over everything and we had an incident where he went for Maya because she got to close to his unfinished food, and basically ended in tears for her as he seemed to have really hurt her. We keep the under constant supervision, yet all he can seem interested in is Maya and being a big brut with her. We feed them separate unfortunately Maya is slower to eat and Zeus wants to be stingy and eat hers and then lands up not eating his food. We try give equal amount of attention but our male feels overpowered by this little munchkin. What is the best solution for this?


    • shibashake says

      Hello Daniella,

      Congratulations on your new Husky puppy.

      Here are some things that helped when I first got Husky Lara –
      1. I made sure to set clear dog-to-dog interaction rules. Absolutely no stealing and absolutely no bullying.

      2. I am always there to supervise puppy closely, especially during meal-times and play-time. I make sure that each dog has enough space to work on their own interactive toy. If Sephy or Shania gets close to puppy’s comfort space, I body-block them away so that nothing gets started and the dogs know that I am there to protect them and enforce meal-time rules. I do the same thing if puppy gets too close to my other dogs’ comfort space.

      3. I put a drag-lead on puppy when she is roaming about (only with a flat collar and only under supervision). This allows me to easily control her movements and teach her how to interact politely with my other dogs. I also put a drag-lead on Sephy when I first got Lara.

      The key with introducing Lara, is to set everyone up for success. I want to maximize positive interactions among my dogs (e.g. through group obedience training) and minimize negative interactions (by using play-breaks, and being proactive about interaction rules, as well as meal-time and play-time manners).

      Prevention is much better than cure. I manage and prevent, so that my dogs learn that I handle conflicts, and they need not do it themselves.

      I talk more about what I did in the article above.

  44. Kara says

    Thanks for all the really great info on your site. We have 2 shibas. Rex is 4 years old and Merlin is 3. Rex really is the typical shiba. He’s super stubborn, loves to play chase and can be quite a challenge to get him to do what we want. Merlin, however, just wants to please. He follows commands fairly well. He is actually the one that I have a question about though.

    He is not aggressive when it comes to guarding his food, but is very anxious/eager to get food. We are working on making sure that he is calm when he is fed. The problem we are having is with his “things”. Merlin has always been VERY protective with his toys and bones. At times, he will pack as many things in his mouth as he can and run around whining. He has never guarded his things from people, just Rex. We make sure that Rex doesn’t steal and gives Merlin the time to play with toys and chew on his bones. Merlin, however, will growl and “scream” at Rex even though he is unprovoked.

    How do we handle this? I feel like if I take the item because he’s responding this way, I’ll teach him that it’s me that he needs to guard against, but I can’t continue to let him behave this way.

    • shibashake says

      Heh, yeah Sephy does a similar thing with high priority chews such as bully sticks and Greenies. He runs around everywhere, looking for a place to hide them. He does this even when the Huskies are in a different room working on their own chews. It really reminds me of that insurance commercial where they dog keeps worrying about his bone and finally puts it in a safety deposit box. 😀

      One thing that helped Sephy with his Greenie is that we let him work on it at night, in his crate, with the door closed. In the beginning, we also showed him that we have another Greenie in reserve that we are keeping for him, so if he loses this one, he will get another. Once he learned that we have more of the stuff that we are keeping safe for him, he was able to relax and work on it.

      With bully sticks, what has helped is to give him much smaller pieces. Then he can finish it in one sitting and he does not feel like he has to hide it for later.

      Sephy gets stressed over items that-
      1. He cannot finish in one sitting.
      2. Is rare – he does not get it every day.
      3. Is highly desirable – e.g. chewy, smelly edibles, like bully sticks.

      We also try to give him things that do not fall into this space, so that he can better enjoy his rewards without worrying about getting a safety deposit box :D. I think it is the same with people and things like expensive jewelry; it often creates more worry than anything else.

      What kind of toys and bones does Merlin protect? Is it everything, or just very specific things?

  45. Chantell says

    I would like some advice. I have read most of the comments and many of your articles. We have a black male cocker spaniel, Mokka He’s just over a year old. We want to get a new puppy of the same breed and colour. He has been going to obedience classes since he was 5 months old and we go to the park regularly for socialisation. He does not like small breed dogs. He loves to play and gets very lonely during the day when we are at work.
    We wanted to get a female, but they are very scarce and we have settled on another male. Our dog is not fixed yet, but we are planning it for later this year. Do you think its a good idea to get another male? We are scared of the fighting that may occur between 2 males.

    • shibashake says

      As I understand it, there are fewer sources of conflict between a male and a female. However, this is not to say that dogs of the same gender cannot get along.

      I have two female Huskies and they get along very well. Some things that help with my Huskies-
      1. I picked more submissive puppies. This is because my male Shiba Inu is a more dominant dog. I find that submissive dogs are easier to train and tend to get along better with other dogs. I just make sure to positively socialize them to various sights and sounds so that they build confidence, and don’t become fearful.
      2. I set out clear dog-to-dog interaction rules from the beginning and carefully teach those rules to my dogs.
      3. I supervise and manage my dogs’ excitement level, especially during play.
      4. I set the rules, I supervise, and I step in to resolve conflicts *before* they escalate. In this way, my dogs learn that I settle disputes consistently and fairly, and they do not need to do it themselves with aggression.

      I think that if possible, there is less risk to get a male and a female. My Shiba Inu is a male, and I got a female Siberian Husky (Shania) as our second dog. I took my time getting a second dog because I wanted to make sure that we got a compatible companion that will fit in well with our family.

      Shiba Sephy is more picky and particular when it comes to other dogs, and Shania is a lot more relaxed and easy-going. Therefore, when we got a third dog, we got another female Husky, Lara.

  46. Ingrid says

    I have a 1 year old Lab/Maremma female dog, and just about a month or so ago adopted my neices 6 year old female Chihuahua. My 1 yr old is obsessed with the little one. She follows her, she stares, she occasionaly will try to push her with her snout. It’s driving all of us crazy!!! I have tried a number of different things. More walks for the bigger dog etc,etc…. She just wont stop obsessing over her. What can I do before we all go crazy. Especially my Lab. I swear she is going crazy!

    • shibashake says

      Here are some things that worked well while introducing my Sibe puppy Lara to my other dogs-
      1. I set up a fixed schedule and routine for puppy. Most of the time, puppy is with me and under supervision. If I cannot supervise, then I put puppy in her enclosure.

      2. I set up a consistent set of rules for Lara and do not let her bother my other dogs when they want to rest. During the training period, I put a drag-lead on her when I am around to supervise. I only use a regular flat collar (*not* an aversive collar) and only under supervision. If she bothers my other dogs, I no-mark, and then redirect her into doing something else (using the drag lead if necessary). If it is her playtime, then I step in to play with her.

      I describe more of what I do in the article above.

  47. Marnie says

    Hi there
    I very much enjoy your posts and learn alot from your tips. I’ve gotten involved in Shiba rescue and would love to foster and someday adopt an older shiba to join my family. I currently own Penny, a 2yr old female. She is a huge fun personality, gets along with 95% of dogs on leash, and is pretty good off-leash at our Shiba meet-ups. Sometimes she is too rough with the puppies but overall, she plays well (minus all the crazy shiba noises!). I love her and because of her, have gotten involved in the breed.
    This brings me to my issue. She is pretty good with neutral toys/balls at the park. However, if another dog comes into my home – she goes on attack mode. This happens with dogs that she plays well with in every other instance. I have to pick up everything- her crate, her toys, her bones, her water /food bowls and even the mat that her water bowl sits on. Then, she isn’t attacking but definitely watching the other dog’s every move. I know the house should be mine- but she obviously feels it is hers. How can I work on this without endangering other dogs in my home? At this point, I’ve only had 2 other dogs in my place (multiple times though). I should also add that I have to watch her in other peoople’s homes with toys, too. She is definitely an ‘alpha’ girl.
    Thanks in advance!

    • shibashake says

      When Sephy was young I did a lot of dog-to-dog desensitization exercises with him to get him more comfortable and calm around other dogs. I also did a slight variation of this when I brought Lara home.

      For example, I first had Lara on-leash and in the front-yard. Sephy was on-leash as well with a friend. I make sure they are far enough from each other to be calm and both are able to listen to their handler. Sephy is no-longer very reactive, so he was calm and able to handle this part. Then, we moved into the backyard, again with both on-lead and far enough from each other that they are still calm. Then, we let Sephy off-leash. I did this because Sephy only guards his own space. If other dogs don’t bother him, he doesn’t bother them either, so I was quite sure that he would be ok. I would take it much more slowly and keep him on-leash for longer, if he guards objects or what he considers to be his territory.

      I kept puppy on-leash and with me the whole time and for many days afterwards, until I was sure that Sephy was comfortable with having her around, and Lara has learned some of the house-rules. Also, Sephy does not like new dogs sniffing his butt, so I made sure that Lara didn’t do that until Sephy was willing to let her. Other than that, I try to create positive and rewarding opportunities for them when they are calm and together.

      With desensitization it is important to go slowly, and to go at a pace that our dog is comfortable with. In general, I want to retrain Sephy to associate other dogs with positive and calm experiences, so I do not want to expose him to situations where he would experience stress or be in high alert. Instead, I try to always make encounters be low-stress, calm, and very rewarding.

      Getting help from a professional trainer can also be very helpful. In the early days, we visited with a trainer at our local SPCA to do desensitization exercises with the dogs there. It was great because they have a variety of friendly and calm dogs that we could train with.

      When Sephy was young, we didn’t have a backyard, so I also cleared out one of the rooms in the house and made it into a playroom. When his play friends came over, we would go directly into the play room and they would have lots of fun in there. In this way, I can supervise more easily, and have better control over the environment. For example, I make sure that there are only low priority toys in the room and no food toys at all. However, I only did this after Sephy was already more calm and comfortable around other dogs.

      Hope this helps. Let us know how it goes with Penny.

  48. Tabitha says

    Hi there,
    We have a 11 year old male boxer. He is a big attention hog lol. He always wants to be sitting on your lap when youre on the couch, and he doesnt like to be left alone for a long time. He became this way when his mom died a few years back. We now have the opportunity to bring in a new boxer puppy into the house. Another male. I think it would be good for our older dog, because it will give him someone to be with when we are not around ( at work etc). The older dog doesn’t really like to play or go for walks. Hes quite lazy actually. But there have been concerns that with a new puppy, our older one will feel left out and want to die? Is this common? We know we have to keep the attention equal between the two. But its we want to know if it is even safe to attempt.

    • shibashake says

      Hello Tabitha,

      When I got my recent Husky puppy, Sephy, my older dog did not get along with her at first. From Sephy’s point of view, the puppy is noisy, disrupts his schedule, he has to share his toys, and the attention of his people. Therefore, I spent a lot of time showing Sephy how puppy Lara can be a positive influence on his life.

      I made sure that all of their interactions are positive, or at worst, neutral. I set a fixed schedule for puppy, and *do not* allow her to disturb Sephy when he just wants to rest. Older dogs need a lot more rest, so it was important to supervise puppy Lara and redirect her energy.

      I did group obedience training, and showed Sephy that he gets a lot more rewards when he is calm and working together with puppy. I describe more of what I do in the article above.

      A lot of getting a new dog also depends on the preferences of our older dog. Does your Boxer enjoy the company of other dogs? What type of dogs does he like being with? Here are some things that I considered while looking for a companion for Sephy.

  49. Christina McKnight says

    I have two 3 year old Shiba Inus. My female Shiba is extremely aggressive with other dogs and has gotten into a serious fight with a German Shephard that landed her a very serious trip to the vet.

    We want to adopt a 10 year old Husky from an elderly lady that is going into a nursing home. We have fallen in love and want to give this Husky a loving home. I read all of your tips and tricks but I am not sure if I should even consider bringing another dog in. Is it possible to break my female Shiba’s initial reaction to attack other dogs???

    What is the best way to have them meet. Should it be done on neutral ground away from our house so our Shiba does not feel threatened in her home? I don’t know how to have them meet without having them both pulled back tightly on a leash which you said is not good.

    Help!!! We have so much love to give but we are scared we will never be able to have another dog because of our female Shiba.

    • shibashake says

      When Sephy was young, he used to be pretty reactive towards certain types of dogs. I did a lot of desensitization and counter conditioning exercises with him to help raise his reactivity threshold and teach him alternative behaviors for dealing with stress.

      We did a lot of training sessions at our nearby SPCA because the trainers there had many friendly dogs that they were able to use to work with Sephy. Each dog is different, and especially with dog aggression, it was very useful to get help from a professional trainer.

      Desensitization training will take time, and during the training period, it was important that we did not let Sephy practice any reactive behavior with other dogs. I really wanted to get a Husky at the time, but I decided to hold-off on that until after I dealt with all of Sephy’s issues.

      Here is a bit more on the process I went through while thinking of getting a second dog.

      Hugs to your Shiba. Hope this helps and let us know how it goes.

  50. Kimberlyn says

    I have a 9yo black lab who’s been with me since he was 6 wks. He’s always been a momma’s boy, and I even brought him with me to Chile when I moved here 7 years ago to be with my now husband.
    We recently bought a Great Dane puppy (3mo), but she is still living with her parents who are owned by some friends of ours. We haven’t brought her to live with us definitively, because my black lab has still not been able to accept her. In the three meetings they have had he has attacked her. My lab is very people friendly and even used to get along with other dogs when I would take him to he dog park when he was younger (not anymore because they don’t exist here in Chile). He does have anxiety problems at times and gets really worked up in strange new situations (like with the new puppy). In the past, I’ve known him to attack smaller dogs, including my parents Bichon, and it usually has something to do with them getting too close to his bone or food. With our new pup, it seems he gets jealous when she demands too much attention from me.
    Is he too old to be trained and socialized with other dogs? Will he ever accept out new pup and stop attacking her? Today we got them together for the third time and things went a little better than the other two times. We went on a walk, my husband with the new pup and me with my lab. This time our lab seemed more interested in the walk than in getting to know he puppy, which means that while he didn’t attack her, he also didn’t make much effort to sniff her and basically ignored her. After the walk we came back to our house and took turns with one of them inside and one outside, until we felt comfortable enough to leave the sliding doors open between the living room and the back yard. Everything was ok, with both seeming to do their own thing and ignore each other, until one time I got between both dogs in the entry to the kitchen and our lab went at the puppy.
    Is there anyway to eradicate this behavior for good? If my older dog is jealous of the attention I give to the puppy, will I be able to train her at home by myself? Thank you for any advice! I’m desperate.

    • shibashake says

      Hello Kimberlyn,

      When I first got Lara (Siberian Husky puppy), my Shiba Inu, Sephy (5 years old then) did not really care much for her either. From Sephy’s point of view-
      1. Lara is competition for food, affection, and toys,
      2. Lara is noisy,
      3. Lara disrupts his schedule,
      4. Lara unbalances play dynamics with Shania (our other Husky)
      5. He does not know what to expect from Lara because she is a new “quantity”. This causes stress.

      Some things that helped with Sephy-
      1. I made sure that there are no negative puppy encounters with Sephy.
      I do not allow puppy to bother Sephy when he only wants to rest. I supervise all play sessions carefully and I make sure that there is no stealing or humping. I teach puppy house rules and set up a fixed routine so that it is clear what Sephy can expect from puppy and vice versa. I.e., I establish clear interaction rules for all the dogs so that Sephy knows what is acceptable behavior with puppy, and puppy knows what is acceptable behavior with both Sephy and Shania. If there are conflicts, I will resolve the issue in a fair and consistent manner.

      2. I showed Sephy how puppy can be a big positive influence on his lifestyle.
      I enticed Sephy to approach rather than forcing puppy’s company onto him. For example, I would do a lot of obedience exercises with puppy. During this time, Lara gets very well rewarded. This usually attracts Sephy to come over and join in as well. Then I do group obedience training sessions, and reward both dogs especially well for working cooperatively together for me.

      I would start playing with puppy, and this would often get Sephy interested and then he would join in.

      3. Desensitization and counter conditioning.
      When Sephy was young, I did a lot of desensitization and counter conditioning exercises with him. This helped him to be more comfortable around other dogs.

      Note that the actual details of retraining will be very dependent on the dog’s current behavior, temperament, routine, environment, and other surrounding context. Therefore, it can be very helpful to have a professional trainer visit with both dogs, observe their body language, and identify how best to manage and redirect the aggressive behavior.

  51. liliana says

    I have a female dog,Trixie, she is 10 years old and we have had her for 7 year and we were thinking about getting another dog, but Trixie can be a little needy and she doesnt always want to play with other dogs when we go to the park. So is there anyway to get another dog and not upset trixie, and would she react to another female or a male and same breed or different breed?

    • shibashake says

      Hello Liliana,

      In general, there is less risk of conflict between male and female dogs. Note however, that conflicts may still arise. In addition, many other factors may be involved, including temperament, environment, training, energy level, etc.

      When Trixie does play with other dogs, what type of dogs does she enjoy playing with? Large or small? High energy or low? Dogs that like wrestling or not?

      Frequently, older dogs need a lot more peace and quiet than younger dogs. When I bring in a new puppy, I always make sure that puppy does not bother my older dogs when they just want to rest. I also make sure puppy has a fixed routine, and my older dogs have a quiet, peaceful, and puppy-free place to sleep or hang-out whenever they want to.

      Here are some things that I considered while looking for a second dog.

      Hugs to Trixie and good luck on your dog search!

  52. Edith says

    My family have a ten year-old male dog. Recently we adopted a rescue male dog (4 year-old). My second dog is so friendly and want to make friend with my first dog. But my first dog ignore the new dog and reject to make friend with him. My first dog even keep a long distance with the second dog. What can i do to improve their relationships?

    • shibashake says

      Yeah, my Shiba Inu, Sephy was not very excited about our Husky puppy Lara either, when we first got her. Some things that helped with Sephy –
      1. Make sure there are no negative puppy experience.

      Lara was very energetic and wanted to play all of the time. She was always trying to get Sephy and Shania to play with her even when all they want to do is have a rest. I made sure to set up a very fixed routine for Lara, and I stop her from being a pest when the other dogs want to rest. Each dog also has their own peaceful rest area.

      I set up clear interaction rules, e.g. no humping during play, no stealing, etc., so that everyone knows what to expect from puppy and vice versa.

      In this way, I set both Sephy and Lara up for success and Sephy does not see puppy as a negative to his lifestyle. I describe what I do in greater detail, in the article above.

      2. Make sure there are many positive puppy experiences.

      In the beginning, I did a lot of obedience exercises with Lara. I usually make these training exercises rewarding. During this time, Sephy will also come over to participate.

      Therefore, we do a lot of group obedience training sessions together. I make sure to reward both Sephy and Lara really well when he is working together, with her, for me. In this way, they learn that cooperation, being calm together, and working for me gets them the most “stuff”. They also learn that when they work together, they get rewarded very very well.

      I supervise play sessions and make sure that everybody enjoys it.

      In general, I try to find positive, structured activities that they can enjoy together and reward them well for it. In this way, Sephy sees puppy as a net positive to his way of life, and not as a pest which disturbs him when he just wants to rest. 😀

  53. Abby says

    hello i curently have two 3 year old chihuahuas (peanut and taz) i have had them ever since they wur born they are both males and they both have verry diffrent personalities taz is very playfull and loves kids and peanut is alil grouch and prefers to sleep but he is so sweet at the same time, and they cant be away or with out each other i em hoping to add a new member to our family very soon a 2 year old husky he is well trained and verry good with kids and even little babys, he is a very sweet and patient dog. What do you think is it a good Idea to get a bigger dog? and what are some good tips you can give me in introdusing them with each other?
    Thank you

    • shibashake says

      Hello Abby,

      I think a lot of it would depend on the temperament and preferences of Peanut and Taz.

      When I was looking for a second dog, I asked myself a lot of questions about my first dog (Sephy), e.g.
      1. What type of dogs does he like playing with?
      Sephy likes playing with larger dogs that also likes to play rough and wrestle. Smaller dogs don’t play well with him because he overwhelms them easily and they are afraid of him.

      2. What type of dogs does he *not* get along with?
      Sephy does not get along with more dominant dogs. He does not try to dominate other dogs, but he does not like it either when other dogs try to dominate him.

      3. Is he ok with sharing his stuff at home?
      Sephy is not very possessive, and is happy to share toys; as long as they are not stolen while he is working on them.

      Here is a bit more on what I looked at while looking for a companion for Sephy.

  54. Lindsay says


    Thanks you for your thoughtful presentation of shock collars. I have 2 rescue dogs and a cat. Our second dog puppy that is about a year old. Our first dog and cat got along wonderfully, however I have not been able to help my second dog and cat to be able to have a safe relationship. My second dog will chase and obsess over the cat. We are able to keep them seperated, however I would like for them to be able to have a peaceful relationship, as the cat is not ever able to join us in the common areas of the house and he has become a bit fearful. I am not a fan of shock collars, however my dog reacts so quickly to the cat and gets pretty obsessed, that treats and commands go out the window for her. Do you have any suggestions?


    • shibashake says

      Hello Lindsay,

      I don’t have any cats, so I don’t have much firsthand experience in this area. This thread has some good ideas, I think, on handling this issue-

      I find that having a drag lead on in-training puppies can also be helpful. It allows me to get control of puppy quickly and without any chasing games. I only use it when puppy is under supervision and only with a thick flat collar.

      As for remote collars, there are also spray training collars. There is a study (Steiss, 2007) showing that they have the same effectiveness as shock collars for discouraging barking. However, it was a short study.

      Reviews on Amazon
      of the Petsafe spray training collar are mixed. Most complaints are about the spray mechanism not working properly, difficulty filling the device, and having to fill really frequently. I don’t use remote collars on my dogs, so I am not sure how well the spray collars work.

  55. Frankie says

    I have 10 month old spaniel mix+ who is relatively calm and who is fairly well-trained (CGC). We walk several times a day, and play or train every day. I also have cats who were here first by a couple years. The puppy wants to play with the cats, and they would prefer he not. They accept sniffing, but get upset with him when he mouths, barks trying to initiate play, etc. Would getting my pup a smaller, younger puppy (he is 35#) a companion help? Or will my pup eventually give up trying to play with the cats? I have had my pup since he was 11 weeks.

  56. countrygirl724 says

    Question: I have a 4yr old male chihuahua who I’ve had since he was a baby. This summer I decided to bring a companion into my home for him, another male chihuahua, that turned out to be bred with a corgi. From the time I pickup him up from the breeder along with his brother, they both traveled from together but mine was the one who whined. To date, my brother and myself have two dogs that constantly whine for no reason. They both go to the vet and are health but if they do not have someone’s constant attention it is a “wine and cheese” party. This is totally unacceptable and no matter what I’ve tried to correct this behavior nothing has worked. Ignoring, redirecting, putting him in another room, nothing has worked unless you give him constant attention. The breeder’s family lavished him with attention to the point that they rocked him to sleep. I’m guessing that I’m never going to break this constant need for attention. He’s been with me since July and has become increasingly a concern that this whining will never stop. In the beginning of November I was given another chihuahua who is very small (2lbs) and not expected to get very big. My July puppy, Teddy, was not to be very large either but he already is 10lbs and a bulldozer. He doesn’t pay any attention to where he steps or who he steps on and the other two end up snapping at him and he gets and his feelings hurt. I constantly remind him to watch where he’s going but it’s like he doesn’t comprehend. It’s like having a conversation with someone who speaks a different language and I realize he does speak a different language but I believe he understands what I tell him when I say careful, and watch your feet. The minute I sit down I have 3 dogs all over me and I have to be careful the 2 lb dog doesn’t get smashed because the other two are ten pounds and more. How can you not pay extra attention to a 2lb puppy that doesn’t stand a chance when the forces of nature are unleashed when I get home? Anyhow back to my Teddy and his whining, with all the lavish attention he grew up with I don’t think I’m going to be able to reprogram him. It seems to be ingrained.

    • shibashake says

      Dogs learn through a process called conditioning. In general, they repeat behaviors that get them good results and stop behaviors that get them bad results. Often, dogs vocalize because we inadvertently reward them for it.

      People tend to pay attention when there is noise, especially when it is loud. As a result, a dog is often given attention when he vocalizes, whines, or bark. This will, in turn, encourage the dog to keep repeating the behavior because from his point of view, vocalizing results in very good stuff. The more a dog repeats the behavior, the more likely it will become a habit.

      One way to reduce whining and barking is to put the behavior under command control, for example by teaching a dog the Quiet command. As you say, dogs do not come with a ready-made English vocabulary, therefore we need to start by teaching them to associate various behaviors with commands.

      This is the method I used to teach my dogs the Quiet command –

      A behavior that has become a habit will be more difficult to change because there is already a strong association between vocalizing and rewards. Therefore, more repetition and time will be needed for retraining.

      How to stop bad dog behaviors.

  57. jeremy says

    had a couple of questions… me and my fiance have had two puppies for the past year. a male and a female who have grown up together. a couple days ago we took in a puppy that is the same age as our puppies he was free to a good home and at first, the two males were getting along good at but now every time the new pup sees my boi he gets rowdy, but when my boy is in his crate he will come and sniff and wag his tail and show no signs of aggression but the moment he comes out the crate the new pup goes nuts.. he acts like he wants to play with our boy, he whines and wags his tail, but the moment we let him out he the new puppy gets aggressive and i have to step in and let him kno its an inappropriate behavior. we really want this to work out cuz hes a great pup and we dnt want to have to give him back because we dnt want him going to the wrong ppl. what can i do to ease the new puppys transition and help them get along? any advice or tips would be well appreciated. thank you for taking the time to read this.

    • shibashake says

      Hello Jeremy,

      In such cases, it is difficult to say without looking at the pups.

      My Sibe puppy Lara can get pretty excited during play. She will vocalize and then do high energy running and tackling. Her hackles are up because she is excited, but she throws in a lot of play bows, her body language is playful and very squirmy.

      What is the body language like for the two dogs? When you say the new puppy gets aggressive – what does he do? Does his body look tense? Does your boy look like he is interested in interacting or does he want to be left alone? Are both dogs about the same size? Does the female join in? Are all dogs neutered and spayed? Do all the dogs get walked together or are they walked separately? Are they calm during walks? Were both boys playing well together at the start? Were there any fights where one got hurt?

      When dogs show aggression, there is usually a source for the aggression. Usually, it is over resources – both dogs wanting the same food, toy, space, etc., at the same time. A dog may also show aggression if he feels threatened. Sometimes, play can turn into aggression if one or more dogs get overly excited, and plays too rough; which causes others to feel threatened.

      When I first got Lara (female Siberian Husky), my male Shiba Inu, Sephy, did not want to have anything to do with her. Lara kept wanting to initiate play, but Sephy was not interested. He just wanted to be left alone. Therefore, I just kept puppy away from Shiba. At the same time, I did a lot of obedience training, grooming, and touch exercises with Lara. When we do this, Sephy would get interested and come over to get in on the rewards. So we would do group sessions together. I make both dogs do work for me, and they both get rewarded really well especially when they work together and stay calm together.

      This helped to teach Sephy that puppy can be a positive thing to his life. It also helped teach puppy to focus on me (instead of another dog) and to stay calm in the presence of another dog.

      When they play together, I supervise well and throw in a lot of play breaks so that they never get over excited. I also make sure that nobody gets overwhelmed, and if Sephy no longer wants to play, I stop puppy from bothering him. I find that it really helps to establish clear rules of interaction, and then I teach these rules to all of my dogs. In this way, they know what to expect from each other and what to expect from me.

      It is difficult to tell what the situation is without seeing the dogs and the surrounding context. Getting a professional trainer to observe the dogs can help with identifying what the dogs are both trying to say, and also get at the source of the aggression.

  58. Polarnicka says


    since I got our first baby shiba – male Toshi, I was checking your website and I found it great. As Toshi, who is well socialized calm dog, turned 5 month we got another shiba – lady Kimi as 8 weeks old. Since Kimi came from 6 puppies, she is being very very agressive and often biting and whirring even she is ver very small puppy. I am not sure how to see difference between pupp playing and serious fighting.

    We have Kimi one month and Toshi is very gentle and often he leaves Kimi to take food even from his mouth. She is bitting him during all plays and he reacts only sometimes like he is trying to teach her some behaviour by bitting her back and neck in very gentle way. I would like to ask for your opinion, if should I leave them play even hard from her side with lot of Whirring, and let Toshi teach her manners or sould i separate them to calm them? Please help me, I would like to do right things as they are still young. Thank you very much!!!!


    • shibashake says

      Hello Katarina,

      With my dogs, I find that it works best when I supervise and I step in to calm things down and resolve conflicts. In this way, they learn that I am there to protect them and to enforce “play-rules” so that they do not need to do it themselves. In this way, they can just relax and enjoy each others company.

      I do not let them play too-rough, especially with Shania.

      I also throw in many play-breaks where I temporarily stop play, get them to do some fun commands, and reward them really well for it. Then, they can go back to playing. This gets them to refocus on me, and controls their level of excitement. I find that it is best to manage excitement levels, so that everybody plays nice, everybody has a good time, and play doesn’t turn into aggression.

      I am a big believer in setting up clear and consistent play rules, as well as human supervision. In this way, my dogs know exactly what to expect from each other, as well as what to expect from me and the people around them. They can relax and enjoy themselves, and if something comes up, I will take care of it.

    • polarnicka says

      Thank you very much! I will try to show Kimi that behaviour is not acceptable and teach her how to play calm and nicely.

      I really appreciate your fast answer.


  59. Nic says

    Hello there,

    I have had 2 chihuahuas (brother and sister from the same litter) for nearly 15 years. Last month, my cherished girl passed away of heart failure. After her death, her brother was lost. He would search the house for her, sit on her bedding, and just be on edge.

    I feared that he would give up without his life long companion. He has always been friendly with other dogs, so I thought getting another older female might help him. I found an 8 year old female chihuahua at the SPCA. She was super friendly and easygoing.

    She’s been home for three weeks now. He adores her. He wags his tail and perks up in a way I’ve rarely seen in recent years. He grooms her when she’s near, which I’ve heard can be a display of dominance. She on the other hand seems to tolerate his attention, but prefers to lick and play with humans.

    He has bowed, teased, and run around her to get her to play, but she has no interest. I guess I’m wondering how I can get her to bond with him since she was adopted to be his companion.

    • shibashake says

      Hmmm, some things that help with my dogs-
      1. I do group obedience sessions. I get them all to come to me and they all do fun commands together. I reward them very well, so they have a lot of fun and associate together time with something very positive.

      2. I start playing with the one who wants to play. When they see that there is a fun game in progress, my others dogs will usually get interested and want to join in too.

      3. I also go group grooming and tummy rub sessions. This gets them comfortable with each other, and provides more positive group associations. Also, I find that if I start to tummy rub one of them, the others would usually come over and join in on the fun.

      Big hugs to your pack. Let us know how it goes.

    • Nic says

      Thank you for thanking the time to reply and for the advice. I’ll be putting your wisdom into practice. I keep you posted on their progress. :)

    • Nic says

      I just wanted to thank you again and update. My 2 dogs are doing great together. The group obedience was a wonderful help. It not only gave us 3 time to bond, but taught our new girl what was expected of her.

      More than anything, I think time has been the key. She is now settle in, comfortable, and feeling like a member of the family.

      I appreciate your help. :)

    • shibashake says

      She is now settle in, comfortable, and feeling like a member of the family.

      That is very great to hear.

      Many thanks for the update and big hugs to your two furry ones. They sound like a happy and contented pair. 😀

  60. Brittany says

    Hey I have a 9 month old husky and a year old shiba inu, we did get them in a 4 month time period, they always seemed to get along tho pretty well, although they do fight when it comes to food, but there fights get pretty bad it seems like neither of them will stop, and my shiba is pretty small I’m scared she’s going to get hurt bad or even killed! What do I do to stop them and make sure they stop or not be so aggresive when they fight?? I really don’t want to get rid of one we’ve had them both for over 7 monthes already, please help me!

    • shibashake says

      Hello Brittany,

      What has worked best for my dogs is for me to supervise them during meal times and prevent any kind of stealing. In this way, I am able to resolve conflicts before it escalates into something more serious. Prevention is definitely much better than cure in this situation.

      I also do group obedience exercises with my dogs. I teach them that they gain the most resources and rewards by working together cooperatively for me. I follow the Nothing in Life is Free program and use it to establish clear and consistent house rules and interaction rules.

      I describe what I do in the section above titled – “Meal Time Ritual”.

      Given that the dogs are fighting at such a young age, it may be best to get help from a professional trainer. A good trainer can properly read a dog’s body language, and identify the triggers that are causing stress and conflict. In addition, a trainer can help with creating a safe plan for retraining and desensitization.

      Fights are dangerous not just for the dogs, but also for the people around them. Often, people get hurt or bitten while trying to stop a dog fight.

  61. Mike says

    I realise there are no guarantees, but I was told the following could help me with a 2 dog goal:
    Start with a male. Whether puppy, rescue, whatever.
    Get training and bonding down pact.
    When confidant, introduce a female into the equation. Again, puppy, rescue, whatever breed, etc.
    Idea being that the male will not feel threatened, and female will not try to be alpha.
    As a general idea, does this make some sense, in terms of following a sequence?

    • shibashake says

      Yeah, that sounds like a good plan. This was what I did-

      1. I first got Sephy, a Shiba Inu male puppy.
      2. I spent a bit over 1 year training and bonding with Sephy. We had a difficult time at first, but after about 1 year, we were doing quite well together.
      3. Things got a lot more calm and I felt I had a lot more extra time again, so we started looking for a new puppy.
      4. During the year with Sephy, I got to know him quite well so now I know what type of dogs he gets along well with, what things he does not like, his play style, etc. This allowed me to look for a second dog that would fit Sephy’s personality and play-style.
      5. We got a female Siberian Husky (Shania) and they have been great friends since.

      Here is a bit more on my experiences while looking for a second dog.

  62. loraine says

    hi there, just wondered if you could give me some advice, i have a 5 month old male husky and i have only just got a 15 week old female, keizer my 5 month old started humping her almost immediately, i stopped it sometimnes they will play and it gets a bit too much, i put a stop to that also, would it be better to rake him out the room for a minute and then let him back in, then continue to do this until he knows its not acceptable?? also i took them out this morning for a walk on my own…my goodness what a disaster..he was constantly trying to jump on her, leads were getting tangled..i was getting stressed….so decided to come home, keizer is normally very good on walks and is now walking to heel ob the lead, obviously meeshka isnt yet?? now should i walk them seperately for now and start training her on lead or not….i dont want to leave the other one out if that makes sense?? I hope you can help.

    • shibashake says

      Hello Loraine,

      Congratulations on your new puppy!

      In terms of humping, I find that consistency is very important. My youngest Sibe, Lara, also likes to hump during play. I always supervise their play session and stop her every time she starts her humping maneuvers. I start by using a no-mark (Ack-ack) to let her know that it is an undesirable behavior.

      If she goes back to it, then play stops and she has a mini no-play break. She has to Sit next to me, do some commands, and stay relatively calm. If she goes back to it after the mini-break, then she goes to timeout.

      Also, I find that Lara is more likely to hump during super-excited play. I usually throw in a lot of play breaks to manage excitement. During a play break, I would call my dogs over, reward them very well for coming, do a few more simple commands, reward them very well, and then they can get back to playing. This helps them to refocus on some other activity, and they are usually more calm afterwards.

      It is important though to do a break before the dogs are too excited to listen. If Lara is already too excited, then I don’t call her, but just go up to her and try to refocus her attention onto me. If that doesn’t work, then I stop her with her drag-lead.

      With walking, I find that it is best to leash-train the dogs separately. Lara gets a lot more excited and bold when Sephy is around, so she pulls more and is more reactive to other dogs. Lara does pretty well now during our walks, so when possible, I get a friend to walk Sephy and I will walk Lara. In this way, I don’t have to handle multiple leashes and can focus on training Lara; with Sephy around.

      Hope this helps. Big hugs to puppy and Husky!

  63. Puppy Power says

    I have four dogs that I have saved within the last six months all for have been getting along very well and playtime is very energetic with a pitty, a husky mix, a pitty mix, and a puppy lab mix they are all good dogs and very very affectionate and then all of sudden one night got into a fight and I broke it up then ten minutes later another jumped on the same dog and I got very upset but dont understand why after everything was so nice for a while they were put in their kennels for doing it but wanted to growl and bark at the one they both jumped everytime they seen him and this behavior has went on for hours as I am posting this the same day it has happened before bed I hope you can help with my problem I love my doggies very much and dont want them to fight please help……

    • shibashake says

      Two things that help with my dogs during play-
      1. Play-breaks
      I supervise them during play and call them to me frequently. When they come, they get rewarded really well and we also do a short obedience session. This helps them to refocus their attention on me, helps them calm down, and also shows them that when they work cooperatively with me, they get rewarded very very well.

      I throw in lots of play breaks so that play never gets too excited and doesn’t escalate into something else.

      2. Strict Play-rules
      I have clear and strict play-rules. When I get a new puppy, I slowly teach her these play rules and my older dogs help with that as well. During play, I supervise and make sure that all my dogs follow those play rules. I make sure to be consistent and fair.

      Two important play rules – no humping and no stealing. I also do not allow bullying of any sort. As soon as I notice any of my dogs starting to do any of these things, I step in and stop play.

      It is important that I step in early, *before* they get a chance to escalate the behavior into something more and into something less playful. Then they have a longer play-break after this. I make sure everybody is calm before letting them start again. If they are too hyped up, then I stop play for the moment and get them to do something else.

      Here are more things that I do to keep the peace at home-

  64. anya says

    I was hoping you could help me. I have a 6 year old poole schnoodle mix who has never been well socialized to other dogs. Two years ago my stepdad moved in with a sheltland the same age. The shelti originally was very friendly towards other dogs. The dogs are able to walk on leashes together, but when they see other dogs both tense and strain forward and bark aggressively. Lateley in the house the dogs have begun to fight which just start with them barking at each other when around a family member. These fights have become increasingly frequent amd nothing seems to stop them. The shelti does not really understand the word no and just get excited, wagging his tail and looking for his toy. My stepdad has been keeping the mix separated from the other in a difgeremt part of the house but I think it is getting worse. What do you recommend?

    • shibashake says

      If the dogs are already fighting, it may be best to get help from a professional trainer or behaviorist.

      When dogs fight, there is usually something that triggers the event. What has worked well for my dogs is to identify these “trigger events”. Once I do this, I can redirect them and teach them alternative behaviors for dealing with the stressful trigger. A professional trainer can observe the dogs, read their body language, and identify what in particular, is at the root of the aggression.

      With my dogs, I try to manage them so that they do not get overly excited or stressed when they interact. During play, I supervise them very closely, we have strict play rules, and many play breaks. This helps to keep things in control and stops them from escalating play into something else.

      During walks, here are some of the things that I do to help them deal calmly with other dogs-

      I have also noticed that my dogs are a lot more excitable when I walk them together. Most of the time I walk them one at a time. This helps a lot with initial leash-training and socialization. When we walk them together, I have a friend be in charge of one dog, while I walk the other. In this way, I have better control, am able to redirect bad behaviors, and can give them enough attention for leash training and socialization exercises.

  65. Melisa says

    This article was very useful! I just got a 4 month old beagle to join our family. We have a2 year old beagle and were not sure how to handle surtain behaviors… Like humping… We didn’t feel comfortable letting them figure it out for themselves, we felt we should control what was going on. Almost every article I have read says to let them figure it out, but it’s nice to know that not very one feels that way. We have always been the pack leaders in the family with our first beagle and we will continue to do so. Thank you so much for this article!

    • shibashake says

      Congratulations on your new puppy! Beagle pups are absolutely adorable.

      Yeah, I think it works out well for me to supervise and resolve disputes. In this way, they never take matters into their own paws, and escalate things to the point where they get out of hand. By stopping things when they are small, they never get a chance to grow big! 😀

      I can be the bad cop, and the dogs can just enjoy each other’s company.

      Hugs to puppy and older puppy!

    • Mark Neeley says

      My first dog, almost three, is showing much anxiety, to the point of angst at this point. Constantly at my side. Heavy breathing.
      The new dog, is asleep on the couch as I type this. Any ideas from readers?

    • shibashake says

      Did the anxiety only start with the new dog? Is there a big difference in size, energy levels, play style, etc.? Do the dogs interact much? When they play, what does the older dog do? What happens during meal times? Have there been any conflicts?

  66. Lauren says

    I have a 4 month old Rottweiler but I feel that he is lonely during the day when no one is home, I want to get a German Shepherd but dont know if it is a good idea and if Rango will be put out by a new dog?

    • shibashake says

      Yeah, I had the same worry when I was looking for a second dog. I took my Shiba on many visits to our nearby SPCA to visit with the friendly dogs there. This was very helpful because-
      1. It showed me his excitement level and interest in playing with other dogs.
      2. It showed me what type of dogs he got along most well with. For example, Sephy does well with larger, more playful dogs that like wrestling. He does not do as well with smaller dogs, because they easily get overwhelmed by him, and just want him to stay away. Larger, more dominant dogs also do not do well with Sephy because he will not submit to any dog, no matter how large or fierce.

      Does Rango like playing with other dogs? How does he react to other dogs during walks?

      Here is a bit more on my experiences while looking for a second dog.

  67. Jim Wasz says

    We have two dogs in our home, a mix lab/shephard/pit bull female, 7 years old and an mix bull dog/pit bull/other female who just turned 3 and came into heat. The younger dog has been in our home and “mothered” by the other since she was six weeks old. They have always been very comfortable and loving to one another. In the last several weeks the younger dog has become extremely aggressive with the older dog, especially when my wife or I enter the house. They have gotten into some some fairly scarey fights. We have subsequently spayed the younger dog (the older was already spayed) but the aggressive behavior persists. Is this just a phase? Seeking advice on training to cure the younger dog of this violent behavior against its “momma.” Thanks.

    • shibashake says

      What I have noticed with my dogs is that when they get overly excited/frustrated, they may sometimes redirect that energy onto each other. Then, it could turn into more aggressive behavior. In such situations, I have found that prevention is the key.

      I try to identify triggers that get them over-excited, and then I manage those situations so that they do not redirect their hyper energy onto each other. At the same time, I try to re-train them to stay calm during those trigger events. If I notice the start of something, I step in early to resolve things before they escalate it to the next level.

      When people come to the door, I usually leash my young Sibe (Lara) up. That way, I can keep her calm and under control, and she does not get to start anything with my other dogs. When Lara was young, I used a drag-lead so that I can quickly get control and stop anything from escalating.

      Exercise also helps a lot. Lara gets a lot more excited and acts more hyper before her walks.

      I also supervise them closely during play and mealtimes.

      My Shiba Inu Sephy had some aggression/reactivity issues when he was younger, and we visited with several professional trainers. It can be helpful to have a trainer observe our dog’s body language and pinpoint exactly what is triggering the aggressive behavior. It is difficult to know the source of a behavior without seeing the dogs, the context, and their environment.

  68. Ameen Hassan says

    Congratulations on your great family, Your dogs are beautiful and thank you for the wealth of information you have provided.

    I have a 2yo German Shepherd Husky Mix, Kobe. Ive had him since he was 6 weeks old and my journey with him so far has been nothing short of incredible. He is extremely athletic and agile and LOVES his tennis balls. He can catch, fetch, track, bounce and on occasion rip them apart. I live in a boarding house with 6 other tennants and he loves all of them and shakes his butt and tail in excitement whenever they come home. There is also a 7 yo beagle, vino in the house. The beagle is very anti-social (due to an irresponsible owner) and after a rough few weeks when I moved in, kobe and vino now just mind their own business. Initially Vino would howl at kobe whenever he saw him, but I guess now he’s over it. Kobe is always calm or evasive around small dogs even if they endlessly bark at him. However I cant say the same for dogs bigger in size than him. He is not an aggressor and he will never initiate aggressive behavior towards a new big dog but if the other dog initiates aggression, kobe will respond negatively and I have to intervene immediately before it escalates. In the park, off leash if another big approaches him, the hair on his back will stand up, till the dogs meet and sniff each others butt/crotch. If all goes fine, the hair drops down and the tail starts wagging.
    Now on just last week, another tennant moved into the house with two more dogs. One is a 70lb mix breed sheepdog/lab/uknown mix. He is 3 yo, names Ryder. The second is a 4 month old english setter puppy, dexter. Ryder is bigger than kobe, and is fixed. Unfortunately when they met, uknown to me, ryder snapped at kobe when he was sniffing little dexter. I quickly seperated the two dogs. However, Ryders owner for some uknown reason didnt hold on to the leash and there were two more fights (not more than 2 seconds long) which I intervened in again, and got nipped by Ryder. Thankfully it was just a bruise. Now we make sure the 2 dogs dont ever see each other. But both can smell each other in the house. Thankfully they are not barkers.

    I would like to resolve the conflict and ideally get the 2 dogs to become friends and play with each other (supervised obviously, but am not sure about how exactly I should start. There are 2 aggressive behaviours at play here. One is kobe’s territorial aggression of the property and the back yard and the other is Ryder’s possessive aggression over the pup dexter.

    My plan was to take the dogs to a neutral park and try walking them in a pack with me and ryders owner.

    My other ideas was to take the two dogs to a dog park with plenty other dogs around and let them off leash, this was suggested by a friend.

    My final idea was to re-introduce them at the beach in the water, Kobe loves swimming while Ryder is not too confident about the water.

    If you have any suggestions, I would love to hear back from you.

    Thank you in advance.

    • shibashake says

      What has worked well for Sephy are dog-to-dog desensitization exercises. I like this strategy because-
      1. It is very controlled and structured.
      2. It is safe.
      3. I can start the dogs at a level that they can handle, and then help them build confidence with each positive encounter.
      4. There is little risk of failure and a high probability of success.

      Personally, I would not do training at enclosed dog parks. If two dogs decide to start something, the other dogs may join in and the situation could very quickly get out of control. In addition, there are many unknown dogs there, some of which may have behavioral issues of their own. Finally, dogs often get over-excited during unstructured play, and this may trigger something in an already tense relationship.

      With Sephy, I started with on-leash training. After he made progress, we slowly increased the challenge. I only do off-leash work when I am sure that he can handle it, and there will be a positive outcome. In this way, he learns to associate other dogs with positive events rather than stress and fights.

  69. Aleiya says

    Hi Shibashake,

    Great articles and lovely dogs. Question: I have a German Shepherd mix, 8 yrs old male, an Akita mix, 2yrs old female. I brought home another dog, Akita-Mastiff mix, 4 mths male. My 8yr old is humping my newbie. Some websites are saying this is him trying to assert dominance. I make him stop when I see him doing it – and I don’t think the new dog is afraid of my 8yr old. But, will this persist and is there something more I should do? And…why is he doing it? BTW Ginger (2 yr)is having the time of her life with my newbie.


    • shibashake says

      Congratulations on your new Akita-Mastiff!

      Re: Humping behavior-
      My understanding is that it is very context dependent. Two dogs that know each other well may hump each other during play – and it is simply another play maneuver. My younger Sibe, Lara, is pretty submissive but she will sometimes try to hump my Shiba to get him to start playing. Other times, it seems like a wrestling maneuver to gain points, e.g. whoever gets first hump wins. 😀

      However, humping can also be a dominance move, especially between dogs who do not know each other well. Butt sniffing is another social behavior with similar contextual dependencies. For example, my Shiba does not mind dogs in his family smelling his butt, but he does not allow new dogs to butt sniff him. People have similar social conventions. We allow some people to hold our hand, some people to hug us, depending on familiarity. Someone we know hugging us from behind may be endearing, whereas a stranger doing it is highly threatening.

      I always stop my dogs from humping because I don’t want them doing it to other dogs, who may indeed take it as a dominance move or insult, and then humping will turn into a fight. Many dogs probably do not like being humped by strangers, and likely, their people do not like it either.

      I always supervise play to make sure that nobody is getting over-excited, and everybody is having fun. I also have many play breaks so that they have an opportunity to calm down. Since I always catch them and stop play when they hump, the behavior is not very rewarding, and they have mostly stopped doing it. If they keep doing it several times in a row, then they go for a brief timeout – which is a pretty strong deterrent for my dogs.

      Ginger (2 yr)is having the time of her life with my newbie.

      Hahaha, that is awesome! Lara, my new Sibe puppy is the same way. She is brimming with puppy energy and she gets my other two dogs to play a lot more. It is good exercise and very fun to watch. 😀

      Big hugs to your pack!

  70. Tessa says

    Hi! I love your website and refer to it often. We have a 14 month Shiba male named Kobe and will be getting our second Shiba puppy, a female, Lola this weekend. Can you describe how you do your initial meet-n-greets with your new puppy and existing dog? Some resources that I have found suggest we each bring 1 dog, meet in a neutral place, first do parallel walking with no contact, and then if all goes well allow them to sniff/greet on lead. After that, repeat the process on your home turf, outside. And finally, again inside. Do you have better/other suggestions? Thanks!

    • shibashake says

      Hello Tessa,

      With Shania, the breeder brought her over to our house, at around 8 weeks old. She wanted to see our living area and decide if it was ok for the puppy. Like Kobe, Sephy was around 14 months old at the time. He took to Shania right away and wanted to meet her, but Shania was somewhat afraid of him and kept hiding behind the breeder and her friend. We tempted Shania with treats and she would come over, grab some, and run back (Sephy was on-lead and we kept him with us). It was very funny and endearing.

      With Lara, we brought her home ourselves and took her to the backyard right away to do her business. She really had to go. Then, I think we let Shania out to greet us in the backyard first. Things went well, so we let Sephy out (on-lead initially). Puppy Lara was also on-lead and we made sure that the other two weren’t too rough with her and gave her space when she needed it. She was really small at 8 weeks, so we did not want her to get accidentally hurt during play. Shania took to her right away, but Sephy (at over 5 years old) did not really like the idea of a puppy. He sniffed her and then just walked away – Shiba style! We had to work a bit at winning his trust. 😀

      I think meeting in a neutral place is safer, especially if the meeting is between two adult dogs. In this way, the dogs do not feel the need to protect their home from strangers. Puppy greetings are usually easier because puppies are a lot more submissive, and older dogs often give puppies a lot more leeway. The nice thing about the backyard greeting was that Sephy and Shania could run around freely, so they could check puppy out or do whatever else they please. They were pretty hyped up, so getting to run around helped them to get rid of some excess energy.

      It also depends a lot on Kobe, what he thinks of other dogs, and the level of his guard instinct. Sephy gets along with other dogs, as long as they are not dominant, and do not try to sniff his butt without his permission. Sephy has no bite history, is not overly protective of property, and has always liked it when we invited friendly dogs over for play sessions. Given his past experiences and responses, I felt comfortable doing the puppy greetings in our backyard. Still, puppy was on lead at all times and she always had someone with her to make sure that greeting and playing did not get out of hand. We also did not let puppy do any butt sniffs on Sephy until he gave his permission. 😀

      With Lara and Sephy, the first few days after the initial greeting were the toughest. Sephy just didn’t want to have anything to do with puppy, and I was starting to get quite worried. Luckily, he warmed up to puppy after about 10 days. I was very happy when Sephy decided to relax, and that puppy wasn’t so bad after all! 😀

      Congratulations on your new Shiba pup! Let us know how it goes and also share some pictures!

  71. Brandi says

    My sister has has 2 pits. one is about a year old, tank, and the other is almost 3,piggy. they have only had tank for about 6 months. Piggy is a dominant dog and starts fights with tank. is there a training technique to stop there fighting?

    • shibashake says

      When there is a new dog in the family, there is usually a lot of uncertainty as to how the existing dogs should interact with the new dog, and how the new dog should interact with his new family.

      What has worked well for my dogs-
      1. Establishing a fixed and consistent set of interaction rules. I teach my dogs what are good interaction behaviors, and what behaviors are unacceptable. When they do something unacceptable, I step in and resolve the situation. In this way, they learn that I handle conflicts and they do not need to do it themselves.

      2. Careful management and supervision. I set them up for success and do not expose them to situations that they cannot handle. In this way I keep interactions positive or at worst, neutral.

      I describe more of what I do in the article above.

  72. Amanda says

    I have a problem. I live with my aunt and i recently got a siberian male husky named Koda and my aunt has had three dogs for about 6 years now and two of the three are in their eyes the dominant ones even thought Koda is bigger than him. My aunts oldest dog Cotten and my Koda get in fights over dominance sometimes and just recently koda almost killed Cotten and bit my aunt when she tried to separate them. This all happened because cotten bit my toe and koda is protective of me and attacked Cotten when he bit me. I don’t know what to do to prevent all their fighting. I would move out but I have nowhere to go and no money to get out on my own. Any advice?

    • shibashake says

      Hello Amanda,

      What I have observed while working with my dogs is that consistency is very important. All the dogs in my house follow the same rules, and everyone trains them in the same way. In this way, it is clear to them what is acceptable behavior and what is not.

      Are your aunt’s dog’s trained? Who trains them?
      Here are some of my experiences with training my husky puppy.

      Initially, I focus on teaching my dog how to interact with people. I do bite inhibition training, and teach him not to bite on people. I teach him various simple commands, e.g. Look, Sit, Down. Putting a dog under behavioral control is important because that will allow us to tell him not only what *not* to do, but also what *to do* instead. Following the NILIF program is also very helpful in getting my dogs to focus on me, and do work for me.

      When I brought home puppy Lara I supervised her very closely when she was interacting with my other dogs. When I could not supervise, I separated them. During the supervised sessions, I made sure that encounters were positive or at worst neutral.

      Based on what you say, it sounds like getting a good professional trainer to come over for a visit can be very helpful. A trainer will be able to see the environment, as well as observe interactions between all of the dogs. Once the aggression triggers are identified, we can desensitize the dogs to the triggers and redirect their energy into positive behaviors.

  73. Kate says

    I had a question about bringing home two male shiba puppies into our home. Initially, I had set my mind on just having the one but after speaking with our breeder it sounds like the second male just has the best personality. They are different colors and I was planning to have a second shiba at the house in the future. What would you recommend? I will be planning to neuter both dogs.

    • shibashake says

      Hello Kate,

      I have never gotten two puppies at once so I can’t say exactly what the experience will be like. One puppy is enough to tire me out and everyone else as well – including my two older dogs! 😀

      Here is a short story of my most recent single puppy experience-

      It has also been my experience that getting a second dog is a lot more work than just having one dog. In fact it was more than double the work – especially in the beginning. When I got a second dog, Shiba Sephy was very happy and they played with each other a lot. But at the same time, they required a lot more human supervision, training, walking, grooming, etc. Otherwise, it would be two dogs getting into mischief instead of just one! 😀

      I was also very glad that I waited more than a year before getting a second dog. In the first year I was able to bond well with Sephy, properly train him, and also observe his likes and dislikes. For example, Sephy likes playing with larger dogs that are playful and likes to wrestle. Other Shibas are not really Sephy’s most favorite playmates.

      I picked a Siberian Husky for a second dog because their temperament complements Sephy’s personality very well. They are affectionate dogs, so they soak up all the human affection while Sephy is off being his aloof Shiba self. At the same time, they are energetic, like to wrestle, and are not intimidated by Sephy. Smaller dogs tend to get overwhelmed by Sephy’s rough play style.

      Here is more on my experiences of picking a second dog-

      Good luck and let us know how it goes.

  74. Lori says


    I have a 2 year old Shiba Inu, Missy. Who knows her comands, but chooses when to listen. She excelled in training and does well with people. However, she is protective of her space and doesn’t like strangers, ie: UPS etc.

    I am considering adopting my sister’s 7 year old German Shepard, Morgen. Morgen, has already lived with (2) cats and 1 baby so she has become the lonely last child. She is very quiet and doesn’t like the wind. Morgen is well behaved and knows her commands. I think she will be an excellent member to our family, however, i am not sure how to introduce Missy and Morgen. Should the first meeting be done on neutrual gounds etc?? I would appreciate any help you could offer.

    I really depend on your site- it has been a very helpful resource.


    • shibashake says

      Hello Lori,

      I usually introduce my Shiba to new dogs on neutral ground. In this way he does not feel the need to have to protect his own territory. We used to do a lot of meetings and greetings at our local SPCA. They had a nice quiet play space with few distractions.

      Here is a bit more on my experiences with introducing Sephy to a second dog-

      Good luck! Let us know how it goes.

  75. Tina says

    We have three dogs (1 male cardigan corgi 9 yrs old, 1 male Chi-Doxie 5.5 yrs old, 1 female retriever beagle mix 5 yrs old with three legs). All have gotten along pretty well with the exception of a couple skirmishes btwn the corgi and the female usually over a toy or space. But as of recently they are fine and we have worked to keep them getting along. We have always been able to keep them in our yard together when we are not home with no issues.
    Long story short, we just adopted a new male beagle doxi mix 5.5yrs old and he gets along fine with the other two males but not with the female. She shows all signs of aggression towards him…growling barking, lunging, snapping. He will return some of the aggression but is easily redirected. The female on the other hand does not get redirected easily. We can get them to sit by each other at times (on leashes of course) but we have to keep redirecting her attention until she relaxes a bit. We do not put them together at this time. In the house at night we put the new guy in his crate before she comes in…she usually smells the crate but leaves him alone and goes to her bed. Both love toys and food so we keep these things out of the picture unless we are playing individually with them. Also we live on a small ranch and there hasn’t been much socialization with other dogs beyond our “pack”

    Any thoughts? We are looking into trainers at the moment but everything is still new since we just got the new guy on Sunday. We are trying to walk them together at night (as much as we can with the 3 legged one as she lays down from time to time) and let them sit close to each other while we sit with them. Just not sure what the best course of action is to try to desensitize them. Not sure if they can ever be in the yard together alone but I would like to be able to have them together when we are with them if possible.

    Look forward to hearing from you.

    • shibashake says

      Hello Tina,

      I have noticed that Shania, my three legged dog, feels more vulnerable around new dogs and only wants to meet them at her own pace. I do not let new dogs approach her – instead I let her approach them if she is calm and the other dog is calm and in control of the owner. She is a more submissive dog though, so she usually avoids, does the lip licking thing, or sometimes offers them her belly. If she does not feel like meeting, then we just go on our way.

      Puppies are different. She does not feel as vulnerable around them and loves meeting and playing with them.

      Dog-to-dog desensitization exercises can be helpful when introducing two adult dogs. I did a fair amount of that with my Shiba Inu Sephy when he was younger.

      What has worked well with both Shania and Sephy is let them do things at their own pace. For example, when I got a new Sibe puppy last year, Sephy did not really care to spend time with her in the beginning. I just supervised puppy closely and did not allow her to disturb Sephy. At the same time, I did a lot of training and obedience exercises with puppy where she got good food rewards as well as fun play time. Puppy also liked playing with Shania.

      Sephy saw that he was missing out on all the fun so he would come, of his own accord, and join in. I made sure to reward Sephy very well when he did this. After some time, Sephy decided that puppy wasn’t so bad after all and started to trust her more. They are pretty good pals now, but it did take some time for Sephy to trust a new dog (and she was a puppy). It would likely be harder for an adult dog.

      Even though they are very relaxed with each other now, I still supervise their play and interaction time, and make sure that they follow all the play rules.

      Let us know how it goes and what the trainer says. Hugs to everyone in your pack!

  76. Carol says

    Hi I will be getting a new puppy at the end of this year. I already have a brother and sister who have of course grown up with each other since they were 5 1/2 weeks old. I am the one who trains/feeds/walks them about 95% of the time. The brother can be a little dog aggressive (he got chased off of the field when he was younger) but if I take him somewhere new he will be fine with the other dogs. However, he seems to dislike puppies more. The puppy will more than likely be a bitch. My current dogs sleep together in the utility room and there this is a baby gate which leads into the hall. I thought about putting the puppy’s crate in the hall so the dogs can see/smell each other.

    My current dogs are three.

    The puppy will be a different breed.

    I wondered if you had any advice about who to introduce first/when the puppy is old enough to play with the other dogs, if I should introduce the sister first.

    My current dogs are spayed/neutered. The sister has absolutely no problem with dogs/puppies.

    I will be taking the puppy to puppy school so she is socialized and well handled etc

    We have a cat and the brother is scared of the cat. The sister quite likes her.

    Any help?


    • shibashake says

      Hello Carol,

      Congratulations on your soon to be new family member!

      Last year, I got a new Sibe puppy called Lara. In the beginning, I had puppy on a light lead with just a flat collar. This allows me to better control puppy. I introduced puppy to my other Sibe (Shania) first. She is a more easy going dog and took to the puppy right away. My other dog Sephy (a male Shiba Inu), however, did not want anything to do with puppy. He smelled puppy briefly and then just walked away.

      Some things that helped Sephy and Lara get along-
      1. I made sure not to push Sephy. He has to decide for himself when to accept puppy into his circle of trust.
      2. I made sure that all interactions between Sephy and puppy are closely supervised and positive, or at the very least, neutral.
      3. I have clear interaction rules and I am the one that enforces those rules. For example, I do not let puppy disturb Sephy when he wants to be alone, there is no stealing, etc. In this way the dogs know exactly what to expect from me, and what to expect from each other. They also know that I enforce the rules so they need not do it themselves with aggression.
      4. I have many play breaks so nobody gets over-excited.
      5. I do a lot of reward training with puppy and anybody can join our training sessions. Very quickly Sephy realized that he can get good rewards by joining in. These group training sessions give the dogs positive time together and shows them that they get rewarded well for staying calm together and working together for me.

      With some dogs, it just takes them a bit longer to give their trust. Sephy is like that. The key with Sephy is not to force him to get along, but to show him all the ways in which puppy can be a positive addition to his routine. After about 10 days, Sephy accepted puppy into his trust circle. It was a very happy day for everyone. 😀

      Dog-to-dog desensitization exercises may also be helpful in some cases-

  77. Brittney says

    I am hoping you could give me some advice or at least another perspective on my situation. I have an 8 yr old female Mini Pincher, and we just adopted a year old Newfoundland. I have been taking up their food, toys, and beds because even though neither seem to b aggressive, I can feel the tension. We take him on a couple walks a day and play with them separately since she can be easily trampled. Shes not warming up to him and is scared to get off of the couch, I’m thinking she could be reading his curiosity + size as aggression? The absolute last thing I want is to take him back. Any tips or advice would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

    • shibashake says

      Hello Brittney,

      My Sibe Shania is also wary of other dogs especially large dogs. This is because she only has 3 legs and feels more vulnerable with unknown dogs. Very energetic dogs for example, can easily overwhelm her even in play. I imagine smaller older dogs may also feel vulnerable when faced with a large energetic younger dog. I usually keep a certain distance from other dogs and only go to meet them if Shania wants to meet them.

      Last year, I got a new Sibe puppy – Lara. What has worked well with Shania and Lara is to supervise all play sessions very closely. In fact, in the beginning, Lara is on leash because she does not yet know that she has to be extra careful with Shania. I have a lot of play breaks, and I teach Lara that she is not allowed to jump over Shania or do any hard-tackles. I also do not allow Lara to chase Shania – play involves Shania chasing Lara, mouth wrestling, and controlled interaction. The frequent play breaks are useful to keep everyone from getting over-excited.

      Group obedience training sessions are also very helpful. It teaches my dogs that they get rewarded very well when they are calm together and working cooperatively with me.

      In the beginning dog-to-dog desensitization exercises may also be helpful-

      What has worked well with my dogs is to teach them clear rules of interaction with each other. I enforce the rules and teach them what the play boundaries are. Just as there are certain play and interaction rules with people, there are certain play and interaction rules with dogs as well. When there are conflicts, I try to step in early *before* anything negative occurs, and resolve the situation. In this way, all my dogs know what to expect from me, and what to expect from each other. They also know that I will step in and resolve conflicts so that they do not need to do it themselves.

      To keep the peace, I try to keep interactions between my dogs positive or at the very least neutral and predictable. In this way, they gain confidence with each other and can rest and relax in each other’s company.

      There is more on what I do in the article above.

  78. sue says

    Hi I have a complicated story ! we have a rescue gsd Girl who we adopted last yr and flew over to USA with our then 12 yr old gsd boy who passed in Jan we then adopted our gsd boy at 13 wks Kiki Girl looked after him so very well a real Mummy UBTILL 2 wks ago attacking him it seems unprovoked not over anything really a few times it seems as tho she has told him off for being to much to us or on a peaceful walk or generally just being bossy !!! it is so strange cant fathom out why !!???
    have and am trying to be a bigger leader and top dog as in they only get attention when I WE call them to us etc any help wld be so welcomed !!
    oh yed we have just moved and this started whilst packing up our previous home she has been thru a lot with the differant moves but nothing seems to have fazed her before both dogs as with our previous dogs are well loved fed and exercised thanx in anticipation

    • shibashake says

      Hello Sue,

      As a puppy matures, he gains confidence and may start testing his boundaries. What seems to work well with my dogs is to teach them clear rules of interaction, just as they have clear house rules.

      Some of my rules of interaction-
      1. No stealing. This includes not just food and toys, but also space, attention, and access to people. When one dog even thinks about stealing, I no-mark her and body block her away, or get her to stop staring.
      2. No bullying during play. I supervise play and have many play breaks so that they do not get over excited.
      3. No physical corrections of each other is allowed. I teach them that I am the one that resolves conflicts.
      4. Being calm with each other and working together gets them the most rewards. I teach them that cooperation is the best way to get what they want.

      One thing that I always do is to stop things *before* it escalates into physical aggression. For example, when one of my older dog wants to rest, I do not allow puppy to go bother him. If I am not there, they will usually vocalize to let me know and I get there straight away and get puppy to do something else or to settle down. If I am not home or unable to supervise, then I keep in-training puppies separated from my trained adult dogs who already know all the rules.

      I also follow the Nothing in Life is Free program with all my dogs. It is a good way to maintain leadership and at the same time establish trust.

  79. Cory says

    First off, thanks for the article – will give me some things to try.

    We started as a single Golden Retriever (Male) family, then brought in a black lab mix (male) from the shelter. The age gap was roughly 7 years. The Golden was the dominant and we had no issues. When Poncho passed, Colt (lab) seemed lost. I decided it was time to bring another dog into the family. This time we opted for a 1 yr old female border collie (Sadie). Colt (now 8) got along extremely well with Sadie and they play amazingly (and Colt still has the energy to run around and let Sadie herd him).

    I felt such a strong connection to the rescue group we got our BC from, I offered to foster some new “kids”. We brought home a 4 year old male (River). This guy is a HUGE sweetie. Out of the gate, everything was fine. We had no issues…Colt seemed fine just ignoring River and all three could be in the same room together. After about a month, Colt got aggressive with River which ended poorly for Colt who lost part of his ear (in the 12 seconds it took me to break them up).

    Things seemed fine after this event until last week. Now we cannot even have the dogs in the same room without there being some aggression. The last event led to my son being bitten (he’s 18 and thinks of himself as some kind of dog whisperer…getting in the middle of two fighting dogs is not the smartest move).

    I am unsure if we are looking at a dominance play in the household now that the dogs have begun getting more comfortable around each other, or if this is truly dog on dog aggression. We see the aggression in many forms…River sniffing around Colt’s ball, Colt laying on my son’s chest, River coming up to sniff his hand, etc.

    Any thoughts? Knowing which it may be will definitely help us in addressing the issue, as we don’t want to kick the foster out – he truly is a remarkable dog and very loving to everyone (including our three year old son).

    • shibashake says

      Hello Cory,

      From observing my dogs, it seems there are two key areas for potential conflicts-
      1. Conflict over resources.
      Food is the most common resource that a dog may guard. However, dogs may also have conflicts over attention from certain family members, access to certain family members, space, and much more. My Shiba Inu for example, is a guard dog so he is sensitive over his own personal space. He does not like new dogs invading his space and sniffing his butt. However, dogs that he trusts and plays with, he does not mind letting into his personal space and he will also share toys with them.

      When I got puppy Lara last year, my Shiba did not want to have anything to do with her in the beginning. After working with them for about 10 days, he accepted puppy into his circle of trust and was a lot more tolerant once that happened. I try to clearly define rules of interaction for all my dogs, and do a lot of supervision when introducing a new dog. If they understand what the rules of interaction are, e.g. what belongs to whom at what time, then there will be fewer disagreements.

      2. Over-excitement.
      Play time can also sometimes escalate into something more. Sometimes one of my dogs get over-excited and plays too rough or keeps on going when the other party is no longer interested in playing. I always supervise play time and have many obedience breaks so that they do not get too over-excited. I also do not allow any kind of bullying during play.

      From what you describe, it sounds like the dogs may be having some conflict over personal space and access to family members. Still, it is difficult to say without being there and observing the dogs. A good professional trainer can be helpful to these situations because he/she can observe things in real-time, read the dogs’ body language and understand the surrounding context.

  80. Kailah says

    I just rescued a shiba – Dink (male 6 years) and am in the process of introducing him to my first dog – a pit/boxer mix – Nala (female 1.5 years). I know it sounds like a crazy mix but Nala is so submissive and also a rescue. She loves all other dogs and has the personality of a lab. Dinks previous owner said he grew up in a home with 3 other dogs, a pit with the same personality being one of them. They are doing pretty well, however Dink does growl when Nala sniffs him too much or is in his face. Nala does still have some puppy energy and is extremely clumsy (we think she has vision problems). I know that shibas are pretty independent dogs but I just want to know how long it took your dogs to feel comfortable with each other. They eat close to each other with absolutely no problems. They can lay by each other (not too close yet) and they even sit right next to each other in the car. I walked them together this morning and that went completely fine, but when we got to the house Nala sniffed Dinks ears and he gave an aggressive sounding bark. I am doing all that I can but I just want to make sure this is normal and what is the best way to correct it. I am in the process of redirecting Nala’s energy but I don’t know what to do for Dink. Also – side note – Dink pulls on his leash…I never had this problem with Nala, she walks right next to me with a slack lease. How do I correct that?

    Here’s the dogs’ breakdown

    Nala – first dog, pit/boxer, female, 35lbs, 1.5 years, submissive, rescue, deathly afraid of new people, loves all dogs
    Dink – second dog, shiba inu, male, 15lbs, 6 years, dominant, instant attraction to me

    Thank you so much for your advice!

    • shibashake says

      Hello Kailah,

      Congratulations on your new Shiba! 😀

      how long it took your dogs to feel comfortable with each other.

      I got Husky Shania when my Shiba (Sephy) was over 1 year old, and he took to her right away. He really wanted a playmate then, and just wanted to be with puppy.

      I got another Husky Lara when Sephy was over 4 years old. This time he didn’t want to have anything to do with puppy. I made sure puppy did not bother Sephy and did not steal anything that he was working on. I also did a lot of group obedience sessions with them, and supervised all play sessions closely. I made sure that all of their encounters were positive. Puppy had to follow the same rules as everyone else.

      Sephy accepted Lara into his circle of trust after about 10 days. He will still growl at her though when she comes to bother him and he does not want to be bothered. When that happens, I step in and get Lara to leave him alone. Sometimes he is resting or grooming, and he should be able to have puppy-free time when he needs it. This is also a good chance to teach puppy not be rude and to heed social rules and warnings from other dogs. I handle what happens after the warning so that they never have to resolve the situation themselves with aggression. I do not allow them to physically correct each other – I do the correcting if need be.

      However, rules of interaction between dogs may be different from person to person. Some people prefer to take a more laissez faire approach.

      Dink pulls on his leash

      In terms of pulling I used a combination of the red-light-green-light technique and turn-around technique with Sephy. When I was leash-training him I also used a harness because Shibas have a short trachea and are more prone to choking themselves when they pull really hard. Here is more on my leash training experiences-

  81. Mari Yochum says

    Hello, i already read your whole blog.. lol
    i’ve read the links you posted here.

    Well, Tsuki is about to turn 8 months, she was black with a cream belly and now she is a little bit of all the colors, she is beautiful. She’s been with us since she was a little ball. She obeys pretty well. She sits, she lays down, give a paw, give a kiss on command and also rings the bell when she wants to go potty. She is smart and she shows a lot of respect toward us. When we got Diesel, he was 6 months, it was more like a rescue, the place he was in was not safe and he was mistreated, so we took him home. Tsuki never cared about sharing anything, not with us and not with any other dog. (my brother in law has a shiba that looks just like yours..) But Diesel would attack her over food, over everything. He is about to turn 10 months now, he is cream with a white belly, such a handsome boy. He is very affectionate and different from Tsuki he likes to lay down with you and be a good puppy, but when he is mad, its like he becomes something else. Now Tsuki is following him, she doesnt do anything with us, but she freaks out if Diesel goes close to her cage, or her toys, or her food. I also feel there’s a lot of trying to dominate each other, because his bed is in the kitchen, he believes the kitchen is his, and Tsuki think the rest is hers (lol). Like if they fight over something in the living room , dining room part of the house, Tsuki doesnt back off until he goes back to the kitchen. But if they fight in the kitchen, Diesel gets double mean and even though Tsuki confronts him, she shows fear. I try to do everything i can so they dont fight, they are good puppies, they play together all the time, they also sleep together. I can see they love each other coz when we had them fixed, they were kept separated and Tsuki would look for him and vice-versa. I’ve tried the training together(still do), but Diesel is not a good listener. he does sit, lay down and give a paw but that is when he wants to. He also respects my husband more than respect me, i know he loves me, he is always so excited when full of love but he challenges me a lot. I try to do training together but sometimes just because he knows i have a treat he already starts acting. We feed them separate bows and he insists in going check out her bow when he is done, but she now protects her bowl as well so when he already starts going to her side she is already getting ready to attack him. (she never checks his bowl) Meanwhile, i try to feed them totally separate, in different rooms so they dont fight, but that doesnt solve the problem. They are fine until Diesel decides something is important to him and pick a fight. (oven mits, a piece of paper tower, anything he can “steals”). My husband got shock collars, i use on vibrating, it works to reinforce the “no” but it does not work to stop them from fighting. I’ve read your article here about the shock collar and i get a little afraid of using it on shock mode. I just feel like im running out of options and it breaks my heart to have my own dog growling and wanting to attack me.

    • shibashake says

      it breaks my heart to have my own dog growling and wanting to attack me.

      Yeah, I understand what you mean. Sephy used to do crazy leash biting with me, and it was really upsetting and also somewhat scary.

      After a bit though, I realized that it didn’t have anything to do with caring or love. He was just using whatever moves that worked with me, and leash biting worked with me. It made me back off, and he could continue doing whatever he wanted. After I was able to stay calm, stop being fearful of him, and take control of the situation, things improved significantly. Sephy is very sensitive to what I am feeling so if I am sad or fearful, he picks up on that, gets stressed himself, and misbehaves even more.

      In terms of food aggression, the general strategy that works with my dogs are as follows-
      1. Maximize successes – Create many circumstances where the dog will be successful, and where the dog learns that people being near him means more stuff, not less.

      2. Prevent failures – This part is just as important as the above. We want to make sure that the dog is not put in a situation where he feels that he has to use aggression to protect his resources. When Sephy was young and starting to show some food guarding behavior, here are some of the things that I did-

      a) I watched him like a hawk when we were out on walks. I also kept him on a shorter leash. In this way I can almost always prevent him from getting bad stuff in his mouth. In this way, I don’t have to remove anything from his mouth by force, which was why he started developing resource guarding behavior in the first place.

      b) I made sure there was nothing in the house that he could steal. When I couldn’t closely supervise him, he goes in his crate or he stays in the kitchen with me behind a gate.

      c) I supervised him closely and I trained him not to steal. If he tries to steal, he goes to timeout. If he follows the Leave-It comment, I reward him very well with his favorite games and activities.

      He gets less freedom, but it was necessary to prevent him from practicing food aggression while I trained him not to steal and desensitized him toward people and other dogs being near his stuff.

      Sephy and I went through some difficult times. It was always frustrating for me that while reading about a technique or strategy on an article or book, it seems that it shouldn’t be too hard to implement. However, when it comes to practically applying it on my own dog, it is a lot more difficult, and unexpected things occur. I realized that in dog training, it is not just about learning a technique, but timing and execution are extremely important. This is where a professional trainer can be very helpful. I visited with many professional trainers when Sephy was young, especially when dealing with his aggression issues.

  82. says


    • shibashake says

      Hello Darlene,

      I would chat with the people at the shelter and see what they say. My Shiba Inu also does not get along with all dogs, so we usually have a greet and meet first before considering adoption. Here is more on how I picked my second dog.

      When I get a new dog, I make sure to give my older dogs space and peace and quiet when they want it. Then I slowly introduce them and always make their time together very positive.

      It can also be helpful to bring in a professional trainer who can observe the interactions in real time and accurately identify the aggression triggers.

  83. Natasha says

    Hi me again! We too tried to get a second shiba when Yuki was 14 months old, what a disaster! I thought this would work as she really seemed to enjoy doggy company when I took her to playdates with other dogs at their homes. She has 2 pomeranian friends that she would often play with when I would visit their owner. When she saw the new puppy she started to salivate and her fur stood on end, she looked like a werewolf! We continued to persevere by calling in trainers, behaviourists etc. To make things worse this little male puppy was sooo dominant that he wasn’t about to back down come hell or high water. He proceeded to urinate in her bed, on her favourite toy, and on the mat she liked to sit on, as time went by I could see things getting worse. Yuki didn’t want him anywhere near her and he would stand at the patio door and bark at her and nip her so as not to let her come in! She also lost about 2kgs (4.5 pounds) from stress which caused her to stop eating. I persevered to find him a good home in conjunction with the breeder we’d bought him from and he’s living happily in his new home as an “only child”. Yuki was a different dog within 2 days of him leaving she looked so much happier and more relaxed. I realise there are people with more than 1 shiba, but I also feel that this is one breed that often prefer to be the only dog in the household. My female was being territorial but I also could not believe that such a young puppy could behave so extremely dominanat.

    • shibashake says

      Hello Natasha,
      Good to see you again and thanks for sharing your second dog story with us.

      I had some similar experiences with Sephy when I was looking for a second dog. Initially, I was hoping to get a rescue Husky, but none of them got along very well with Sephy. I think it was because Sephy is a pretty in-your-face kind of dog, and many of the rescues that I visited with, were more shy and needed more space.

      Based on Sephy’s play style, I think he prefers something other than a Shiba – preferably a larger type breed who is more playful and less dominant. 😀

  84. Colleen says

    So we have it narrowed down! They’re Border Collie/Siberian Husky pups!

    There are 3 females and 4 males. Would two males dogs even if they are neutered still fight for dominance?

    • shibashake says

      They’re Border Collie/Siberian Husky pups!

      They must be super good looking! Are there any links with pictures? Would love to see them.
      Both BCollie and SHusky are extremely high energy – so you will have a great exercise coach 😀 Got any names picked?

      Would two males dogs even if they are neutered still fight for dominance?

      Based on what I have read, two males are more likely to have friction, but then again I have also heard many stories of female Shibas who totally go ninja on their male counterparts. I think if you bring them up from puppy-hood with proper play and interaction rules, they should be fine.

      I don’t feel its fair to take 10 steps back and make Reptar sleep in his crate at night because the new dog will have to.

      Yeah I know what you mean. I felt the same way, but when the time came Sephy adjusted really well. I think Reptar will as well. Sephy was just so happy to have a dog companion, that he was really good with pretty much everything. Even now he seems to be perfectly happy to let Shania have her way almost all the time.

      Sephy actually sleeps in the crate at night and Shania gets to roam free. She doesn’t do things like crawl under the bed and start chewing at the frame 😀

      This is so exciting! Take lots of pictures and share stories with us.

  85. Colleen says

    I have so many questions about a second dog and I feel like the right breed and proper research is incredibly important. We would love to get a rescue dog but with that, you can’t anticipate too much what traits the dog will have from what their mixed with and thats OK.

    I’m pretty sure I have the basics down. Vet bills, food, toys, treats, training, and supplies. I can wrap my head around that pretty easily.

    It’s the day-to-day stuff and other not obvious rules, especially in the beginning. I’m sure the dogs will find their routine over time. Reptar has his toys, the ones he loves and the ones he’s willing to share. I’m assuming this could present an aggression issue if the new dog takes a toy he’s not willing to share and obviously some rules and obedience measures will have to be enforced.

    In the “pen” or enclosed space you set up for your dogs, did Sephy ever try to get/jump out or knock it over?

    I think I’m more concerned about Reptar and how he will react and over-react. He has his routine and you know Shibas when their routines get messed up. They act out and are terrors of the night :) I love Reptar for his quirks. For example, at bed time, Reptar can sleep on the bed with us, in his crate, on the floor or just hang out but he has to stay in the bedroom. Obviously with a new puppy, he/she will not have this luxury as he will have to be properly trained and disciplined like Reptar. It’s about trust. That being said, I don’t feel its fair to take 10 steps back and make Reptar sleep in his crate at night because the new dog will have to. But how will that affect the new dog, and Reptar who will most likely be so intrigued by this new addition that is in another crate.

    It’s really the little things like that I’m concerned and curious about.
    Do you have any stories or tips about just day to day life? That may be a silly question but I hope you know what I mean.

  86. Allie says

    Our first dog was a Mexican Hairless, she was about 8 months when we got our then 3 month old shiba. Surprisingly, they match each other’s energy levels perfectly. We also have 6 ferrets at home which helped to “numb” the prey drives of both pups.

    I do love the way siberians look, though.

    • shibashake says

      We also have 6 ferrets at home which helped to “numb” the prey drives of both pups.

      LOL – sounds like a whole lot of fun. Was it difficult to train your Shiba not to go after the ferrets? Does he generalize to other ferrets and small creatures?

      I do love the way siberians look, though.

      Yeah, Siberians are very beautiful. They also have a great and very affectionate personality. They are very high energy though, and my Siberian’s prey drive is very strong.

      For my next dog I am thinking of going with more obedience and possibility of off-leash 😀

  87. Colleen says

    My husband loves border collies but we know they aren’t the right breed for us at this time. We’ve thought about a border collie mix though. Some of the breeds we like are border collie/lab mix and I also have fallen in love with a rottie/husky mix. Since they are mixes, I’m not sure what traits they’ll get from each breed. Do you have any thoughts on these and how they would interact with a Shiba? I’m more iffy about the rottweiler mix though because of their aggressive nature. It’s hard to look at the puppy’s face and see anything aggressive. Their faces make me melt!

    • shibashake says

      My husband loves border collies but we know they aren’t the right breed for us at this time.

      Heh yeah, I also like border collies. We have a sheep herder that comes to the hills around our neighborhood during winter time and he has two border collies to help him with his sheep. They are super amazing and extremely focused on their work and handler.

      It is definitely one of the candidates for a third dog, but I don’t think I am ready for them either – lol. A trainer at the SPCA told me that she has to throw balls for hers all day long. Maybe when I move to a less populated area, and get some sheep 😉

      Since they are mixes, I’m not sure what traits they’ll get from each breed.

      I always prepare to get the worst traits from both breeds. That way, there will be a lot of pleasant surprises :)

      If you are thinking of getting a mix-breed, adoption may be a very good way to go. That way, you get to meet the dog first, see how they act around Shiba, and see which breed traits they show most.

      Do you have any thoughts on these and how they would interact with a Shiba? I’m more iffy about the rottweiler mix though because of their aggressive nature.

      I have met some really sweet Rotties and some not so sweet ones. People always say that any dog can be properly trained and I agree.

      However, personally, I feel that owning a larger dog is a bigger responsibility because they can do more damage (even just accidentally) and as a result should be more closely managed and trained. Larger dogs also tend to have more health issues and have a shorter lifespan.

      I would really like to get a GSD or GSD-mix next, but my other half is not so keen on it. GSDs tend to like their space and are iffy around Sephy because he just rudely butts into people’s personal area.

      Ok, I am starting to ramble :)

      Anyway, please keep us updated on your second dog search and hugs to Reptar! Make sure to remind him that he is a very lucky boy!

  88. Colleen says

    Thanks so much for this article! It was really helpful and pointed out a lot of other things to think about before bring home a second dog!

  89. Eric says

    We’ve had our second dog Rocky, a 7 month old Shiba, for 2 months now. Our other dog Trixie, a basenji mix, will be 2 years old in May, and we got her when she was 8 weeks old.

    When we brought Rocky home they started playing immediately, after a few minutes of butt sniffing. Rocky had apparently been socialized as a puppy so she knew not to bite too hard. He has learned a lot from the older dog and is a great deal calmer than he would be if he were our only dog. I’ve read about many of the shiba’s crazy traits, and he doesn’t seem to exhibit many of the worst ones.

    One important factor I found is the age of the dogs. When we brought Trixie home, she was introduced to our old dog Scooby, a 14 year old dobe/lab mix. He didn’t have the patience for this new pup and didn’t appreciate being shoulder slammed, hip checked, and nipped by this youngster. Also, Trixie mouthed a lot and this was new to us, so it was a stressful couple of months until we got used to her habits, and she learned some obedience. She eventually bonded with Scooby and when he died over a year later, she moped around for quite awhile.

    When we brought Rocky home, we were fresh from having a mouthy puppy around, so it wasn’t such a change for us. Since Trixie has a playmate now, she has lost some weight and become a much healthier dog. Rocky was well behaved at his first obedience class, but he won’t sit on command without pushing his butt down. He can do it, he just doesn’t want to. Both dogs lay close to each other, if not touching. Also, their play has little if any dominance activity. Rocky will climb up on Trixie’s back and bite to get her attention away from me, but he hasn’t humped since he was neutered.

    Adding a second dog to our family has been a good experience, and an almost constant source of entertainment for us and our neighbors.

    • shibashake says

      One important factor I found is the age of the dogs.

      That is a very good point. As you say, it is a good idea to have the second dog closer in age to the first dog so that they have a playmate for life.

      I am thinking for getting a third dog but will space that out more time-wise since Sephy and Shania already have each other.

      Rocky was well behaved at his first obedience class, but he won’t sit on command without pushing his butt down. He can do it, he just doesn’t want to.

      LOL that is so like Sephy – part of that famous Shiba stubbornness. Sometimes when I ask Sephy to do a Down – he will wait for a bit, do a Stretch, and then accidentally go into a down position from the stretch.

      He is such a rebel! 😎

      The only time he does commands efficiently and on cue is when I have something he really wants. He will work when he is hungry and there is cheese or freshly boiled chicken on the line.

      I like this about Shibas. I don’t like following commands either unless I get something good in return 😀

    • shibashake says

      Hi Julie,
      Glad you enjoyed the article and many hugs to Tierce and Shassi. Love your humorous stories about them!

      A big Happy Easter and woof woof to you all :)

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