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.
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!
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.
I am in the middle of retraining a 75-pound Olde English, my war potato, because a recent spat with allergy meds gave her what can only be called ‘roid rage. After she developed allergies, we were given a medication with antihistamine and steroids in it. After a week of being on the meds, she started attacking our Boston Terrier. It was like you described: unprovoked, with no aggression on the part of the other dog, and with no let up on the part of the aggressor when the smaller dog showed submission. This happened five times in one week. I finally realized what the issue was, and we detoxed the bulldog. We put her on Benadryl.
The aggressive behavior subsided a bit not did not go away. We took her to the vet, and she was found to also have a low thyroid. She is now on thyroid meds, and while she seems better, she still at times is attacking the Boston. The odd thing is that a few hours later, they will lie together on the couch and groom each other silly.
The attacks occur mostly in cramped areas and if our bulldog is wound up. We have a crate for the bulldog, and we use it to avoid confrontation.
We have called a trainer for an in-home visit in the hopes she will catch what we are missing. In the meantime, we supervise them, remain calm, ward off the bulldog if she seems amped up, and we give them treats when each other is near. We praise and pet softly when they sit together.
I must wonder if your rescue came back to afraid and traumatized that she needed to be re-introduced to the house with a crate and desensitization training. I wonder if the prey drive that was triggered when the dog got out has to be re-programmed. We think is what we have ahead of us, as our bulldog’s prey drive was turned way up by the steroids.
I think your rescue will be OK as long as it is the only dog in a household, unless someone as talented as the site owner gets ahold of the situation. Can it come back to you? Maybe, but you would have to put in a lot of work. I wish you the very best of luck. It’s hard to see dogs that liked each other go “off the grid” for one reason or another. I wish I could turn back time and never give my bulldog the ‘roids. No more steroids for that dog, for any of our dogs, again.
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!!!
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?
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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?
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.
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
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.
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)
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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 him.my 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?
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.
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.