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A little background: three weeks ago we adopted Chase, a possible toy poodle from our local humane society. He was a case of owner surrender, and came to us underweight and shaved-down due to extreme matts. His prior owner said he lived happily with one other dog in the home.

We already had our two year old mini poo, Teddy. Teddy is a happy-go-lucky little soul, good with people and other dogs, adores seeing his dog friends as part of his walks every day. Teddy has been curious and shown interest in Chase from the beginning (tried to initiate play with Chase several times) but Chase has shown zero interest in Teddy beyond a first cursory sniff. Any subsequent contact from Teddy has brought growls and snaps from Chase. Since Chase was just post-surgery and recovering from all the changes in general, we have not been too worried.

The past three or four days Chase has started to come out of his shell a little more and appears to be feeling much better, though now Teddy also has contracted the cough. (Both dogs are on antibiotics.) Chase continues to mostly ignore Teddy but if Teddy gets too close he will growl at him. The past two days there are have been two scary fights, the triggers were different each time and happened under supervision. Since Teddy has ten pounds on Chase, I am very concerned. I'm also worried because I saw Chase run away after the altercations but Teddy continued to go after him further :afraid: and it only stopped when I grabbed Teddy.

I've watched Teddy during interactions with other dogs and I've never seen him like this. I've always thought of him as getting along well with other dogs. When he was puppy we regularly took care of a female yorkie in our home that was just a couple of months older and they played constantly.

My sister is a dog behaviorist and I have been on the phone with her both days. She will be staying with us for a week starting next week so I know we will get some good observation and help. I think I am writing just for some moral support. My sis continues to remind me that generally it is not one-sided and there likely much going on that I am missing. We are all feeling sad... has this happened to other folks here? Stories to share?
 

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Moral support here. Hope your sister can help figure out what's up. Maybe you can get a gate and keep Teddy in the kitchen or another room. Where the dogs can visit each other and get to know each other from a secure location.
 

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Maybe you can get a gate and keep Teddy in the kitchen or another room. Where the dogs can visit each other and get to know each other from a secure location.
I think this is a great idea, and it sounds like this is what is needed right now to keep them both safe.

That's great that your sister can come to your house to observe and offer advice. I agree that there are signs that are being missed before the encounters occur, and your sister will be able to point those out to you. Also, because they are just getting over being sick, both dogs are probably touchy. Some separation will hopefully help.
 

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Did the rescue ask you to bring Teddy to meet Chase before adopting him ? And did you have them meet on neutral grounds ?

If you haven’t already, I would walk the two dogs together (unless they try to fight). If all goes well during the (long) walk, I would bring them to an enclosed area and test them with one off leash, the other on leash (Teddy). Then if that’s good I would do the opposite. If good again, I would try them both (only if you feel it’s safe) off leash, both leashes dragging on the ground, in case you need to intervene.

I would try to create bonding experiences outside the home. I agree keeping them separate inside the home is best for now.

I’m sure your sister will help as well.
 

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How lucky you are to have a behaviorist in the family! Chase is new, Teddy is bigger and not thrilled with the new guy. Hope she has some tactics to get them to “brotherly love”. Hugs from Houston.
 

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I went through a similar experience and ended up not keeping the second dog. As others have said, you're quite fortunate that your sister is both a behaviourist and coming to stay with you. I would listen to her advice.

In our case, Mia was always great around other dogs, whether in class, on a playdate, or in our home. But when I brought home Raja from a poodle rescue, she was furious with me. I have never seen her that angry. Still, she did her best with him, and there were improvements. I initially attributed his unfriendly behaviour to the recent turmoil in his life and believed it would continue to improve.

Long story short, one of our instructors was also a dog behaviourist, and she helped me realize that Raja wasn't the right dog for our household. He was a bit "off" and needed to be an only dog. It broke my heart at the time, but I have no doubt that it was the right thing to do. I have spoken with Raja's new owner and he is well loved and cared for, and Mia, certainly, instantly relaxed when she realized he was gone.
 

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Sorry, I think for now I would keep Chase confined to a separate rea of the house but I would take them for walks together, You may even try a little training with both of them by putting them in a sit, treat. Just some basics to occupy their minds some. Then hopefully bye the time your sister gets there she can help .
 

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Long story short, one of our instructors was also a dog behaviourist, and she helped me realize that Raja wasn't the right dog for our household. He was a bit "off" and needed to be an only dog. It broke my heart at the time, but I have no doubt that it was the right thing to do. I have spoken with Raja's new owner and he is well loved and cared for, and Mia, certainly, instantly relaxed when she realized he was gone.
I'm sorry Liz. That must have been so hard, but thank you for doing what was best for Raja and Mia.
 

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Thank you to all who responded. I feel a little more hopeful today, it was a great help to write this out and then to read the supportive replies here. ❤❤❤ We had a good day, good walks and no incidents inside. I will update as we go along.
 

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I went through a similar experience and ended up not keeping the second dog. As others have said, you're quite fortunate that your sister is both a behaviourist and coming to stay with you. I would listen to her advice.

In our case, Mia was always great around other dogs, whether in class, on a playdate, or in our home. But when I brought home Raja from a poodle rescue, she was furious with me. I have never seen her that angry. Still, she did her best with him, and there were improvements. I initially attributed his unfriendly behaviour to the recent turmoil in his life and believed it would continue to improve.

Long story short, one of our instructors was also a dog behaviourist, and she helped me realize that Raja wasn't the right dog for our household. He was a bit "off" and needed to be an only dog. It broke my heart at the time, but I have no doubt that it was the right thing to do. I have spoken with Raja's new owner and he is well loved and cared for, and Mia, certainly, instantly relaxed when she realized he was gone.
Thank you so much for sharing your story. A huge part of me feels like a failure and the rest of me feels heartbroken even though we really do not yet know what the outcome will be. It feels isolating too, so reading your story definitely helps. xo
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Did the rescue ask you to bring Teddy to meet Chase before adopting him ? And did you have them meet on neutral grounds ?

If you haven’t already, I would walk the two dogs together (unless they try to fight). If all goes well during the (long) walk, I would bring them to an enclosed area and test them with one off leash, the other on leash (Teddy). Then if that’s good I would do the opposite. If good again, I would try them both (only if you feel it’s safe) off leash, both leashes dragging on the ground, in case you need to intervene.

I would try to create bonding experiences outside the home. I agree keeping them separate inside the home is best for now.

I’m sure your sister will help as well.
Chase was from a city shelter, not a rescue organization, but our minipoo was able to meet him on neutral ground before the adoption. Chase was an owner-surrender who noted he lived with one other adult dog and cat and was generally good with other dogs.

Thank you for the suggestion of bonding activities outdoors. They do seem to both love being outside on leashes, Chase has only recently been able to start walking as he was neutered just prior to his adoption.

I spoke with a few neighbors today who've also adopted rescues, they both mentioned the bonding process really took months to fully "take." I'm still very happy my sis will be here in a couple of days, a pair of professional eyes will be greatly appreciated!
 

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So many great suggestions here! Especially the meeting on neutral ground and going for a long walk. That is how I’ve always introduced all of my dogs even as a youngin. Most dogs figured it out while a couple of the pups just weren’t cut out for our family.


It’s ok! Imagine if you came home & your least fave coworker had moved in. They might be tolerable at work but home turf is a whole different ball game.

I know you will figure it out and do what’s best!!


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I have poodles (calm and sensible) and bossy Frenchies who have huge attitudes. I find that a lot of exercise is really beneficial, and obedience lessons. A lot of the dogs' anxiety and general grumpiness is released during exercise, and obedience lessons help with obedience of course, but also setting patterns of working with you while being exposed to other dogs, people and environments. Just my two cents worth but it's worked well for me and our 6 dogs

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I have poodles (calm and sensible) and bossy Frenchies who have huge attitudes. I find that a lot of exercise is really beneficial, and obedience lessons. A lot of the dogs' anxiety and general grumpiness is released during exercise, and obedience lessons help with obedience of course, but also setting patterns of working with you while being exposed to other dogs, people and environments. Just my two cents worth but it's worked well for me and our 6 dogs

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Yes, great suggestions! I've always remembered the advice, "A tired dog is a good dog," from the book, Second Hand Dog by Carol Lea Benjamin. It likely sounds silly, but when I read that book years ago, everything changed for me in the way I looked at my dog.

Chase is now completely recovered from his neuter surgery and is almost thru his kennel cough so it is good for him to walk - which he seems to love to do - yay! We've been doing short walks together with both dogs but this morning early I took them both together on my longer walk. Aside from my needing to figure out how to juggle two leashes ?, all went well and now both dogs are sleeping.

Obedience I'm sure will also turn out to be great for both dogs - Teddy, to brush up on his and for Chase to fit into our family more completely.
 

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It will be interesting to hear how this works out.

I find it is always best to have them not only meet on neutral territory, but walk together and only invite the new dog in if they seem to have become friendly. It has never failed me.

I decided long ago that I would let my current spoo choose any new dog to come live with us :)
 
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