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A New Friend for Sherry the Westie?

angied
September 25th, 2005, 01:18 PM
My husband and I have doted over our little Westie for 5 years, as she is our only "child". We are all very close, and Sherry is very lovey with us, and with all people in general. The problem with Sherry is that she seems to have a fear of other dogs. When they near her, she sort of cringes away with her tail between her legs. With bigger dogs, sometimes she even gets growly and snippy.
The breeder gave Cher to me when she was just 7 weeks old. I am unsure if that could have anything to do with her poor dog socializing skills since she was so yound? When I first met Sherry, she was playing with her sister, biting her and being bitten and seemed fine, but after she entered our family, she didnīt have much other contact with other dogs in the first few months with us. Perhaps that also would be a factor?
When she was a bit older- probably almost 1 year- she was "attacked" (not harmed mainly just played with aggressively) by 2 bigger dogs. (She deficated because she was so scared.) After that the fears just heightened, and still go on today (although she seems to do better with older or slower dogs).
My question for the forum is that we always wanted to get Cher a buddy to have around the house and pal around with. We always felt guilty that she was the only child (the other dogs of the litter were purchased when we bought Cher, so we were unable to get one of her siblings). Since she is 5 and now sort of stuck in her ways and her daily routine with us, do you believe it would be too emotionally stressful for her or too late to introduce a new male Westie pup into the family? We met one with Cher at the pet store last evening, and she didnīt take to it too well (although it loved her). She didnīt snip at it, but just was timid like usual and uninterested. Does that type of behavior correct itself, or does it seem abnormal and seem like a new pup would be just too much for our little girl?

Any input is much appreciate! -Angie and Derek

Lucky Rescue
September 25th, 2005, 02:15 PM
Welcome to the board!:)

As to your questions:

The breeder gave Cher to me when she was just 7 weeks old. I am unsure if that could have anything to do with her poor dog socializing skills since she was so yound? When I first met Sherry, she was playing with her sister, biting her and being bitten and seemed fine, but after she entered our family, she didnīt have much other contact with other dogs in the first few months with us. Perhaps that also would be a factor?

Being sold too young and having no contact with other dogs at a young age is definitely a factor in Cher's fear/dislike of other dogs. She simply never learned how to be a dog or how social behaviors work with dogs.

The fact that she so frightened of these two big dogs to the point of losing bowel control probably cemented her fear.

It sounds like she's perfectly happy with human "pack" and really doesn't need or desire the company of other dogs. Don't get a puppy for HER, only get one if you want it.

It could still be possible to get her to accept a puppy, if you are very careful and gradual with introductions.

PLEASE do not get a puppy at a pet store. These puppies come from puppy mills - places of extreme cruelty and giving them money is not a good thing.
Puppy Mills (http://www.dachshund.org/puppymills.html)

The breeder you got Cher from apparently sold the other puppies at less than 7 weeks old, and is not reputable.

If you want a purebred puppy, find a breeder who shows and titles his/her dogs, and has all heath testing done on the parents to be sure they are free of any genetic defects common to this breed.

angied
September 25th, 2005, 02:55 PM
Thanks so much for your response.

We suspected that getting her so young probably contributed to the fear. When I got her, she was not able to even eat solid foods-I was given formula to feed her (like a toothpaste) for nutrients. We thought that was a little strange...

We always hoped that Cher would like a buddy, but we love the Westies, and have to admit it wouldnīt be just for her!, we adore them too! But, at the same time, we donīt want to put Cher through too much just for our selfish desires for another cutie, if she would not want or accept the new friend. She is a part of our family, and so we wouldnīt want to do anything that would make her emotionally unstable. Again, thanks for your input, and if we do look for another Westie from a breeder, weīll be sure to do the gradual introductions. I think that is a great idea to see if they would be compatible.

-Angie

angied
September 25th, 2005, 03:00 PM
(just one thing quick-the breeder "sold" the puppies before 7 weeks. we bought cher before 7 weeks too, but the breeder held on to them until the 7 weeks were over. sorry if it seemed like they were brought home earlier, i think i just didnīt explain that well enough.)