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tension between new dog roommates

msptx
December 15th, 2003, 01:30 AM
I am planning to move in with my girlfriend next month. She has two yorkies (one male, one female, both 2 years, 4 months old, both intact) and I have a 50lb terrier mix (8 years old, looks like a large Benji, spayed). I took my dog to her place this weekend to see how they get along, and things were pretty miserable. My dog is extremely easygoing, has never been aggressive with people or other animals at all and has never met another dog who didn't become a friend quickly, so I wasn't worried about her. My girlfriend's dogs have not been socialized with other dogs (other than one another, of course) and one is very timid, so we weren't sure how they would react.

The timid male loved my dog instantly and the female hates her and was completely obnoxious for two days. My dog mostly ignored them but was friendly if they approached her. At first the female yorkie seemed scared and barked constantly if she was not being held, but after an hour or so she calmed down and would even walk over to my dog to sniff her. She avoided her some, but didn't seem scared. The yorkie was extremely jealous, though, and would bark incessantly (sometimes with whining or growling) if either of us even looked at my dog, and sometimes when we didn't. All three dogs would go outside together in the small yard (we watched through a window) and there were no problems at all, but if my dog even entered the same room as the yorkie without even getting near her, the yorkie would bark. Just before we prepared to leave tonight, the yorkie jumped from my girlfriend's lap and ran straight for my dog, barking and growling. My dog backed away from her and we each calmed our dogs, but other than the yorkie not being as scared of my dog, there really was no progress all weekend. My dog scattered food on the floor and had to go outside several more times than usual, probably because she was nervous. I kept thinking things would get better, but they really didn't.

I am sure I probably could have introduced them in a better way, but my dog is so easygoing that I have just never had to worry about that before. I don't want to have my dog (or hers) in a situation that is so tense, but I do want to move in with her. I would appreciate any advice that any of you can give that might help us. thanks in advance.

Lucky Rescue
December 15th, 2003, 11:18 AM
These dogs should have introduced in neutral territory, like a park so someplace that neither dog feels territorial about. The Yorkie naturally saw your dog as an intruder and feels fearful and insecure.

Also, two spayed bitches often will have a hard time getting along.

You need to start over with these dogs, and realize it can take months for them to learn to co-exist. Even when they finally do, never leave them alone together.

Here's a good article on making introductions go as smoothly as possible.
Introducing dogs (http://www.scvhumane.org/behavior/dog/dog_dog.htm)