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Help Introducing Two Dogs (with histories)

May 5th, 2009, 04:25 PM
Another lengthy post :sorry:

Basically the short of it: We'd like to introduce two family dogs, who are not adequately socialized-one who is ten-with the hope and dream that they could get along and like each other. Both dogs (other then dealing with dogs) have excellent temperments, are very gentle and affectionate and very well trained with commands and even tricks.

The plan I spoke to a behaviorist today and he suggested (before we do a session with him) to take both dogs to a park and start on opposite ends. Walk each dog towards each other. As soon as any undesirable (read: aggressive) behavior presents, stop and wait until both are relaxed and continue with the end goal being a meet and sniff.
After this exercise we are planning on doing one on one sessions with a behaviorsit to introduce.

The longer background

Dog One-Mandy-ten year old female husky cross: She's been through radiation two years ago for a brain tumour that's left almost completely deaf. She's active and happy and otherwise healthy. She had started puppy school and socializing but we had to drop her out because of a severe family illness that we needed to travel for. She's since been attacked (superficially-never a vet trip or open wound) by several small dogs who've been off leash and out of control in an on-leash park at different times. She's very 'fearful aggressive' towards other dogs. She's otherwise fine around all kinds of people including elderly, handicapped and children. She's extremely smart (we all think our babies are smart!) and very well trained.

Dog Two-Mikey-two year old Corgi Cross; He's very healthy and sweet and affection. My SO and I have recently adopted him. He has socialized with other dogs in the shelter and we've seen videos of him playing with other dogs. However a previous adoptive home (who returned him) had a large dog who hated him and eventually attacked him. He has a scar above his eye but is otherwise fine. The shelter staff told us he is timid of dogs larger then him, but otherwise plays well with smaller or similar sized dogs. He's shorter then Mandy by about six inches and about twenty pounds smaller as well.

Sooooooo :lightbulb: Any ideas, suggestions or thoughts?

I should say if we find either dog, especially Mandy, is too stressed by this we can just discontinue and let be; they aren't going to live together so it's not necessary that they get along. We just would love to give it a try.

May 9th, 2009, 10:12 PM
I wouldn't approach head on and stopping when they heat up, that will make it worse, and I would put aside all your fears, meet in a park and just walk side by side, just go. If they seem ok let them smell butts that's the best as that's how dogs shake hands. Your dogs will follow your lead so you have to be calm and comfortable.

May 9th, 2009, 10:58 PM
I agree with MIA and think that a side by side walking introduction is a better method :thumbs up. We have used that quite successfully in the past with our older "bitchy" girl. Try not to worry about each dogs past to much, it sounds to me like this should work out okay as long as you take it slow and don't put a lot of pressure on them.

May 12th, 2009, 03:08 PM
Ok-so things didn't go well

Don't worry-no dogs were hurt. But Mandy (the aggressive one) was aggressive *surprise*

We did the park thing and actually ended up like you guys suggested-walking up to meet was not working-Mandy was getting very worked up-so we did walking by each other and corrected for lunging/staring etc.

Then we met with the behaviorist on Saturday and did our one-on-one session (which wasn't really one-on-one since it was two dogs, one trainer and four owners :P )
It didn't actually go well-even with him, Mandy lunged unprovoked (Mikey was hands down giving submissive signals) at Mikey.

We basically got our answer-Mandy is not submissive, and extrememly anxious-aggressive with little or no ability to read other dogs behaviors.

The trainer suggested finding other behaviorists (checking their education/experience and references) and going about it that way. He said it could take 2-3 years for her to learn to read and communicate. She's ten already -so we're thinking of giving up on it and letting her be single.

Any thoughts?