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Thread: adopting a second dog

  1. #1
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    Default adopting a second dog

    We are considering adopting a companion for our Nero. Nero thrives in the company of other dogs and although he has playmates I think he'd enjoy having a constant companion at home. We have been thinking about this for a while and have been in contact with a number of rescue organisations. Some of which are quite frustrating to deal with really... but that's another topic.

    Anyway, we now had a meet with a BC X. A lovely girl and us three (me, OH and Nero) would love to welcome her into our house. Yet, at our first meet she was not interested in Nero. He was quite desperate to play with her but she just growled at him. I don't give this much weight because Nero does get overexcited and I'm sure the whole situation was just a bit much for her to handle. Considering the circumstances I think she has done very well. Anyway. We're having a second meet sometime next week after she's been desexed and hope she then feels a little more settled and confident.

    Now I'm just trying to prepare myself for that second meet. Ideally they'll get on like a house on fire and happily play with each other. But that's probably not realistic... so what are the signs I need to look out for that they are (or are not) a good match? Is it possible to tell after a couple of meets anyway? There is a trial period but giving her up again after a few weeks I would find heartbraking. So I'd rather be sure (or reasonable sure) to start with. What's a good way of introducing them? Knowing that she may not be as playful as he is and he does get overexcited when introduced to new dogs, which can be a little intimidating considering that he is at least twice the size of her.

  2. #2
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    I don't really know much about this, but given that you said he can get overexcited and may come across intimidating, I would definitely be exercising him before the meet so he's burnt off some of that energy and may be a little more calm/tired when it comes time for them to meet. Good luck!

  3. #3
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    Well in a BC cross eyes, who are usually very sensitive (the BC part), Nero is most likely considered rude........I have no issues with my BC cross telling our over the top sill fosters or own dogs off. And that is often with a growl and snap. That just means she is letting the boundaries be known. And most over the top dogs accept this. It more of a problem if Nero does not get it, that he has to be more polite and give her space. So this might be a learning curve for him. Bitches of any breed often tell male dogs to behave anyway, even my gregarious Katy-bear does it with rude dogs and she loves to play

    Even though our smaller dog like her space, she will play happily with the guys and rough and tumble. But when she is ready to play.

    I like dogs to meet on neutral ground, mind you after just being desexed, she might be less tolerant and not feeling her best.

    Does Nero "drop" on command or at least "sit"....i would ask him to do this to give her a chance to get to know him. meeting should not be head on and maybe start walking side by side on lead, just to give him time to get over his over excitement. things should settle. She may always tell him off, when he is being rude. And I find that is fine, it might make Nero more polite.
    Pets are forever

  4. #4
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    Excercising! Of course!! Good idea.... sorry but sometimes the most obvious just doesn't come to me

    I'm sure she found Nero rude. He is 2.5 now and still behaves like an oversized puppy. When other dogs tell him off or ignore him he usually just walks off. Usually. Sometimes he doesn't get it and starts doing zoomies... erm... he has been called a village idiot on occasions. But he does sit on command and maybe I also take a ball to distract him if things become too heated. Not head to head... I didn't know that but ok. So we better walking side by side for a while.

    Last weekend we were just standing with them both on the lead in a park and he couldn't really get away so he kept on inviting her to play, whining, jumping, bowing, more whining... I don't have a problem with her telling him off as such. It's about time he grows up a little anyway. I'm just not sure whether I can distinguish 'give me some space you idiot' from 'i hate your guts and will make your life hell'.

    She is a 18 months old BC X Koolie by the way. Apparently the farmer wanted to shoot her because she is lazy - mind you he did breed her Only to shoot her once the litter was weaned! Unbe-effing-lievable! When we met last weekend she fell in love with OH right away (and so did he) so we're quite keen to make this work. Today she is being desexed and our meet has been postponed to next weekend to giver her time to recover.
    Last edited by margoo; 10-12-2012 at 10:49 AM.

  5. #5
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    Dogs can take quite some time to adjust living together. And if she fits that well with your OH, she deserves a chance at a good home. Don't think that dogs that live happily together have to play the whole time. Sometimes just being there is enough. there are always different levels of energy. She is just telling him to behave and most likely she will be in charge. It might do him good.

    If you are really worried, see if you can get someone who has more experience to see the relationship. Tessa hardly ever really plays with Lukey ( he was an idiot boy) but they really seem to like one another. It took a while.....Give it time
    Pets are forever

  6. #6
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    One of the most difficult dogs to match in boarding is the Border Collie, people are always shocked when I say this. But they often don't tolerate idiots well.

    I agree with Newfie, as long as your current dog can get the message the BC X will soften a bit and come to a nice compromise, playing when it suits them and putting a stop to it when things get out of hand, especially if your current dog is much larger.

    When people ask me about a companion for their current dog when the current dog is the over the top type I often steer them clear of another over the top dog as two can be a handful.

    My Whippet bitches tell the Saluki pup off all the time when he's being rude, but I'll also catch them playing tug with him. He listens when they are serious and is not provoked by their discipline.

  7. #7
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    OK... we picked up the little BC girl this morning. So far I know she doesn't react to her name. At all! She enjoys car rides and is a terribly fussy eater. She is so skinny it's almost painful to pat her. Her foster carer says she has eaten some roast chicken last night - but that's about it for several days. So far she accepted nothing I gave her. She only licked a little yoghurt from my finger. She has been here for a few hours only and she is one tired girl, sleeping most of the time. She is fast asleep as I write on the sofa behind my desk, looking very comfy...

    OH just went shopping and I stayed behind with both dogs. Nero is such a gentleman - he doesn't say anthing about her getting all the attention at the moment! Anyway, it also took her only an hour or so to figure out two different escape routs from our property She must have jumped the - not very high - fence to our neighbour. I was still looking for her when I heard her yelping and jumped the fence myself. Not sure what happened but she was pretty shaken. It didn't stop her looking for further ways out of the property though. She can wiggle herself out underneath the main gate

    Now that's really a problem I don't know what to do about. OH reckons once she is used to being here it'll stop. I really hope so but it still leaves me wiht the problem what do do on Monday and Tuesday. The rest of the week I can work from home but these two days I have to go out at least for some hours each. Do you think I can lock her in the house for half a day? Or is that a receipe for disaster?

  8. #8

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    Hi Margoo,

    You're going to have to buy a crate for her and put her in it with a blanket and a pig's ear. It's not a good idea to give a new dog the run of your entire house, and leaving her in the garden means she will probably escape.

    I know it's difficult, but try not to give her too much attention in this transitional period. She will be weighing up what she's allowed to do and not allowed to do, so make sure you only give her affection when she deserves it, such as when she sits nicely outside a shop, lies down on her bed, or sticks by your leg in the park.

  9. #9
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    While I understand the concept of crate training... I don't want to buy a crate tomorrow and lock her in on Monday when she has never seen such a thing before. She used to be a farmdog - always outside and chained up. I reckon being inside is a big change for her arleady.

    It's difficult to not give her any attention. She terribly timid and all I want to do is give her a cuddle and tell her that everything is going to be ok... silly. I know.

  10. #10
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    If she was used to being chained up, that might be the best idea for her safety at present.....find a all day shady spot with plenty of water.......

    My work dogs did quite well being chained up some of the time. And even my newfies are tied up whilst we are doing water rescue or Obedience. it is just what they are used to.
    Pets are forever

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