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Thread: Going from 1 to 2 mature dogs in the house. Any advice?

  1. #1

    Default Going from 1 to 2 mature dogs in the house. Any advice?

    I currently have a large female crossbread, named Ellie. Ellie is a rescue dog I've had for about 3 years, no ID from the pound but the vet thinks she's around 8 or 9, I had her desexed when I picked her up. In 3 years she's never so much as growled at a person or another dog, just wants to play. I live alone so she's had the run of the house and all the attention she wants since she arrived.

    My father recently passed away and I've inherited his 9 year old female Jack Russell, Muffy. Muffy is a trained companion dog and an easy going little thing. She's generally been well looked after but the last 12 months have been pretty lousy for her (oid age can take its toll on everyone, including a pet).

    The problem is that both dogs have been 'one man dogs' for a fair while and neither really get on that well with other dogs (not agressive, just not interested). I'm a bit worried that having to share one house and one owner is going to be difficult for them. They've been in the same yard a couple of times but that's all.

    Any thoughts or suggestions on making an easier transition would be much appreciated.

    PS. To anyone not sure about taking a pound (or mature) dog, all I can say is: if a genie could grant me the wish of a 'perfect' dog, I think I'd still end up with Ellie .

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Can I first say: good on you for adopting an older dog! And I'm truly sorry to hear about your father. It is also great of you to take on his dog.

    I can't really think of much that would make it easier for them. My previous dog got used to getting all the attention and didn't like sharing. But she was civil enough if we did have another dog over for a while. I think they're just going to have to suck it up and hopefully they'll get used to it fairly quickly. Just be careful to not create situations where they can get food aggressive (I think this is probably more common with 'only dogs'). Try and plan lots of fun activities for them to do together, like interesting walks and waiting their turn to get special treats.

    I hope someone else here might have a better idea. And I would love to hear how you go.

  3. #3
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    I too don't really know much about introducing two older dogs. But it would seem logical to me to make sure that each dog gets a good dose of one on one attention time a few times throughout the day. Hopefully they can get along and live together without issues, good luck

  4. #4
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    If they're showing any sign of aggression to each other - that seems to be getting worse - ie neither dog backs down - Then I would keep them separated when you couldn't be supervising. Crate training would help with this, ie when you needed to go out you could put them in separate crates - and crate training involves lots of good things like treats and chewables (eg pigs ears) only/always in the crate...

    But if that isn't possible - then separate bits of the house. And feed each dog in each dog's bit of the house. I hope that makes sense. Ie if you are going to leave one outside and one inside - then feed the outside one - outside, and the inside one - inside.

    Hopefully over time they will get used to each other. If you had the opportunity to plan to take on the dog ie if you'd always known that when your dad departed - you'd get the dog - it might have been a good idea to have his dog over fairly often eg once a week or spend more time (also once a week) on neutral territory eg both dogs together at the park or the beach. So they were familiar.

    I know that my dog - is the biggest grovel dog outside of my place but she's becoming less friendly with dogs on her territory. I think we need more practice. Even ones she knows well and likes.

  5. #5
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    Yes to all the above, but also I have found introducing a new yummy food, or a new toy/activity/game
    i.e. something that your dog did NOT have before the new dog arrived.
    So the new dog being here brings new wonderful things with her.
    Also echo Hya, we still have the baby gate up so that there are 2 separate areas of the house.

  6. #6
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    If both are ok with other dogs, just not the "lets play type" then they may coexist quite well. Like others have said I'd probably have an area set aside so you can separate them when you are at work etc.

    Pick up and remove food bowls when finished, go around and pick up any old bones your dog may have left around etc, basically anything of high value to your current dog that may provoke a reaction if the new dog goes near it, introduce them to each other on neutral territory and take them for a nice walk together then walk them around your yard and slowly drop the lead of one then if all is going well drop the lead of the other.

    One mistake many people make is to pay too much attention to either their first dog - not wanting it to feel left out; or the newcomer - trying to make it feel at home. I generally don't pay the dogs too much attention when a newcomer is first brought in then all dogs get equal attention and slot into their place in the pack.

    Hope it all goes well.
    Last edited by MAC; 11-19-2012 at 03:31 PM.

  7. #7

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    Thanks for all the thoughts and comments.

    I picked Muffy up this morning. Early days but I think I might have been worried over nothing, they're currently both on the lounge snoozing!
    Muffy&Ellie.jpg

    Cheers

  8. #8
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    Aww!

  9. #9
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    Apr 2012
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    Good news so far
    Please keep us informed

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