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Thread: 2nd Dog Concerns....

  1. #1
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    Apr 2011
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    Default 2nd Dog Concerns....

    We're in the process of trying to decide if we'll be adopting a beautiful 1 year female called Bella. We currently have her for a trial week. She's a very shy girl, hasn't shown any aggression, is incredibly gentle but her social skills need work. Bella & my Ollie had a slow start but now play really well together, but there have been a couple of good snarls lately (I've had Bella for 4 days now).

    My concerns....
    - Ollie's personality change. Since Bella arrived Ollie can withdraw from me or looks frantic for no reason. She's starting to get jealous, be even more food obsessed (they've never fought or even growl over food) & is trying to dominate Bella alot more.
    - Dominance?? Ollie is usually the first to growl/snarl, and yesterday Ollie chased Bella under a chair, then later when the Bella was chewing a bone, Ollie laid near her with her tail up, Bella jumped up giving a little bark and moved away from the bone & Ollie took it. However, Ollie will let Bella take the 'toy of the moment', sit on her, & sometimes Bella will push Ollie out of the way for pats & she seems to be backing down less. They both lick each other. If one wants something the other has generally the one with the item will drop it and the other grabs it. Bella will be bigger then Ollie & I'm worried there could be problems if she decides to stand her ground later on because I doubt Ollie will back down.
    - 1 dog background. I've only ever lived in a 1 dog household so I'm not use to the 2 dog dynamics. I've read some people say you need to treat them equally. Others give special treatment to the first dog (which is my preference)
    - I've always had dogs from when they were pups & I'm not use to establishing my dominance over an older dog I don't have a strong bond with.

    The main reason we wanted to get 2nd dog was because Ollie is home alone during the day. She's not naughty but acts a bit mopey when we get home. Sometimes we organise a play date for her with the neighbours dog while we're at work and she loves it so we thought she's like a permanent play mate. Also Ollie is real Daddy's girl & I'm sick of her dismissing me for him (esp since I do most of the work!).

    Any shared hints, tips or experience would be greatly appreciated. Cheers.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    Treat them both equally. Dogs do not have the capacity to even understand you are giving one more attention for any real purpose. Give more attention to one, only if one needs it for some reason.

    In my expereince, it has taken anywhere up to 3 months for the true personality to show in a new dog coming into the household. Usually you have a good indicator at the end of 3 or 4 weeks though.

    Dogs take time working out their order of hirearchy.

    I have had some that have come in and been a breeze for the first few weeks and then turned into Dr Jekyll and all hell has broken loose, and others that have been hard for the first few weeks and then turn out to be best buddies with one of mine after a few weeks.

    As for her 'dismissing' you... she's a dog. She isn't consciously thinking - pff, I'd rather go elsewhere thanks 'cause you are boring. She is an opportunist and she recognises leadership.
    A pessimist sees the glass as half empty;
    An optimist sees the glass as half full;
    A realist just finishes the damn thing and refills it.

  3. #3
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    I think the whole point of getting a companion dog for the dog you already have, is to get a dog your dog likes. This doesn't seem to be happening.

    And for various reasons - I would choose a friendly dog not a shy dog. Shy dogs can be prone to all sorts of problems that are not always easy to train out and there might be some friendly dog out there that needs a home that Ollie would love not hate.

    I just feel like you've got the wrong second dog here. And the way things are going, I wouldn't feel comfortable leaving them home alone together.

    My dog is the most ostentatiously friendly dog ever - but she doesn't love every other dog she meets. She's always polite but she only loves a few.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anne View Post
    As for her 'dismissing' you... she's a dog. She isn't consciously thinking - pff, I'd rather go elsewhere thanks 'cause you are boring. She is an opportunist and she recognises leadership.

    My HB is away for work alot so I was hoping it was more off a 'yeah he's finally home'... better not tell HB she's really saying 'yeah the boss is home!'

  5. #5

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    Sometimes two girls together is not the best mix. Females can vye for leadership more than males or male/female mixes.

  6. #6

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    Most dogs do seem to act differently towards dogs they meet on neutral ground compared to dogs that are in THEIR house... The looks our boy has given us when we've been minding friends' dogs, fostering or introducing a new dog to the pack are quite amusing... "Mum, it was fun for a while, but WHEN is this other dog going to LEAVE???????"

    Two dog dynamics definitely take a while for us humble humans to figure out!!! I think one of the most important things when you have two dogs is to set your own rules and stick by them. These are probably different for everyone but here are ours as an example. We allow our older dog to discipline the youngster if she is being annoying - and he regularly does so. We do not allow him to BULLY her... that means no staring from across the room, no growls for simply walking past, no guarding random items like the rubbish bin. No stealing of food/Kongs allowed from either of them (they get fed high value items like bones separately anyway). No pushing in for pats.

    That being said, the hierarchy between our dogs has always been obvious and they are a male/female mix. This has made it much easier for us and may be a consideration for you for the future, as others have mentioned

  7. #7
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    I would also treat them both the same. Dogs do not "think" as we do. I have had singles and up to 3 at a time. Only once did this not work out as the dogs hated each other and had not the new one been accidentally run over I would have had to keep them separated. They both had scars from each other and at that time were both entire males.

    We don't like every person we meet, same for dogs.
    It will either settle in time (it has only been 4 days) or you will have continuing problems.

    Any posts made under the name of Di_dee1 one can be used by anyone as I do not give a rats.

  8. #8
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    Thanks for tips...

    I extended the trial period & she's come out of her shell a lot more (plus she developed kennel cough the day after she arrived and she's alot better now).

    How they interact:
    - If they're not sleeping they're play wrestling/fighting. They'll be the odd growls, then they stop playing have a drink or quick lay down then start playing again. If I'm quick enough (before they take a break) they get a big 'no' from me when they growl. I can clap my hands to gt them to stop play fighting.
    - If one gets in trouble the other comes over and lays down with or on them & licks their face
    - They often lay down with their paws crossed over licking each others faces.
    - For morning walks when Bella gets excited she'll push Ollie, this is the main time Ollie can snap are her.
    - I'd notice she's picked up a few of Ollie's play fighting moves.
    - And they generally sleep near each other
    So from my perspective they get along... I'd like to hear others thoughts.

    If Bella was a boy I'd adopted her but the stories I've read recently about how 2 females can fight is putting me off...
    Last edited by random; 04-15-2011 at 02:52 PM.

  9. #9
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    I always like to have two dogs and I always chose ot have one of each (boy and girl).

    I treat them the same, except the small dog is always allowed on laps and the big one is onl allowed sometimes.

    I generally dont correct any doggy behaviour except in certain situations. They ar eallowed to tell each other off if the other is being annoying (though this generally doesnt hapen). The only time I stop it is if the small one is on my lap and growls at th ebig one when he comes over for a pat (she is told off and put on the floor), or if it looks like it might escalate, though this has only happened once I think.

    They play quite rough with lots of growling and snarling and I just leave them to it unless there is something on TV I want to here instead LOL

    Luckily my big dog is super tolerant and when th elittle one is getting agro, he either thinks she is still playing and he keeps playing or he just puts a foot on her and she instantly submits.

    I personally would not have 2 girls together though it really dpeends on the dogs. My mum had two and they could never be trusted to be togther but then one of the dogs couldnt be trusted to be alone with a male either do it was probably just her.

    Good luck with whatever you decide to do

  10. #10
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    I have 2 desexed females and an entire male. I too let them just be dogs, sort themselves out unless it gets out of hand. Believe me, you will know the difference. I then come in with a loud "excuse me!!!" They then tend to stop.
    Worst here I have had lately was the mother and male 18mth old male pup in a full on inside dog fight. I yelled, picked up a shoe, held it above my head and yelled I WILL throw this. TRUST ME. I yelled very menacingly. I was not silly enough to get between them. My main worry was that they would knock over my 4ft bird cage that we have extended the legs on.
    Surprisingly they stopped and went into kissy suck face mode.

    From what you write it looks promising to me.

    Any posts made under the name of Di_dee1 one can be used by anyone as I do not give a rats.

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