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).
- 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.