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Introducing Strange Dogs To Eachother

Posted by magic_az (My Page) on
Thu, Sep 17, 09 at 2:10

Hi all,

We recently lost our 7 year old Golden to cancer. We still have a 9 year old Aussie with us. This evening we were standing in our front yard and see a lady walking the cutest dog. It looked to me like an Aussie/springer mix. Adorable. I went out and started chatting with her about her dog and the lady that was with her mentioned that the dog needed a new home. Oh really?
The lady with the dog left and the other woman introduced herself as the president of the local animal rescue group and said that these people had two dogs, a golden and the aussie for 7-8 years and just decided to get rid of them. They kept these dogs chained up under the back deck all day, every day. They had already given away the Golden and were looking for a home for the Aussie/Springer mix.

OMG! He is adorable. 7 Years old and just a punkin. Although DH and I swore we would never get another dog, he won us over in about 2 minutes.

DH went and got our Aussie to introduce them. If they were cool with each other, we would have taken him on the spot.

However, that's not what happened. Our Aussie is "very exuberant" and obnoxious when he meets people or other dogs. Just very eager and excited. The other dog was very aggresive and growled and barked and growled some more. Not good. Both of them are Males.

DH and I both think the other dog (who's name is Thomas) was acting out of fear. Maybe, maybe not. He seemed so dang cute and loveable to us we just could not imagine that his aggression was anything but fear.

After all that background I will finally get to the question. This pup needs a home and we would love to have him. Is there a good way to introduce these dogs in a neutral setting where they could meet and get to know each other and like each other? Or is it just a bad idea?

Any tricks or suggestions to make this work?

My Aussie is fixed but not sure about the other dog.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Introducing Strange Dogs To Eachother

if you have any sort of fenced in area, away from home, such as a baseball diamond at the local school, you can turn the new little guy loose and walk your boy over to the fence. let them get acquainted through the fence, the new dog will not feel "threatened" if he knows he can back away at will.

once they have become acquainted, you can take your guy into the fence, still on leash, and let them sniff each other. if you can do this a few times, even better.

it's always a good idea to introduce new dogs on neutral ground and really, it's best if it can be done SAFELY with both of them off leash. at least, this has always been my personal experience. it goes without saying, favorite treats go a long way in helping both dogs through the initial "getting to know each other" period. pop a treat in their mouths when they are being good, reinforce their good behavior and you'll be off to a great start.

i lost my female corgi to cancer in june. i recently brought another rescue great dane into the pack and did intros this way. everything worked out perfectly and she has settled in as if she's been here forever.

just because the new little guy reacted the way he did doesn't mean he wouldn't work out. if you do decide to bring him home, you should crate him at first until he gets used to your other dog and your routine. also, most rescues won't let dogs go until they are neutered/spayed and that's a good thing!

good luck, i bet he'd LOVE to come live with you! :)


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RE: Introducing Strange Dogs To Eachother

I agree with ninapearl, also if a lot of energy and excitement is taking place may be let take them for a long walk together while at the park or whatever neutral ground your going to let them me at.


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RE: Introducing Strange Dogs To Eachother

I suggest that your husband start a walk with your dog on a leash only and you walk nearby with the new dog on a leash as well. Walk with a purpose - no sniffing around, no sniffing each other just brisk walking. This establishes you and your husband as the bosses right off the bat. About 10 minutes into your walk, move a bit closer together. Keep walking and keep moving closer together - keep the dogs from each other as much as possible. After a good 20 minutes have them sit and stay and praise them. This walk should be done on neutral territory. Over the years I have found this is the best way to introduce dogs.


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RE: Introducing Strange Dogs To Eachother

Thank You everyone.

I think the walk idea is a great one. DH and I will call tomorrow and see if we can take him on our evening walk. I will let you know if it works.

Thanks again.


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RE: Introducing Strange Dogs To Eachother

Magic, I am posting late, but I agree with the walk them together in neutral territory. The only suggestion I will add is that it might help if both dogs can go for separate walks before hand, to rid themselves of any excess energy. It would also give you time to start a bond with Thomas.

Don't get frustrated if they don't become best buddies right away, it might take a couple of times.

Good luck, I hope everything works out for you.


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RE: Introducing Strange Dogs To Eachother

I'll agree with the other suggestions above - neutral ground is always best. Remember that "sniffing" is normal after they meet as well. Even in obedience class, its acceptable to allow the dogs to sniff after an initial meeting. Someone else suggested off leash as well and I second that idea.

At our shelter, we would have about 30 dogs on any given day and had a 40% turnover rate. That means a constant influx of new dogs. Mornings (8 am to noon) were kennel cleanup time. Small dogs in one yard, large dogs in the other. They would all go out to play around that time in their areas TOGETHER. These dogs did not know each other and got along just fine during their "morning play time". They found their own pack order among themselves - but I beleive they also understood that the humans were in charge.

The exception was that in-heat females were NEVER allowed near the others during that time (not even separated by a fence). They were kept inside and got their own time out. This is because just the scent alone would make the other males in the dog yard INSANE and they would be more agitated and aggressive with each other, even if they couldn't get to her.


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