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Old 07-11-2012, 04:47 PM
 
Location: State of Washington (2016)
3,560 posts, read 2,380,491 times
Reputation: 13835

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I need immediate help if possible. I have two dogs (a female german shepherd mix and a male border collie/dobie mix). We adopted them from a shelter when they were 10 months old and they are now ten years old. The shepherd really never liked the male border collie and has done everything to make his life oppressed and miserable over the last decade. He is a low-key fella, sweet enough but basically a loner.

My problem is - last Saturday I took home a foster dog (an 11 year old female red heeler). She is the sweetest dog I've ever met. Her family dumped her and her brother at the shelter after having them for 10 years because they were moving out of California and didn't want to take the old dogs with them. Rayna (the heeler) was separated from her brother after losing her home and family and was depressed, miserable and refusing to eat. The barking of the other dogs at the shelter was also driving her nuts and she wasn't used to being caged and basically ignored. My daughter volunteers at the shelter and persuaded me to come and at least meet Rayna (who gets along very well with other dogs).

Bottom line, this dogs acts and looks about 5-7 years old, plays a mean game of catch and smiled the whole time I played with her at the shelter. I introduced her to my other two dogs on neutral territory, we all walked together as a family and then I took her into the house. I fed the other two dogs first, still lavished affection on them, but the shepherd has lashed out at Rayna for no reason. The smaller male followed the bullying shepherd's example and half-heartedly lashed out at Rayna as well.

I am not giving this dog back to the shelter and I intend to adopt her and make her a part of the family. Right now I have her shut away in a bedroom during the day and separate her from the other two by baby gates in the evening when I come home. This means some family members have to stay in the front of the house with Tippy and Cody (the original dogs) and I stay in the back with Rayna. I realize I tried to integrate her into the family too soon and I'm considering what to do before calling in a decent trainer (a trainer at the shelter claims this isn't a training issue but a management one and doesn't subscribe to the theory of "dominant" or "alpha" dog - I feel she is mistaken).

I'm sorry to be so long winded but do you think crating the shepherd will help until she gets used to having another female dog in the house? Any practical advice is appreciated - I'm sleepless from the tense environment and feel bad that I didn't go about this correctly. What can I do to remedy the situation?
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Old 07-11-2012, 04:53 PM
 
506 posts, read 966,127 times
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What was the "correct way" of doing this?

Look, humans are the "Alpha Dogs" of the house. If your dogs lashed out at the new dog, you YELL at them. They know when you're mad at them. Punish them (humanely ofcourse) by lock them up immediately for 10 mintues, etc.

Be alpha.
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Old 07-11-2012, 05:02 PM
 
Location: State of Washington (2016)
3,560 posts, read 2,380,491 times
Reputation: 13835
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunset2000 View Post
What was the "correct way" of doing this?

Look, humans are the "Alpha Dogs" of the house. If your dogs lashed out at the new dog, you YELL at them. They know when you're mad at them. Punish them (humanely ofcourse) by lock them up immediately for 10 mintues, etc.

Be alpha.
I think that I assumed that they would all get along because my other two dogs seemed mellow and I didn't give them a proper chance to get to know her. I swear, I think they thought she was visiting and they were fine the first day, but once they realized she would be living with us and demanding attention, they turned nasty. Perhaps I should have crated her right away and let them get used to the scent and the idea of her being in their house. Yelling doesnt work because it won't change how they perceive the new pet, they will just react temporarily to your on-the-spot anger. I need a way to gradually help everyone assimilate and I was wondering if crating the troublemaker (the shepherd) until she got used to the new gal would work? The male seems like he would be more accepting and I walked both of them together this morning and they were fine. The problem will be with the females. Although Rayna is sweet, she is well-muscled and bigger than the shepherd, and if she decided to get nasty back, she is capable of hurting or even killing Tippy if provoked.
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Old 07-11-2012, 05:12 PM
 
506 posts, read 966,127 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Praline View Post
Although Rayna is sweet, she is well-muscled and bigger than the shepherd, and if she decided to get nasty back, she is capable of hurting or even killing Tippy if provoked.
Wait, Tippy is the bully, right?

Mod snip

Last edited by Sam I Am; 07-12-2012 at 04:35 AM.. Reason: No. No breed bashing per the sticky thread.
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Old 07-11-2012, 07:09 PM
 
169 posts, read 488,490 times
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If you want your senior to be the alpha female make sure you feed her first , let her outside first , give her the treats first, do everything first with her, etc. Make the new girl sit and wait, they both will catch on quickly. I did this with my newest rescue and it worked out perfectly but of course each dog is conditioned differently. Good luck!
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Old 07-12-2012, 10:36 AM
 
Location: State of Washington (2016)
3,560 posts, read 2,380,491 times
Reputation: 13835
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kayee View Post
If you want your senior to be the alpha female make sure you feed her first , let her outside first , give her the treats first, do everything first with her, etc. Make the new girl sit and wait, they both will catch on quickly. I did this with my newest rescue and it worked out perfectly but of course each dog is conditioned differently. Good luck!
Thanks for the advice, Kayee. Actually, all three of them are seniors - Tippy and Cody are 10 and the new gal is 11. She is a well-muscled female and could take both of them if she wanted to, but she is sweet and wants to be friends. This morning (call me a fool), was the first time i walked all three of them together! I usually walk Tippy and Cody together anyway and my daughter walked Rayna (the new dog), but when I leashed-up Tippy and Cody, Rayna wanted to go along too and I didn't have the heart to leave her behind

After they had walked ME for about 8 minutes, I was finally able to make all three of them heel and we enjoyed the rest of the walk without incident. Afterwards, I still separated Rayna from the other two in the house (with a closed door) because I had to get to work. I'm wondering how long before I can have them mingling in the same room.
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Old 07-12-2012, 11:57 AM
 
Location: Alaska
5,356 posts, read 16,318,396 times
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If you follow Cesar Millan's methods, you'd need to assert your dominance over the shepherd mix. Once that's done, you can correct her at the first sign of a problem. This of course, requires that there be contact between the shepherd and new dog so you have an opportunity to correct any confrontations before they escalate. Remember, the start of one could just be a look or ear twitch.

Also, I wouldn't reinforce the shepherd's alpha status. It just gives her the go ahead to "boss" the others around and gives her mixed signals. You be the alpha and let them all be of somewhat equal status. For instance, in feeding, feed the one who does what you want first. Correct the others if there is a problem. This further reinforces your alpha status.
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Old 07-12-2012, 12:00 PM
 
Location: State of Washington (2016)
3,560 posts, read 2,380,491 times
Reputation: 13835
Quote:
Originally Posted by akck View Post
If you follow Cesar Millan's methods, you'd need to assert your dominance over the shepherd mix. Once that's done, you can correct her at the first sign of a problem. This of course, requires that there be contact between the shepherd and new dog so you have an opportunity to correct any confrontations before they escalate. Remember, the start of one could just be a look or ear twitch.

Also, I wouldn't reinforce the shepherd's alpha status. It just gives her the go ahead to "boss" the others around and gives her mixed signals. You be the alpha and let them all be of somewhat equal status. For instance, in feeding, feed the one who does what you want first. Correct the others if there is a problem. This further reinforces your alpha status.

This is good advice. The shepherd has always behaved like a spoiled princess (thanks to my daughter) and bossed the little guy around for years. She tosses her head when commanded to do something and is a very difficult dog. I'm just afraid to let them all mingle in the same room now because of the initial hostile contact, I don't want to get in the middle of a dog fight.
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Old 07-13-2012, 11:11 AM
 
Location: Alaska
5,356 posts, read 16,318,396 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Praline View Post
This is good advice. The shepherd has always behaved like a spoiled princess (thanks to my daughter) and bossed the little guy around for years. She tosses her head when commanded to do something and is a very difficult dog. I'm just afraid to let them all mingle in the same room now because of the initial hostile contact, I don't want to get in the middle of a dog fight.
This is why you need to assert your dominance over her first. Start by not letting her get away with bossing the little guy around. Likewise, you'll need to keep the little guy in check too. Once you build your confidence, you slowly introduce the newcomer to the group, being close enough to the shepherd to stop any aggressive action (remember, it can just be a look). I'd put short leashes on all of them now, so they can get used to it. It will give you something to grab, should there be a problem. Also, make sure it is the shepherd being aggressive and not her reacting to an aggressive action made by one of the other dogs.
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Old 07-13-2012, 12:21 PM
 
Location: State of Washington (2016)
3,560 posts, read 2,380,491 times
Reputation: 13835
Quote:
Originally Posted by akck View Post
This is why you need to assert your dominance over her first. Start by not letting her get away with bossing the little guy around. Likewise, you'll need to keep the little guy in check too. Once you build your confidence, you slowly introduce the newcomer to the group, being close enough to the shepherd to stop any aggressive action (remember, it can just be a look). I'd put short leashes on all of them now, so they can get used to it. It will give you something to grab, should there be a problem. Also, make sure it is the shepherd being aggressive and not her reacting to an aggressive action made by one of the other dogs.
Thank you. I'm getting a crate tomorrow and putting whoever acts a fool first in the crate - either Tippy (the sh*t starting shepherd) or Cody (the follower). This is really disrupting my home life because everybody is in separate rooms now. The new gal Reyna is behind a closed bedroom door when she isn't with the family and I'm sure she thinks she is being punished and doesn't realize its for her own protection.
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