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Adding another dog?

Discussion in 'Bark Park' started by Mitzi, 12/7/16.

  1. Mitzi

    Mitzi Sprinting down the street Avenue Veteran

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    Michelle "Mitzi"
    I have an alpha 5 year old spayed female mini aussie. We are thinking about adding another dog to the family but not sure if advisable. Our female has always been a only dog and does not seem to really care for other dogs. She will leave them alone but if one tries to sniff her rear or want us to pet it, she will growl and snap at it. It does not matter if male or female. Do you think it would be better to just have her as an only dog and not get another. If we did get another do you think a male or female would work better? I appreciate all input good, bad, or ugly.
    Thank you,
    Mitzi
     
  2. Fia Baby

    Fia Baby Strolling the yard

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    Is she really alpha, or could she be fearful? That will make a difference... She may simply dislike another dog sniffing her without her acceptance - herding dogs can have persnickety social rules that they're not shy about enforcing. Was she socialized with other dogs as a young dog? How does she treat very young pups? Very young - 8-12 weeks? You don't have to answer these questions - they're really just things I'd consider as I contemplated how to go about this. For most of my life I've had what some would consider a "pack" of dogs - as many as four, so not really a pack though. Depends on who you are... Among these I've had 3 intense herding dogs - a Belgian sheepdog, and 2 English shepherds - all males. Only one of them has had difficulty accepting a new dog into the pack, and he is truly alpha. An extreme rule-forcer, very obedient with family, smart and intense. Both dogs he's had issues with have been males, one neutered, one intact. At this point I have him (intact) and my youngest intact male (whom he doesn't care for), and another spayed female who's easy. It is only his reliable obedience that make this at all doable for me. If I weren't so comfortable with dogs, if I didn't really love them, if I was uncomfortable with occasional dog fights (never any serious injuries at this point, because my youngest, Huck, always backs down immediately), this wouldn't work. I spoke to some pretty dog-savvy people before I got this youngest dog, so I knew what could happen, and how to lessen conflict, and this is what I learned: you have a spayed female - so you really should get a male puppy - very young. DO NOT get a female - females together fight more than any other combination. Look for a middle-of-the-road pup. Work with the breeder to make sure they understand why this is important. Make sure your girl is obedient to you without question. Brush up on this A LOT before you bring that pup home. Have her practice "submissive" things - letting you go through doorways first, laying down before getting her good, sitting for treats/petting, "going away" from you when told, sleeping on the floor instead of your bed, not getting on furniture... Are you familiar with resource guarding? Obedience will help you curb that a bit. And you might want to crate train her, if she's not already. She might need/want a place to retreat to when the pup is bugging her. Personally, I'd go for it...
     
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  3. CrazyBirdChick

    CrazyBirdChick Rollerblading along the road

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    Beth gave you some excellent advice!

    Alpha dogs can be a little difficult if not trained properly (making them sit before eating, not going in doorways first, and I say most importantly- not being allowed on furniture. It may seem harsh but when a dominant dog is allowed on furniture they will not respect you, and if they don't respect you they won't listen when things get out of hand)

    My mom had 3 dogs (all over 100 lbs) and 2 were extremely dominant. They had no discipline and got into fights quite often. Sadly, one of those fights ended up with 2 dogs dying. It can get really bad. Not always but it can happen.
     
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  4. Fia Baby

    Fia Baby Strolling the yard

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    Serious dog fights are terrible things. I have had one at my house, with the dog mentioned above and another dog. It was my fault entirely - I had a female in heat at home, the dog in question above and another dog of mine (neutered male golden ret. - sweetest dog, very submissive) - all 3 were left outside together for the day accidently. All my fault - the warm spring day went to my head and I forgot about the priority of protecting my old dog from Levi. I came home to a terrible scene, and spent several thousand $$$ on emergency care. Luckily he lived - his injuries were serious. All my fault, and all totally avoidable. It is SO important to consider pack dynamics with alpha dogs, and herding dogs in general. I should never had had an intact female in the mix in this case.
     
  5. atomicfriday

    atomicfriday Walking the driveway

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    Generally opposite sexes get along much better, when I got a pup I chose a male because my older dog is a female. She gets along with everyone, but I couldn't know if my new pup would grow up and have an issue or not. It's a safer gamble to get the opposing gender. How often has your dog been socialized with others? If she has been the only dog for 5 years and isn't used to being around them, her reactions are probably out of insecurity. In my experience all resident older dogs get their noses bent out of shape for a bit in the beginning when introducing a new pup, but typically become accepting in due time. If you do get a puppy be sure to watch their interactions very closely so that your current dog doesn't get into any scuffles or feel overwhelmed by puppy antics, resulting in a possible fight. Dogs are adaptable and I think she would get used to it, but I would do your research before delving into it. My boy is now 10 months old, and I reminisce about when he was an adorable little fluff I could carry around everywhere... but truth is it was exhausting. I had to be awake at least every two hours to take him outside to potty, I was a walking zombie and no way I could've raised him anywhere near properly if I had a full time job. He became my full time job lol. But because of my diligence he became housebroken very quickly. Now that he is older I can sleep through the night (but be sure that he is waking you up at 7 am to take him out!) but he is going through his "rebellious" stage and he is already a big dog at 85 lbs so that is challenging as well in itself. I do not have experience with herding breeds, but I can gather that they are active, athletic, and crave a job. Maybe if you began participating in a dog sport with your girl, she might get a boost in her own confidence and meanwhile any training is good for a more well rounded canine.

    Another thing to consider is adopting an older, calm dog that is set in their ways and wouldn't react to your dogs nerves.
     
  6. JLcribber

    JLcribber Joyriding the Neighborhood Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran Shutterbugs' Best

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    She has never shared before. Never wanted to share before. Odds are pretty darn good she's really not going to want to share with this "competition" who is now "living" in her territory.

    Can be overcome but you're in for one heck of a challenge. Buckle up.
     
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  7. Mitzi

    Mitzi Sprinting down the street Avenue Veteran

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    Think I may just wait as would hate to disrupt and upset her. She is so spoiled, even the parrots like to give her a treat from their food. Thanks to everyone for their input and advise.
     
  8. Debbie

    Debbie Walking the driveway

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    Just now reading this...For sure if you think about it in the future I would go with a male. I have always had male/female pairs, both spay and neutured. My aussie boy (Riley)was pretty bossy when I brought him home. When our Lab passed and we brought home our Cavalier Spaniel he would actually go over and smack her with his paw if I was correcting her. Cute, but put a stop to it right away...only human bosses allowed in our household, LOL.. It helped that the dog we brought in was very mellow..would get along with anybody or any dog. She holds her own though now that she is older, I call her my princess.
    Don't know how well trained your dog is, but that is part of the key, Aussies are very trainable, but they do have a mind of their own. If you tell the dog to "down" or "leave it" they should...in all circumstances. Come when called, ect. in all circumstances.. If your dog can do this then another dog might work. Some dogs though just prefer being an only dog. We had a Lab one time, she was about 2 when we brought home a 6 month old Collie. That first week was tough, the Lab kept on wanting to one up the Collie...we had a lot of on the ground rolling and snarling. Collie basicly just protecting himself, Lab came on really strong. No blood, but almost thought I was going to have to return the Collie. Well they worked it out...Collie became the lead dog. They got along really good after that was decided, never had to worry about them alone together. They loved teasing each other and chasing each other around. That being said, if it had not worked out quickly I would have given the Collie back. I for one don't think it is worth keeping dogs together that do not get along. To much risk, and why make the dogs miserable when another home might be a better placement?
    Have you thought about maybe trying to foster a dog ? You never know for sure, but either way it will take some work, and only you can decide if it's something you want to do, and be prepared for some heartache if you try and it doesn't work.
     

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