Hey everyone,
I live with, as a roommate to them, a married couple and this couple has three dogs. The dogs great, I love them as much as my roommates do. The dogs are a pack as would be expected. They eat together, sleep with my roommates together, and go on walks together.

Now recently, I've been thinking of getting my own dog and I have a concern. I want the dogs to be friends, and I imagine they will be, but I don't want my dog to join their pack and imprint on my roommates as the pack has. I know that within a few years, I'll probably be moving out and I don't want to devistate my possible future dog with the seperation nor do I want either my dog or the pack to be jealous of each other when one side goes on a walk and the other doesn't and so on.
Is there anything I can do to try to keep them seperate, so my dog would rather spend time with me than the pack, or is the constant contact between the two make this pretty much impossible?

Thanks for any advice,
Ryan
Yeah, heh, ok, all you guys are insane. I guess it's my fault for not checking into the *** internal politics of a usenet group before posting. Yep, I guess I'm a real jackass for assuming I could get advice to my dilema on something called dogs.behavior.

Look, I didn't read any posts here before I posted and I'm sure as hell not going to spend anytime wasted reading the two follow-ups. I'm sure all the clever arguments on either side of the fence would be lost on me and I sure would hate to kill brain cells figuring them out.
I don't know how your probably assine flame war started or how long the attrition will go on and I don't care. I'll take my question to group of less neurotic ***. God damn, in all my years of using the internet, I've never seen such of group of introverted cocks as you people and that's just from two posts.
Oh, and because I've seen this sort of *** before, I'm not some alias from the other side, I'm just some disinterested third party. Of course, if you want to ignore this and assume that I am troll, here's something to chew on: dogs are best if juggled but only when you have jello pants.
Sincerely,
Ryan
I live with, as a roommate to them, a married couple and this couple has three dogs. The dogs great, ... spend time with me than the pack, or is the constant contact between the two make this pretty much impossible?[/nq]I don't think it wise to do anything particularly artificial but there are some simple things you can do to address you concerns of over bonding. I wouldn't, for example, do anything that necessarily interferes with your dog developing a pack bond at some level. The pack bond is healthy and means less stress for all involved. BUT you can make it a point to daily take your dog out with you and only you and engage directly in activities without the involvement of the other dogs.

Walking and fetch would be OK, but if you want to enhance the effect do something in which there is a goal and a focus. Agility, obedience, tracking, even tricks - anything that will motivate the two of you to work together as a team. Sometimes just walking and "fetch" kind of activities more turns the human into a borg ball thrower than being to being engagement. The other two things I would do is feed the dog in a separate room, and have the dog sleep in my room - door closed.

If your dog readily makes friends at, for example, the dog park or whereever your dog activities are so much the better. That will provide the dog with the ability to have room for other relationships and to weather the loss of existing ones. For what its worth if your dog is offered a breadth of experience in the outside world - everything from being alone in a strange environment to being in crowds - different kinds of dogs, different kinds of people, quiet environments and noisey ones, that experience tends to create a lot of resilience in a dog and the ability to accept and adapt to change.

Diane Blackman
Yeah, heh, ok, all you guys are insane.

To tell you the truth, I was going to reply that you'd posted something that I'd never heard of before so you should be patient. But your reply to your own post showed up first.

As to all of the nasty stuff you mention (to which you've now contributed), that's up to you to filter or not.
Grow up.

Matt. Rocky's a Dog.
Yeah, heh, ok, all you guys are insane.

Why do you say that?
I guess it's my fault for not checking into the *** internal politics of a usenet group before posting. Yep, I guess I'm a real jackass for assuming I could get advice to my dilema on something called dogs.behavior.

No but you might be making a bit of an ass of yourself in your reaction here. There is plenty of good advice to be had here. And a lot of caring people ready to offer it.
Look, I didn't read any posts here before I posted and I'm sure as hell not going to spend anytime wasted reading the two follow-ups.

There are certain people here who are a waste of time. Most of use filter those people out and never see their posts to begin with. Saves a lot of angst.
I'm sure all the clever arguments on either side of the fence would be lost on me and I sure would hate to kill brain cells figuring them out.

Heaven forbid that having come for advice you'd actually spend any brain cells at all.
I don't know how your probably assine flame war started or how long the attrition will go on and I ... the internet, I've never seen such of group of introverted cocks as you people and that's just from two posts.

I'd say if you made such judgement from just two posts it isn't the people here who are the problem.
Oh, and because I've seen this sort of *** before, I'm not some alias from the other side, I'm just ... troll, here's something to chew on: dogs are best if juggled but only when you have jello pants. Sincerely, Ryan[/nq]Ryan, if you are going to do well with dogs you had best work on patience. An excitable temperament such as you have displayed is difficult for most dogs to deal with. It ends up confusing them and making them anxious. The ability to be observant, quiet and then calm and deliberate in taking action is a considerable plus when working with dogs. Developing these skills into something that is second nature will come more quickly if you exercise them in ALL parts of your life, not just in dealing with the canine.

Over my years on usenet I've found that putting things into perspective as to what really is and is not important has helped me not merely control anger but avoid wasting energy on it in the first place. And that, in turn, as influenced my dog training and certainly made my canine work more pleasant for all. Put a little Zen in your heart.

Diane Blackman
http://www.dog-play.com
It looks like I should have answered your first message sooner. I've been out of town and catching up on mail slowly. I read your message, marked it as one I wanted to reply to, then got busy with other things. The bottom line about this newsgroup is that there's an ongoing insane flame war going on between a bunch of people that the rest of us have killfiled. Once you learn who is involved and have them deactivated, this is a great place. I hope you stay.
Now on to your question Go ahead and get your dog. Let him interact as much as he wants with the other dogs in the house. There's some possibility that he won't get along with the other dogs, but that's the subject of a different thread. Let's assume that all 4 get along fine and become buddies like you hope. You'll be in charge of his feeding, training, exercise, love. The other dogs will be his buddies, but you'll be his best friend and leader. When it is time for you to move, he may miss his buddies, but there's no reason to believe he'll be traumatized any more than people are when they move away from home to go off to school or a new job.
Lia