I have a sweet natured but slightly insecure 6 year old rescue dog who I have owned for a year. She loves to play with other dogs, and I am about to get her a playmate- same breed, sex, 3 year old .
Of course the whole point is that they will bond, but how do I do that without distressing my 1st dog who has bonded strongly with me?

I am only after positive gentle techniques Emotion: smile
Thanks!
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Of course the whole point is that they will bond, but how do I do that without distressing my 1st dog who has bonded strongly with me?

Find a comfortable seat on the floor, with the new dog at hand. Your senior dog will come for attention and to investigate. Let her see that the new dog is important to you, and that you will protect it. Simultaneously, invite the senior dog and encourage her to come close, and sniff all she wants. Pet her and let her know that she can expect the same touches and loving that she has grown used to. Try to pet both simultaneously; the alternate to see if one is going to be jealous or otherwise react badly. Hopefully, both will remain mellow. At least for now, I strongly urge separate food bowls.

After a few minutes, stand up and move around the room to see if they still remain civil. If so, you're off to a good start. If not explain to the aggressor that her actions weren't appreciated. Comfort the other dog.
Even when you think they have meshed, remember that new situations might bring out previously unseen problems usually minor in nature.

To be honest, meshing new dogs has always gone so well for me, that I can't address problems, except as they would occur in any other setting. I know this sounds simple, but basically, I just tell both dogs that I love them dearly, and they Will get along. Period. -) Just let them both know they are both special; that they haven't lost anything, but have gained a playmate.
Please, let us know how things go.
Whatever it takes.
If you're getting the second dog from a rescue or shelter - or even from a breeder - I'm a bit surprised this hasn't already been addressed by having the dogs meet on neutral ground and assessing how they get on with each other.
Does your current dog have any experience at all with having other dogs come into your home? If so, what was her reaction? And does she have any recent experience in playing/interacting with other dogs?
If you're getting the second dog from a rescue or shelter - or even froma breeder - I'm a bit surprised this hasn't already been addressed by having the dogs meet on neutral ground and assessing how they get on with each other.

I am flying the new dog in from another state. Her owners haven't been able to giver her the lifestyle they know she deserves so are rehoming her. She has never been indoors- my dog lives indoors and pretty much only uses the back yard for toileting.
Does your current dog have any experience at all with having other dogs come into your home? If so, what was her reaction?

Yes she has been okay with my mother's dogs when they have visited, though she did come to me for a little extra reassurance. She was however already used to visiting them and going to the beach/park with them . She cannot tolerate puppies (yet she had been dumped at the shelter when her breeding career was over)
And does she have any recent experience in playing/interacting with other dogs?

Yes, and this is what really made me want to get her a play pal. We go to the off leash dog park every morning and the beach once a week- if there is another dog who wants run and bounce around with her she is in heaven, but most often the other dogs dont want to play or are ball-fixated (my girl hasnt the first clue what blall play is). She approaches every dog that she feels confident to (she can be timid) and if none wants to play she hangs her head and looks so sad! Sometimes she just keeps trying to get them to play by acting like a puppy but usually to no avail :-(
Thanks Michael, hopefully I'm worrying about nothing, but I'd rather be prepared than handle a situation wrongly if it comes up. I will certainly let you know how it goes :-)
I guess what I'm most concerned about is if the situation becomes tense and I handle it wrongly creating a negative experience.. and then I handle that wrongly...
I'm not at all confident that I know the appropriate way to deal with the result of their insecurities without actually compounding the problem (I know- it sounds like I have more insecurities than they do! lol).

I really want to get it right, but more than that, I really DONT want to get it wrong!
RRR
I guess what I'm most concerned about is if the situation becomes tense and I handle it wrongly creating a negative experience.. and then I handle that wrongly...

Then avoid situations that might cause tension. General advice for helping new dogs integrate into a household is to practice physical management of situations. No toys, treats, bones, etc. left laying around. Feed them separately, take up the bowls when they are finished. Be aware of guarding behavior - doorways, bed areas, feeding areas, access to you, etc. Keep a short leash on the dogs inside the house to make it easier to control them.

When you're not around, I would probably separate the two of them. Separation just keeps incidents from happing while you are not around to referee. If the new dog is amenable to a crate, I would try to use one, particularly since she has not been indoors. It will help minimize any destruction and will certainly help in housebreaking.
I'm not at all confident that I know the appropriate way to deal with the result of their insecurities without actually compounding the problem (I know- it sounds like I have more insecurities than they do! lol).

Most dogs are coming to terms with each other and bonding just fine. Just minimize the opportunity for discord while they are getting to know each other, while at the same time providing opportunities for them to play and do things together - going to the park and taking long walks in the woods where they can hunt squirrels together. I would be somewhat wary of confrontational type of games such as tug. Until they get to know each other, that can provide opportunities for discord.
Obedience training is also a very good idea.
Ludwig Smith
Be aware of guarding behavior - doorways, bed areas, feeding areas, access to you, etc.

But Ludwig, how do you make it so that they dont want to guard? I want to have 2 dogs who get on, I dont want to be a referee always separating them and intervening in disputes.
Keep a short leash on the dogs inside the house to make it easier to control them.

My dog would be VERY unhappy if she had to start wearing a leash in the house- wouldnt that make her less likely to adjust to the new dog?
When you're not around, I would probably separate the two of them. Separation just keeps incidents from happing while you are not around to referee.

I know what you mean, but I want to trust my dogs- there has to be a way to do it right the first time so that incidents wont arise.
If the new dog is amenable to a crate,

I dont know whether the new dog would be amenable to crate training but it is something that I do not consider an option. My current dog was very effectively crate trained by her previous owner (a breeder) and it has taken me many months to get her to relax and feel part of my family. I still have to take a blanket when we go visiting because otherwise she cant settle and doesnt quite know where she belongs. She's 6 now and maybe I will always need to do that for her, but I'm sure not going to screw up this dog in that way (or hopefully any other).
I would try to use one, particularly since she has not been indoors. It will help minimize any destruction and will certainly help in housebreaking.

I actually hadn't considered that she might be destructive inside. Will have to think about that. I thought that since she has been outside with little to no attention for 3 years that she would respond well to being inside and treated with affection.
Most dogs are coming to terms with each other and bonding just fine.

I sure hope so!
Just minimize the opportunity for discord while they are getting to know each other, while at the same time providing ... woods where they can hunt squirrels together. I would be somewhat wary of confrontational type of games such as tug.

I will be keeping to our routine of a walk in the leash free park (where they can swim in the river) every morning and a trip to the leash free beach once a week.
Ludwig, I would be mortified if any animal of mine hurt another living creature (well my dog eats mosquitos but thats the limit!). I own 2 cats so any dog of mine has to learn to be respectful and considerate of them. My dog learned at age 5 so this new one should be just as capable of learning that at age 3. I could never have a dog that would chase or kill something. I dont play tug either- probably because I dont like to encourage aggression- even if its all in good fun. One day her idea of good fun might not mesh with mine.
Obedience training is also a very good idea.

I had looked into that, but cant find any that I'm comfortable with. They all seem to want the dog to submit. I'd rather not have a dog quite frankly, than have it submissive. It would give me no pleasure. A couple of trainers work at the leash free park (dumb choice IMO) and though it may not BE what they are doing, but it sure LOOKS like they are trying to break their spirit. Its very unpleasant to watch- it makes wanna hug my dog.
In a relationship where one party has all the power and the other party is helpless and dependant, I dont think intimidation or coercion is acceptable under any circumstances. I feel very strongly about that (I work with people who have profound disabilities).
I'm sorry if I sound like someone who asks for advice and then refuses to take it, but I really do want positive gentle methods. I may sound like a soft touch but you know over here in my corner of the world a lot of the normal training/ rearing practices used in other parts of the world would land you in court. So you see coming from a background where anything harsher than a choke chain is illegal ( and you rarely see those except on Rotteilers Bull Terriers whose owners want them to appear tough), and where you cannot declaw cats or dock puppies tails, many training techniques simply horrify me.
I saw someone hit their dog the other week, while at the beach and I couldn't believe it. Right there in front of everybody- I haven't seen that since I was a kid. She was approached by a few people- one told her what she thought of her (saved me the trouble) and the others all gave helpful advice (like dont bring your dog to an offleash beach if you dont want it to play with other dogs!).
I have been told by my vet that I cant bring this dog up (from interstate) for at least two weeks as my girl has had surgery very recently and it was more serious than I realised. She has to be kept quiet for 2 weeks. She has been kept quiet for 2 days so far and we are both feeling it keenly! Emotion: sad

But, that does give me two weeks to figure something out! There has to be a bunch of pro-active strategies I can use. There has to be!

Regards,
RRR
Top posting just to say thanks for the great post - it's a keeper!
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