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Heart vs head dilema

Discussion in 'Dog Chat' started by LexiLou2, Apr 4, 2011.


  1. LexiLou2

    LexiLou2 PetForums VIP

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    Bear with me this could be a long one...I have a 2 year old spayed staff bitch who is loved spoilt and adored. She is well looked after well trained well exercised, dog friendly people friendly and well socilaised.

    My other half's mum has a heinz 57 I am certain he has staff in him somewhere, a terrier of some form and i think collie plus some others. He is three (ish) up until may 2010 she lived in a house with a big garden so he ran around there until his hearts content. However she has now moved to a bungalow with no garden but she doesn't walk him....ever. As a result the poor dog is getting so depressed, he has basic training, he can sit and doesn't destroy the house he can be left and is house trained, that's where it stops, he has no recall and can't do anything else, he still mouths and jumps up at everyone, and now due to lack of exercise when he does go out he barks at everyone dogs people anything, but it is excitement.

    She has finally agreed to think about rehoming and a big part of me would love to take him on as i know he could be a wonderful dog (he's a bit overweight too at the min) but i think he would take to agility brilliantly (Lexi, my staff hates agility, loves flyball but will not do agility) I know he would take a lot of work and i am prepared for that.

    They have been walked together on extendable leads, Lexi jumps all over him and he tends to ignore her but i think thats because he is so excited about being out of the house. They have never been offlead together, infact he has never been offlead anywhere but a garden ever.

    He is castrated.

    Could this work? Could i bring this dog into our home, how do i make my dog accept him with no issues? I have a dog trainer who I'd trust with my life so I am going to ask for her help but just wanted your opinions.
    I'm very nervous as he is obviously very bouncy and so is Lexi and I'm worried if i don't do it properly it could end up with bouncyness becoming ott and ending in agression, or Lexi taking the huff and not liking himbeing in her house.
    When out walking him she isn't bothered if you fuss him as long as she gets a fuss too.

    Any advice?
     
  2. candysmum

    candysmum PetForums VIP

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    sounds like you have a good base plan.

    As long as you make sure everyone that comes into your house pets and strokes Your older dog first so she doesn't feel like shes bing shoved out for the new one.

    Put her food down first then his when you feed, so he knows she is more imporant than him.

    I think going abck to basics with him will help and over time you will get somewhere with him.

    I wouldn't see the harm in bringing him in at all.

    You jyust have to remember she ALWAYS comes before him as she was in the PACK before him. so pecking order she is above him.

    good luck x
     
  3. Johnderondon

    Johnderondon PetForums VIP

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    I'd try a long, long walk and then bring him back for an afternoon visit. See how they cope.


    I think they'll have to establish their own heirachy. It can't be imposed on them. However, in my experience, the bitches are usually at the top.:D
     
  4. bird

    bird PetForums VIP

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    Sounds like it could work very well. :D If you're a little worried, maybe keep up doing the walking together, then for a few days before the dog comes to live with you, bring him into your house and feed them together. That way they both get used to the idea of him being in her house.

    There may be a little argy bargy between the two of them as they settle in (nothing serious just finding each other out), but you get that with dogs that have grown up together too. ;)
     
    Jonesey likes this.
  5. candysmum

    candysmum PetForums VIP

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    What i meant is she needs to not think her mum is pushing her out etc. the dogs will make up their own heriachy but when you bring in a new dog you have to always assure the older dog doesn't feel like shes being replaced.

    When i bring in a new dog i always make sure the older dog gets the strokes first, etc etc.
     
  6. LexiLou2

    LexiLou2 PetForums VIP

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    Thanks they are all brilliant suggestions stupidly i never thought of doing it slowly, we could do it over a week or so, we are lucky enough that his mumlives about half an hour walk away so we could drive down walk them back have him in the house for a little bit then take him home move to having him here and feeding him then take him home etc until we get to the point that he just sleeps over.
    How would you cross that first bridge of having them off lead together, try and find an enclosed secure area to try them together, or just doing it in the house?
     
  7. bird

    bird PetForums VIP

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    Subject to where and what time you walk them, you could do what I did for the first few times off lead. I used a kiddies playground. :eek: No kids in (all at school) shut the gate unclipped the lead and then worked on recall etc. :D
     
  8. cinnamontoast

    cinnamontoast Sois pas chiant, chéri.

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    I say go for it. Take your time, introduce thoroughly, let them play off lead and see how it goes.

    I don't agree with the treat her as pack leader thing: we thought that with Brig, but he was not happy being leader of the pack. He's a natural follower, Zak's a natural leader, they found their own balance and I think that's how it ought to be, without me forcing the heirarchy.
     
  9. LexiLou2

    LexiLou2 PetForums VIP

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    The thing that concerns me a bit is the intro off lead, although he is very good with her on the lead he has never been with another dog off lead as far as we are aware ever, I'm just concerned if it all goes a bit pear shaped.
     
  10. NicoleW

    NicoleW PetForums VIP

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    What about letting them off together on a very long lead and see how that goes?
     
  11. LexiLou2

    LexiLou2 PetForums VIP

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    Hmmm invest in a couple of long lines, thats not a bad idea.... i want one for him anyway if we go for it, because i think he will recall eventually but its going to take some work.
    The more i think about it the more i like the idea its just the logistics of it. He is a lovely dog so friendly and i don't like the idea of him ending up with just anyone but my OH's mum just can't cope with him at all.
     
  12. Lulus mum

    Lulus mum PetForums VIP

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    Agree with all other posts
    Please let us know how things go and thank you for trying to help this poor dog -Im sure he will repay you with lots of love
    from Maureen
     
  13. Sled dog hotel

    Sled dog hotel PetForums VIP

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    When I have introduced any new ones in with the existing, I have always let them meet on neutral ground, took them for a walk then brought them in together. If dogs are going to have a squabble in the early stages before they are intergrated properly, the main things are usually, food,treats,chews,
    toys, attention and confined spaces, and times of hyper excitement like visitors coming.

    Ive always stuck to set meal times, no food left lying around to graze on. From the start always establising a place where they are to forever eat making sure they have a very wide margin of space and even a baby gate between them, supervising and taking the bowls up as soon as finished.
    Things like toys and chews, I never leave lying around, and only giving chews supervised and making sure each have a good space. Attention its best not to overfuss either at first. Ive always made sure that I do some individual training and walks with each too. Two dogs constantly together at least at first can tend not to listen to you otherwise. I also dont tend to shut them intogether in a confined space at first especially in times of hyper excitement.
    In the main I have found that two opposite sexes in general tend to be easier,
    male and female in the main, tend to take a lot more liberties and cheek off each other without it ever getting past a verbal warning here and there.

    It might be best to do things gradually, let them spend more times going out on walks together and let them get comfortable with that, and then after take them both home after one of the meets and walks. If your unsure could you perhaps, take the dog on a foster basis for a couple of days so to speak and see how they get on and how you feel.
     
  14. Malmum

    Malmum PetForums VIP

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    I think it could work and as you don't have to rush things you can see how it goes gradually. You could have him stay over for a night now and then, so as he's not immediately forced onto your girl. You may find she likes having him around. My last two dogs were a bitch jrt and male sbt and they were inseparable, the bitch was always the leader though but not in a nasty way my staff would follow what ever she did - was a lovely friendship.

    As sled dog has said no chews lying around or toys in the beginning, i've had squabbles here over such things in the past and these dogs have grown up together. You have time on your side and can take things slowly. Would be great for this little by have a lovely life again. :)
     
  15. Jonesey

    Jonesey PetForums VIP

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    I think it's wonderful that you want to take him in. I really hope everything works out well.
     
  16. LexiLou2

    LexiLou2 PetForums VIP

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    Sorry couple more questions...
    Chews aren't an issue as Lexi isn't allowed them anyway so we never have them in the house and i can clear her toys away no probs.
    Feeding i can feed them at opposite ends of the kitchen and they will be supervised at all time, may even look at feeding one of them in the garage TBH, i feed raw so two dogs crunching away on chicken drumsticks is not good for my poor kitchen floor but my issue is leaving them, Lexi is always confined to the kitchen when we go out, and she isn't in a crate, however he is crate trained and is shut in a crate when left, can i leave him in the kitchen in a crate and her in the kitchen out of a crate or is that asking for trouble?
    We go on holiday at the start on May so i think my plan of action is between now and May walk them together as much as possible, get them comfortable with each other then once we are back off our hols then we can start introducing him to our house.
    He is ok where he is he just isn't walked and isn't enjoying life but he isn't mistreated so to speak so if it takes 6 wees - 2 months for the transition then so be it.
     
  17. Sled dog hotel

    Sled dog hotel PetForums VIP

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    If he is crate trained and happy in a crate, I should think that would be a perfect solution. As long as it is a heavy duty robust crate. The light ones can be a bit flimsy and sometimes they can become unclipped. I should imagine they would be fine. If you are setting up a crate anyway in the kitchen you could get him used to being fed in there even. If you do feed raw I would deffinately keep them separate to feed though, raw and bones tends to be a highly prized resource.

    Really I think you have the ideal situation to get them introduced slowly, usually when you introduce another dog its either a purchased pup or a rehomed one, so you dont have such luxuries of getting them more used to each other over a long period before getting them to actually live together.

    Agree with them spending time together too, then really taking him on and completing the home introduction and living together after the Hols. That way
    you can concentrate on it fully, and there is going to be no interuptions to the routine, that could cause a set back.
     
  18. LexiLou2

    LexiLou2 PetForums VIP

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    Thank you everyone for your replies, i think we are going to bite the bullet and go for it. For the next 4 weeks until we go on holiday we will walk them together as much as possible, at least three times a week get them used to each other, then have a couple of weeks of introducing him to the house.
    I know its going to be a lot of hard work which i am prepared for and we are lucky that he is already house trained, can be left and does walk on a lead etc.
    Changing his routine may be the hardest at the minute he has food down all day and just grazes, where are lexi has 2 set meal times and if its not eaten it's picked up and taken away, so he will have to change on that, he also has no boundries in his current house where as Lexi does, she is not allowed in bedrooms or on the furniture, so that is going to be hard work, but hopefully we will get there.
    I am goig to try and intorduce him to as many things as possible, but is training and socialising an adult the same as with a puppy, when Lexi was little she went every where with us, she has been kennelled she swims she does flyball tried agilty training courses loads of different things, is it the same rules with an adult.
    I'm not sure if i'm over complicating things, a coupd lof people on here have just gone out and brought a new dog home and everything has been fine, but I think i worry too much.
     
  19. Sled dog hotel

    Sled dog hotel PetForums VIP

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    Feed twice a day will be fine, he will soon get used to it, Will probably be a lot better for it tbh, ones that tend to graze can end up eating a lot more then people think they are, its much better just to give a couple of controlled portions.

    Just take it as it comes and see how he goes, you have an added advantage that you do know the dog and his history, which is a lot more than I have had
    with at least 3 of mine who were adult rescues when they came. They all worked out fine. Just take everything steady and if he does have the odd problem here or there, I should imagine they should be fairly easily overcome.
    The secret is any little behavioural quirks or behaviour you dont want, then dont let anything escalate and get it sorted straight away. Decide what boundaries you want and put that in place right at the beginning.
    I can honestly say the worse dog for behavioural problems I have owned out the 6, was the one and only I brought as an 11 week pup from a breeder. The other 5 were rescues.
     
  20. LexiLou2

    LexiLou2 PetForums VIP

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    Sorry one more question, do you reckon at his age it would be possible to change his name or do you think it would be too confusing?
     
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