Many owners decide to get a second dog as ‘company’ for
the dog they already have. It’s an idea full of good
intentions but can so easily go awry. Once the dogs get
adjusted to each other they are often allowed to ‘play’
If you watch closely you will see that
‘play’ that initially appeared so friendly and benign is
becoming increasingly boisterous (neck biting, pulling
each other to the ground, mouthing etc.).
It is now
only a question of time before one or both of these dogs
learn that other dogs can hurt you. The flame has reached
the blue-touch paper and from heron increasing acts of
aggression will appear.
Initially they will turn
that aggression on the dog they live with but it’s only a
matter of time before any dog can become a target. (The
early signs are growling, barking and lunging at
Whilst this is all very
upsetting it is not incurable but does require a great
deal of determination and commitment from the owner. First
and foremost these two dogs must be separated and on no
account should ever be left together unsupervised.
There is much work to be done reconditioning a reactive
dog to accept unknown dogs.
By far the easier
option is to not to allow things to progress this far. I
regard every new dog that comes into my home as my one and
only dog. He sleeps, walks, trains and plays only with me.
I am his best buddy.
After six months or so,
depending on how his training progresses, I introduce him
carefully to my other dogs (who have already gone through
the same training regime and know exactly how to behave.)
Growling and other signs of aggression are quickly
corrected (sorting out squabbles is my job and mine
alone). I always ensure they are fed in separate areas and
supervise every meal.
Providing I am up to the job
the dogs learn to trust me to ensure their comfort and
safety leaving me to settle all disputes.
stage I start walking the new dog with the Pack to cement
their relationship but sleeping together is strictly
reserved for older dogs who are more interested in a good
nights sleep than falling out.
step-by-step approach to adding a new dog to the household
is by far the easiest way of creating harmony.