bringing 2 dogs new to the home at the same time.

by Sheena
(Clinton, IL)

I have read many of the other posts on behavior issues and found some great advice.

I am also dealing with behavior issues of two dogs that are new to our household. We have the 8 week old female rottie (Chloe) and the 1.5 year old male french bulldog/pitt mix (Yoda). Yoda and Chloe were brought into the house on the same day (yesterday) and immediately we were dealing with issues of Yoda trying to assert dominance over her.

This could be anything from him laying on top of her, him standing over her, him humping her, him peeing on her. We let them play and rough house most of the time, watching, that way they can feel each other out and develop their roles. But when we have to intervene we reprimand them both. When we praise, we praise them both at the same time. We are not worried about Chloe's background as I got her immediately as a puppy and knew her previous owner. But we don't know Yoda's background. He was a rescue dog and we do know he has issues with male dominance.

Do you think it would be too soon to get them involved in professional training classes so we as owners can learn how to handle the behaviors? Or do you think it would be better to wait awhile and see if they can work this out on their own?

Hi Sheena
This is a tricky situation and it's definitely going to take some time for these two to figure out their interaction, and for you to see what the more long-term relationship is going to be like.

As you have a m/f and adult/puppy combination, hopefully they will be ale to work it out between them and things will settle down. I think you're approaching it in the right way for now and as long as you protect Chloe (I don't know how much bigger than her Yoda is) if it gets too rough, no one is likely to get hurt at this point. But I wouldn't leave them alone together unsupervised for now.

Chloe shouldn't be exposed to other dogs until she's had all her puppy vaccinations, but I would recommend getting Yoda into a formal obedience class right away. You will need to let them know if he has male/male aggression or dominance issues and that you are not sure of his background when you call them. An evaluation might be recommended, or they may just say 'bring him along and we'll take it as it comes'. Schools differ in their approach sometimes.

You've got a lot on your plate right now and it may be a bit of a rocky adjustment period, but with patience, supervision, training and lots of love you should be able to make this work.

I wish you lots of luck and hope your little family is soon a more peaceful one!

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