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Leerburg Dog Training Q&A Archive Adding a New Dog to Your Home Q&A

Adding a New Dog to Your Home Q&A

Adding a New Dog to Your Home Q&A

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Introducing a New Dog into a Home with Other Dogs

  1. I have a 2.5 month czechoslovakian wolf dog and a 6 months female Husky. The Husky never growled at us until today. What do I need to do? I just ignore it and continue to do what I'm doing? Or put on her the prong collar and reprimand her when she growls to me?

  2. We recently got an 8 week old female Rottie. We currently have a 3 year old female Lab. How do we go about socializing the two? Is there a certain age the puppy should be?

  3. Is there any advice you can give me that will help my terrier not be so afraid of our new shepherd pup and will start to bond with him?

  4. I recently bought a german shepherd/husky mix pup. When things started to settle I took out toys for both, as soon as my husky saw this she took the bone and growled at the new puppy. Now anytime the new puppy comes near her my husky growls. Can this problem be fixed?

  5. Do you think it's a problem for me to handle a bull terrier? For my first dog?

  6. I have a 12 year old mini poodle, who is starting to feel his age. I have a chance to get a little 1 year old female poodle and would like to, but my husband says it may break the older boy's heart. Any words of wisdom?

  7. How and what is the best way to socialize a 2 1/2 year old dog that has not had the exposure early on to people and dogs?

  8. I have always had dogs, usually strays, but never trained or had one as a puppy. I would like to know from A-Z what books or dvds to start with. What are the different philosophies of training and which do you follow?

  9. We are thinking about adopting one of my brothers puppies. We would like to do inside at night and outside during the day. We have a 20' x 20' kennel. My only concern is if we do put her in there if it would have a negative effect on her behavior skills? Also how much time would you recommend for her to run around outside supervised?

  10. We recently got a 4 month old puppy and I was wondering your opinion. I am thinking that we kind of rushed into getting him without really thinking enough about the time that we should spend with him. What are your thoughts on our situation?

  11. A couple of days ago, I bought a puppy from a lady. I think I might have made a mistake. She seems to be afraid of everything. She wont nip at us, she just shakes if we come near her. Any advice would really help, if you can.

  12. Last Saturday we picked up an 11 month old Australian Shepherd / Shih Tzu mix from the SPCA after being spayed. She is a huge handful. Do you think she is the wrong dog for us?

  13. I am having a problem introducing my new dog to my cats, as he is fairly aggressive toward them.  Can you recommend a training video or other anything else, that can help me with this? 

  14. How and when do I introduce our two dogs? What can I do to help the older dog accept the puppy? How can I get the older dog to let another dog sniff him so they can co-exist?

  15. Our old dog is afraid of our new dog. What can we do to fix the situation?

  16. We have three house/garden dogs and three cats. The Pitbull just won't stop trying to catch and kill the cats! How do we control him as we do not wish to have her put down? Would an electric collar work? What about a muzzle?

  17. We are planning to add to our family.  Is it a myth that the best pairings are male-female rather than adopting a dog of the same sex?

  18. We have a recently rescued about 8 months old a female. She became very aggressive with the older female and there has been several attacks. Is something like this possible to fix and how? We’re planning to have her spayed will that help?

  19. Last Saturday we picked up an 11 month old Australian Shepherd / Shih Tzu mix from the SPCA after being spayed... Do you think she is the wrong dog for us?

  20. The puppy I am trying to introduce is a malamute that is 11 weeks old. The older dog does some dominate behavior, he stands over her and follows her around, is this something that I should worry about? Is there anything to worry about or am I just stressing over nothing?

  21. I have three small children and would like to add a puppy?  I have been getting mixed reviews about having a dog with three small kids and that I should wait till the little one is at least 3?  Have you sold dogs in the past to people in my situation and how did it work out?

  22. We have been discussing the possibility of getting 2 miniature schnauzer puppies from a lovely local breeder. The litter is all boys, so I have been fretting over the implications of having 2 male puppies along with our other dog. How do you think this situation will work out?

  23. We are thinking about getting another dog. Do you think our dog can have a relationship with another or is it too late for him. Would it be better to error on the safe side and not get a puppy?

  24. We lead very active lives outside of the house (and take our dog with us) but inside the house we like it quiet and calm. Once we fully establish dominance with this dog we may add to our family and train her and give her a "job," will she be relaxed in the house?

  25. I have a question about your 'no two dogs' article. The first line talks about an example like "no, do not get a second puppy to keep your older dog company," but the article mainly talks about how people shouldn't raise two puppies at the same time. I'm not sure what the distinction is.

  26. Last week I received a rescued Golden Retriever.  His name is "Boy" -- is it too late to change his name in some way?

  27. I took in a Yorkie. She does good when I'm around, but tends to have accidents when I leave the room. What's your suggestion?

  28. I just adopted an American Bulldog. She has never been around cats before and in my reading about American Bulldogs it says they are not good with cats unless they are raised with them. I have a house cat and all my friends are telling me to get rid of the cat or give the dog back. Is there any truth to American Bulldogs not getting along with cats?

  29. We are adopting an English Springer Spaniel dog (about a year old) and she is a perfect fit for our family. We have committed to take her but we are leaving for a week long trip in less that two weeks. Is that just poor training and will confuse her and I should just be patient, or would that immediate exposure with our family and the groundwork training right away be helpful and on the right track? Would you recommend bringing her home for two weeks then to them for a week while we're gone, or just leave her there completely until we get back and can train in earnest?

  30. My 8.5 months old GSD is starting to push where his boundaries are, started to be domineering / guarding his resources / space - not towards me but other dogs. How would you correct the behavior? Do you believe that keeping the Border Collier permanently will affect my GSD's development? I was told its good to have him temporary for some time and train my GSD to accept dog, but not permanently.

  31. I recently took in my sister's dog and my 2 dogs aren't getting along well with the new dog. Can you please help?

  32. We have 5 dogs and are thinking about adding a 6th. Can this puppy be added to our household?

 


1. Question:

Hi,

Yesterday I bought a 2.5 month czechoslovakian wolf dog. I have a 6 months female Husky and she knows that me and my boyfriend are the alpha pair. She never had growled at us, but today, when we gave the food bowl to her, I  did something that I always do to her when she is eating: I pet her. She began growling at me and I said no to her. I've continued to pet her and she tried to bite me and same with my boyfriend. She has never done this to us. I think that she is trying to be alpha because the new arrival pup. I need help... What do I need to do? I just ignore it and continue to do what I'm doing? Or put on her the prong collar and reprimand her when she growls to me? I'm very concerned with about this behavior.

Thanks,
Sara

Answer:

First of all I would read the article we have on the web site about how to correctly introduce a new dog into your home

I would start implementing more structure for your husky, because any time you add a big change to a dog they need reassurance that the rules are the same.  Correcting her with a prong would most likely just add anxiety to her at this point, and I think calm leadership and management of her free time would be much more effective.

Please read this article about becoming an effective pack leader.

This article was written for people like yourself, people who have great intentions but not enough knowledge of pack structure. There are links within the article that will take you to other articles on my web site.

Pack structure and how to live with a dog in your home are the very first issues to deal with whenever you add a new dog to your family or have problems with an existing dog.  We are taking orders for a new DVD that extensively covers the way Ed and I live with dogs in our home.

With the help of the articles and the DVD, you should be able to work through this as long as you are willing to do the work and put in the time it takes.

I hope this helps.

Cindy


2. Question:

I had a question about introducing our new puppy to our older dog.

We recently got an 8 week old female Rottie. We currently have a 3 year old female Lab. How do we go about socializing the two? Is there a certain age the puppy should be? Eventually we want to put two in the kennel together. (Our kennel is large...20 ft by 40 ft.) Any suggestions?

Jacklyn

Answer:

Read the eBook I wrote on HOW TO INTRODUCE A NEW DOG INTO A HOME WITH OTHER
DOGS
.

Here are the DVDs I point people like you to:

Your Puppy 8 Week to 8 Months
Establishing Pack Structure with the Family Dog
Remote Collar Training for the Pet Owner

Kind Regards,
Ed Frawley


3. Question:

Hi Cindy,

I have an urgent dog question I was hoping you can help me out. I have purchased and watched the Leerburg puppy training DVD and went through a few podcasts regarding introducing dogs. Yesterday I brought home a 3 month old German Shepherd puppy and in my home I already have a 2 year old Yorkshire terrier. I introduced them in my front yard with both dog on their leashes. However the problem I'm having is that my terrier is really scared of the German Shepherd puppy and she won't even go anywhere near him. It has been one day and right now my terrier is still avoiding the shepherd pup to a point where the pup will bark fairly aggressively at her. However, the whole time the shepherd is wagging his tail and his tail is always wagging horizontally (not straight up). However, this morning, when I tried to let them sniff each other again the shepherd jumped up onto the terrier and was nipped at by the terrier. I am pretty sure that it wasn't an aggressive bite, I think it was more of a play bite because my shepherd puppy has just been separated from his litter mate and mother.

Is there any advice you can give me that will help the terrier not be so afraid of the shepherd pup and will start to bond with him?

Thank You,
Bob

Answer:

I think you should follow the advice given in the introducing dogs article and podcast. You are trying to rush things too much.

Cindy

Another Question:

Hi Cindy,

Thanks for the responds, so right now the best thing for me to do is keep the two dogs separated in the house and let my terrier to continue on doing her own thing? Then everyday, I let the two dogs see each other in the yard for a short moment? Today things did got a little better, my terrier is starting to look at the GSD pup from a distance, however she is still very nervous about approaching him and will refuse to do so if anyone tries to bring her close to the GSD pup. I guess I just let things continue on the way it was today? Also should I try to encourage my terrier to approach the puppy?

Also is there any advice you can give me to somehow show my terrier that the GSD puppy is not here to harm her and to take over her home? I just need a way to give my terrier some confidence to approach the puppy.

Once again, thank you so much.

Bob

Another Answer:

You should do exactly as the article tells you, and never try to force or encourage your older dog to do something she isn't comfortable with. I'm not sure why you think your older dog needs to bond with the pup, because that's actually the opposite of what we believe.

We want our dogs to tolerate each other but our goal is not for our dogs to look to each other for fun and bonding. Some of our dogs enjoy each other and some of them just co-exist peacefully. As long as there is no fighting and they all respect us first then it's fine.

Keep them separated and let the older dog get used to the idea that the pup is there, and then do as the article says for actual introductions.

I would also make sure you are working on groundwork with your new dog so the pup doesn't become overly attached and fixated on the older dog.

Cindy


4. Question:

Hello,

I'm having trouble with my 6 month old siberian husky. I recently bought a german shepherd/husky mix about 6 months also (new puppy). At first everything was fine my husky loved the new puppy they played forever. Finally when things started to settle I took out toys for both of them I gave the husky her toy and the new puppy his, as soon as my husky saw this she took the bone and growled at the new puppy. Now anytime the new puppy comes near her my husky growls at the new puppy. Our new puppy is a little scared but seems to be provoking the husky also.

Can this problem be fixed?  I have had a lot of people tell me to let them fight it out and establish the alpha.  I wanted to read up before doing this.

Answer:

You have made a serious mistake in how you introduced and how you allow these dogs to interact. I wrote a very good eBook on how to introduce a new dog into a home with other dogs. This will detail how to do it and your mistakes will become evident. http://leerburg.com/dogtrainingebooks.htm

Bottom line is toys are triggers for dog fights and unless you establish pack structure, train these dogs correctly and manage their living environment you will have problems.

The DVD's that TEACH YOU THESE THINGS ARE:

Basic Dog Obedience
Establishing Pack Structure with the Family Dog

Kind Regards,
Ed Frawley


5. Question:

Greetings from Norway.

My name is Kenneth, I am 22 years old and I am used to having a dog in my family. My mom has a dog, and my sister has a dog. But I have never had my own dog. I loaned a couple of your movies from a friend, and they are very good.

The dog race I want to buy is an English bull terrier, I've heard they are quite stubborn and often dominant. I have seen your DVD on dominant dogs. But I don't really know what I am getting myself in with buying a bull terrier. Do you have any experience with that race? You say that your training isn't race specific, so I should be able to train a bull terrier just as good, but it may take some more time..  And I also want a german shephard, my sister has one, and I know you breed them. But I can't decide. Do you think it's a problem for me to handle a bull terrier? For my first dog?

Regards,
Kenneth

Answer:

I think when selecting a breed of dog for yourself, it’s best to get as much knowledge of the good and bad points of each breed before you decide.  Do lots of reading and visit breeders or dog shows if you can.  There is really no way for me to say if you are equipped to handle your chosen breed but you are certainly doing it the right way by asking questions first.  Most people get a dog on an impulse and then do the research later. 

Regardless of the dog you end up with, the training steps are the same.  Set yourself up to be the leader and establish rules from the very first day and I am sure you and your new dog will have a wonderful life together.

We have a lot of free advice on our website; I would start reading the sections on puppies.

I wish you only the best!  Let me know if I can help you out when you get the new pup.

Cindy


6. Question:

Hi:  I have a sweet 12 year old mini poodle, who is starting to feel his age, with poor vision and hearing, but he remains sweet and funny.  He’s about 30 lbs.

I have a chance to get a little 1 year old female poodle and would like to, but my husband says it may break the older boy's heart.

Any words of wisdom?

Diane

Answer:

An excellent question.

How you introduce your new dog into your home will determine if it is a negative or positive  experience for your old dog. If it is not done correctly it will very easily become a very sad situation for the older dog – but it doesn’t have to be that way. It all comes down to your willingness to understand pack structure. Take it from someone who has done this wrong. 38 years ago when I graduated from college I owned an older GSD. I brought a new puppy into my home and did a terrible job of how I implemented this dog into my home.

I simply brought the puppy in and let it run around. I let it jump all over my old dog. It acted like a puppy. When it got to the point where my old dog got sick of it the old dog growled and snapped at the puppy. I was there and I corrected the snot out of the old dog. That was a huge SCREW UP – from that day forward that puppy terrorized my old dog and she would not do anything to defend herself. I saw it at the time but was too stupid to know how to fix it.

The way to do this is to bring the puppy into your home. Use my pack structure program - Establishing Pack Structure with the Family Dog.

Get two dog crates and use them. Or get one and put the old dog in a separate room when the puppy is loose. There should be NO CONTACT with the old dog and the young dog until the young dog is 7 to 9 months old. The old dog can see the pup in the crate but that’s all. If you allow them to run together and something happens – well you screwed up and YOU caused the problem not the pup.

I don’t allow the pup to be around the older dog until my obedience on the younger pup is good enough to call the pup back to me when she is in a highly distracting situation. If you can’t call this new dog away when she is around your husband or when she is playing with toys then you should not have it near the older dog.

If when you allow them to be together the pup acts inappropriately – YOU NEED TO STEP IN AND CORRECT THE PUP. YOU NEED TO PROTECT YOUR OLD DOG and your old dog needs to know this. This thinking never stops. Not until the day your old dog dies.

You are the PACK LEADER and pack leaders have rules. One of your rules is "no beating up on the old dog." That’s exactly like the pack leaders rule of "Not biting or playing rough with children." Any infringement on this rules had dire consequences. When the old dog sees this it will not be stressed. It will learn to relax around the new dog.

As long as you are consistent with the enforcement of your rules and you control the environment of the pup your old dog will be fine. We always show the older dogs a lot of loving when we bring a new dog into the house. When people ignore the old dog and spend all their time playing with the pup right in front of the old dog they create problems. So try and have most of your interaction be when the old dog isn’t around (at least in the beginning)

I also recommend that you do marker work right off the bat with the pup. Follow the work in my article titled THE POWER OF MARKER TRAINING IN DOGS.

I will say this – no insult intended, but most people with small dogs anthropomorphize their small dogs (treat them like humans – when in fact they are pack animals.) This creates HUGE behavioral problems in dogs. It’s probably the number one reason for behavioral problems in dogs.

Here are the DVD’s I would recommend:

Your Puppy 8 Week to 8 Months
Establishing Pack Structure with the Family Dog
Basic Dog Obedience
Possibly - Remote Collar Training for the Pet Owner

Kind Regards,
Ed Frawley


7. Question:

Hi Cindy!

What a great site you have.

We have recently adopted an adult female GSD. She came from a very loving family going through a divorce that did not have time for her. She is well trained--electric collar, but missed out on much interaction with people outside of the family and very little if any socialization with other dogs. She has bonded with us well--I have a 16 year old son and 18-year old daughter. She does not obey them or my husband as she does me, but so far this is not an issue. She plays and interacts well with them. She is constantly by my side and if I move a muscle she is ready to go. She is a playful and loving dog with us.

We have another smaller old dog--jack russell/beagle mix. After much growling, snarling, snapping and keeping the separate the get along okay. Mostly they ignore each other and only become aggressive when competing for our attention. The GSD seems to exhibit a sort of stalking behavior when smaller children are around and sometimes toward my smaller dog (who I think resents the arrival of this new, big playful oaf). She stares and fixates on my niece and nephew when they visit.
My husband was walking her and she lunged at a child who passed by her on the street.

When we have people over we put her on place to quiet her and allow her to explore and greet the visitors after a few minutes. At that point she is always friendly and happy to have company. We have tried to expose her to other dogs in the neighborhood but when the other dogs--who are friendly--even try to get near her she becomes highly aggressive. At this point we put her in the down position which she assumes immediately and try to just keep the other dog in the vicinity.

I guess my question is--how and what is the best way to socialize a 2 1/2 year old dog that has not had the exposure early on to people and dogs? It is exhausting to be constantly vigilant and we have friends with dogs who would like to come for a visit and bring their pets. Any ideas? She is a wonderful dog but we live in a neighborhood with lots of kid and dogs and it sure would be nice if we could all get along!

Thanks,
Barbara

Answer:

The biggest part of dog ownership is vigilance, especially when you take on an adult dog that has not had the kind of exposure to things you have around your environment.

With a dog like this, I would practice strong leadership ALL the time. When I had guests over and I couldn’t be 100% attentive to her, she would go in a crate. I don’t like to let dogs rehearse unhealthy behaviors like stalking other dogs or kids or showing aggression. I would keep her attention focused on me during walks, and would make sure she doesn’t look at or fixate on dogs or people. Since she knows the electric collar, you could use that on a low level to “tap” her. Sometimes all a dog needs is an interruption of a thought process to settle down.

We have a dvd on using the ecollar.

You don’t mention how long you have had her, but for now I would keep her on a leash and with you all the time, even in the house and ESPECIALLY when you have guests.

Please read this article about becoming an effective pack leader.

I feel that as she becomes more comfortable with your protection and leadership, she will become less aggressive and fixated. You do need to interrupt her when she shows any of that behavior though. Learn to recognize the signs right away and it will be easier for her to overcome.

I hope this helps.

Cindy


8. Question:

I have always had dogs, usually strays, but never trained or had one as a puppy. I would like to know from A-Z what books or dvds to start with. I am trying to do my homework before we get my first puppy. I have children at ages 2, 2 and 9. We currently have a Great Dane, age 6. I would like to get a German Shepard probably in 1 year or maybe 2.
My goal is to have a well trained dog to protect the family, stay in our
1/2 acre yard and be good with the children.

What are the different philosophies of training and which do you follow?

Thanks for any suggestions.

Answer:

It’s nice that you are doing research before getting a dog; I wish everyone would do that!

Here is the link to our video page, and the videos are listed in categories. From puppy to police dog, we have the videos listed for each discipline and training program.

There are also multiple articles on the website along with question & answers, you can use the sidebar to navigate the site. I think if you spend some time reading, you will understand the philosophy.

Please visit our Discussion Forum. There are thousands of members and many posts on every dog related topic imaginable. You don’t have to register to read the material, but if you wish to post a question or reply you must go through the registration process.

It’s a great resource with a lot of experienced trainers who participate. Best of luck to you, and if I can help out once you have selected a pup I’d be glad to!

Cindy


9. Question:

Our 7yr old black lab passed away a month ago. We are thinking about adopting one of my brothers puppies. They are black lab and golden retriever mix. We would like to do inside at night and outside during the day (like our last dog). We have a 20' x 20' kennel. My only concern is if we do put her in there if it would have a negative effect on her behavior skills? Also how much time would you recommend for her to run around outside supervised? My husband and I really want another dog but we want to do it right. We are still debating on getting a puppy versus an older dog. Thanks for your help.

Savanna

Answer:

There is nothing wrong with keeping a pup or dog outside part time and inside the rest of the time AS LONG as you are spending quality time with the dog when you can.

It’s not where the dog lives, but the training and structure you offer the dog.

If you go with a puppy, you will find a lot of good information here.

Make sure to read the Groundwork to becoming your Puppy’s pack leader article.

Best of luck to you!

Cindy


10. Question:

Hello Cindy,

We recently (only been 3 days now) got a 4 month old puppy and I was wondering your opinion. The dog is great in terms of how nice it is, and it seems to already be learning quickly. The issue I was wondering about was the time we spend with the dog. I am thinking that we kind of rushed into getting him without really thinking enough about the time that we should spend with him. My wife and I both work full time and can't really be home in the day time. I can and have been running home on my lunch break since we got him but I can't do this every day.

I was wondering, normally if I cant run home on lunch, he would be in his crate for 9 hours a day, and I am involved in sports sometimes after work and wouldn't be able to let him out maybe for an additional 3 hours on certain days, probably once a week or so. I deeply regret not thinking this through before we purchased him, it was kind of spur of the moment, we saw him and fell in love and didn't use our heads. I want to be fair to the dog so we have been considering returning him.

Since we have only had him 3 days we would like to get this decided as soon as we can before he (and we) get too attached. I appreciate any opinions you have.

Thank you for your time.

Answer:

Hi Bryan

I think you’ve probably answered your own question, just by taking the time to write to me.

From the sound of your schedule and the fact that you are expressing some regrets only a few days into this, it may be best to return the puppy. Dogs need quality time spent with them every day, and I think you and your wife are really busy people that may not have the extra time a dog requires.

The other option would be to hire a dog walker to come in at least once a day to exercise the pup and give him a break from being in a crate.

I hope this helps.

Cindy


11. Question:

Hi Cindy. My name is Katrina. Recently, a couple of days ago, I bought a puppy from a lady. The puppy is a mini Aussie, 5 months old (in 4 days). I think I might have made a mistake.

When I picked her up (I drove 500 miles to get her), she seemed ok. A little scared, but I thought that was normal. Now that we are home, I don't think she was ever around humans before, except to get fed. She will not come to me with kisses or whistling, or anyone else. I put her in the house, and she hides from us and shakes. She wont eat or drink.

She doesn't even want to be around us. She wont lick us or respond at all to us except by hiding. But when we take her outside, she wont leave our side. If my 3 year old daughter goes out, she will stay by her. Same with my husband or myself.

She wants absolutely no physical contact with us. She wants to be left alone. I have another male mini Aussie, and he wasn't like that. They haven't been together yet, so I don't know how she will act to him. I just don't know what to do with her. She's such a beauty, but do you think I should take her back? What would you do?

Thanks!
Katrina

P.S. I tried hot dogs and wet cat food and she wont even smell it. I sometimes wonder if she is deaf because she will not respond to sweet talk or anything. She wont nip at us, she just shakes if we come near her. Any advice would really help, if you can. I've searched the Site and can't find any articles regarding this.

Answer:

It sounds like this puppy is just very stressed. I would be practicing our groundwork program with her, to give her predictable structure and don’t put her in a position where she feels overwhelmed and intimidated.

I would NOT be actively trying to make friends with her, let her make the choice to approach. Whether this dog just has very low confidence or wasn’t ever socialized I would treat her with calm, quiet leadership and be aloof to her. I would never have her out of a crate without a leash on and I would keep her tethered to me at all times or in her crate. Go about your daily business with her attached to you, and let her get used to your presence and routines.

I don’t know what your goals are for this pup, but I would talk to the breeder and get their input as well as to whether this particular dog is a good fit for you. She may just take some additional time to settle in, but it would be worth a conversation with the breeder so they know what’s going on.

Cindy


12. Question:

You came highly recommended by a coworker and I could really use your advice. Last Saturday we picked up an 11 month old Australian Shepherd / Shih Tzu mix from the SPCA after being spayed. I have two girls one 8 and one 12 and a 13 year old cat. So far the cat and dog definitely do not get along and the dog has gone from constant submissive urination to becoming aggressive, hyper and even destructive. Unfortunately, I have had her crated all night and then again during the day while we work.
Last night she was jumping on me trying to rip my sleeves and just being completely defiant. My children are not able to get her out of her crate when they get out come home from school because she will growl and bark at them. She does sit, give her paw and lay down if I have a treat but otherwise she is no good on a leash or listening to anyone. I have enrolled in a beginner class at Pet Smart beginning tonight but I am not sure if it will help. After spending a full night crying due to fear I will need to take her back to the SPCA and just plain frustration at her behavior I thought I would ask your advice if you think there is a chance for her. I am willing to do the work but I do not have a large fenced in yard or a farm. I live in the Phila suburbs and my children have a very active life. If her behavior improves I would love to bring her with us to soccer games etc. Do you think she is the wrong dog for us?

If there is a possibility that she will calm down and be the good family companion I am searching for I would love to purchase some of your videos.

Thank for in advance for your help,
Tara

Answer:

Tara,

There are a number of things I would recommend. You need a crash course in pack structure and obedience.

Read the free ebooks on my web site. Especially the ones on pack structure and "My Philosophy of Dog Training" You need this information.

Frankly the Pet Smart obedience program is a complete and total failure. Fact is it's a joke. They don't teach people about pack structure when 99% of the behavioral problems dogs have relate back to that - yours certainly does. They don't incorporate corrections into their training program (read my free ebook on this) and as a general rule their so called instructors completely lack experience and training skills. But then you will find this out.

If you choose to keep this dog get these DVDs:

Basic Dog Obedience

Establishing Pack Structure with the Family Dog

Start this dog on marker training. Study the details (become a mast of the details) on this program. They are outlined in a training article on my web site.

Keep this dog crated in the house. When its out of the crate keep it on a leash while in the house. The leash needs to be tied to you. Where you go this dog goes. When your too busy for it - back into the crate. (pack structure training)

Read the article I wrote titled PREVENTING DOG BITES IN CHILDREN. It is in a free eBook on my site. It will help you.

After you have gone through the obedience work you should finish your training with a remote collar - Read the description.

There is a learning curve to owning and training a dog - if you choose to learn then you can make this work.

Kind Regards,
Ed


13. Question:

Hi,

I just adopted an intact 5-yr old male German Shep who, I'm told, is Level 3 Schutzhund-trained.  He's been retired due to an injury.  I am having him neutered in the next 2 weeks.

I am having a problem introducing him to my cats, as he is fairly aggressive toward them.  Can you recommend a training video or other anything else, that can help me with this?  I am reluctant to use shock collars and other extreme measures.  My goal is to get him to be friendly with the cats, not fearful of them.  Is this even doable?

Thanks.
Michele

Answer:

I wrote an article on my web site about how to introduce new dogs into a home with cats. This is s a start. 

When I purchase new adult dogs – no matter how much training they have I need to establish rank and pack order. I want to do this without conflict and stress. I teach people who to do this in my dvd - Establishing Pack Structure with the Family Dog.

During the pack structure program I introduce Marker Training to the dog. This is also a non-conflict methods of working with a dog. But with this said I always finish a dog with a remote collar. It provides a level of off leash control that is impossible any other way. The key to this work is learning to lose low level stimulation – levels that you and I may not even feel. I introduce people to this in my remote collar dvd.

We recommend and use  Dogtra 280ncp collars

I hope this helps.

Kind Regards,
Ed Frawley


14. Question:

I have your videos on Pack Structure, Puppy 8 weeks to 8 Months, and Basic Obedience, have read your articles and tried to find this on the discussion board but have been unable to do so.

First, I am a former math teacher and have had a lot of experience with teenage boys and a normal amount of experience with dogs. Your training methods for dogs are just what I applied in the classroom. I am retired and spend most of my time with the dogs. My husband is a pack member but he doesn't do any of the training, walking or grooming. No small children or grandchildren in the picture.

I have an almost 3 yr, old neutered male Bouvier that has very low pack drive, is passive and really has no desire to please. He is food oriented but really doesn't like to play with toys. He would like to play physically by running and body slamming but this is not allowed. He and I have bonded and he does see me as the pack leader. I have control of him both at home and when we are away from home. Most of the time he isn't interested in being petted or touched but he keeps me in sight. He can be loose in the house and has never done any damage to anything. In fact, he has never even gone up our stairs. I told him no when he was a puppy and he has made no attempt since. Other than walking we do basic obedience, some agility but his real love is herding. I am learning since he will not work for any of the instructors.

He is rarely around other dogs. One of his litter mates herds at the same facility and occasionally they will play together for short periods. This consists of running and chasing with a few body slams. On the few occasions we needed to be away for a couple of days he spent the time at the breeders.

We now have a 11 week old male Bouvier puppy. (he will be neutered too). In the house he is either in his crate or in a contained play area. He is never loose and other than walking by doesn't interact with the older dog. I take them outside to potty at different times and during play time they are separated. He is a much harder dog. He is food motivated but loves his toys too.

The older dog will sniff the puppy through the crate, nose and rear end and there is no reaction from either. However, if the puppy even walks by the older dog he jumps away. I don't let the puppy touch the older dog and try to keep him at a reasonable distance. There have never been any signs of aggression in fact it seems as though the older dog goes into a play bow. I have now realized that our older dog has NEVER let his litter mate or any of the dogs at the breeders kennel sniff him in the rear, he always jumps away. Looking back I can see this was happening even when we were deciding on him as a puppy. In my opinion he never really interacted well with his litter mates. The breeder said we just saw isolated times but having lived with him for the past three years I think this has always happened.

Finally the questions. How and when do I introduce our two dogs? What can I do to help the older dog accept the puppy? How can I get the older dog to let another dog sniff him so they can co-exist. I ask because our son will be coming with his dog (the dog rules the household) for about a month and I would like them to be able to play together on a limited basis.

I want to thank you in advance for your help. The trainers I have gone to said to just force the older dog to stand there and let the puppy sniff him at will. Although I could do that it doesn't seem right to me. Perhaps it is but I think there is a larger issue at stake.

Nancy
Washington

Answer:

We have a section on the website for how to introduce dogs. We also have a q & a section on this.

We have recently added a search toolbar on the web site. If you spend some time using this (located in the upper left hand corner of the web site) you will find many useful articles and posts that address all the problems you are having.

It sounds like your dog doesn't have much pack drive for humans or other animals, so I would keep in mind that there is no law that says dogs need to be friends or play together. I am happy for neutral behavior between my own dogs. I don't tolerate aggression but I also won't let my antisocial dog be bothered by the others we have here. I try to respect her preference of being left alone and will get after my other dogs if they invade her space.

The trainers who gave advice to FORCE him to tolerate sniffing have a lot to learn about dog behavior! That kind of advice is plain wrong and can be dangerous. You have good instincts to question that kind of thing.

I hope this has helped.

Cindy


15. Question:

We are owners of a Cavalier King Charles 2 year old female. We have been discussing the prospect of adding a “buddy” for her to our home and finally decided that it was time. We also decided it would be a rescue from the Cavalier Rescue of Chicago.

About 10 days ago we drove with our dog (Sophie) to the foster home to meet Merlin (male 2 years old). The foster home had 3 other cavaliers in the home so everyone was at ease when we introduced Sophie. The immediate attention to one another was a good sign and there was no aggression whatsoever, but it was evident by Sophie’s “humping” that she was exerting dominance, at least in that environment. We spent about 2 hours there and then left. The following weekend (3 days ago) we went to pick Merlin up. After a good length of time we left the home with Merlin in a crate in the car and Sophie in her dog bed. The 2 hour drive home was uneventful.

After we arrived home we took them both for a long walk before returning to the home for the first time. We went in first and then allowed them in. Sophie went straight for her water bowl while Merlin explored. Other than that not much happened. That evening we crated Merlin in our room while allowing Sophie to sleep in her bed which is also in our room.

Merlin has absolutely no anxiety issues and has taken to his new home rapidly but starting early yesterday it’s as if somebody has stolen Sophie’s personality. She has become spooked, withdrawn, and lethargic and wants nothing to do with anything. When Merlin is around she tries to hide or cowers in the corner. Last evening we crated Merlin in out spare room for the night instead of our room and this morning Sophie seemed fine, for all of about 5 minutes, then we let Merlin out and she is scared stiff and immediately depressed. They have both had separate long walks today and we have separated them, Sophie in with me while I work and Merlin in with Julie while she works. We have taken them on a dual walk today to our local pet store which Sophie knows well and she was back to normal while in the shop. We know the owner and he gave us some assurances but I need as much advise as I can get.

We just brought out Merlin to my work area and although hesitant and looking to move to a corner, Sophie has settled by me (very close) and they are both resting. However she shook for several minutes before settling down.

So it seems we have the opposite of most of what I read about dogs fighting when introductions are made with a new dog. We have a new dog introduction in Merlin who is bouncing around and loving his new place but resident dog has lost all her zest and wants nothing to do with fun and sleeps and hides when Merlin is around. There has been no aggression on either side and I’m hoping this is just a phase. If it’s not we don’t want to lose our dog to this new side we are seeing and if this is to be the case long term will most likely consider returning the rescue to the breeder who was fostering her.

Thank you in advance for any advice you can give.

Cheers,
Boyd

PS. Both are fixed, Sophie & Merlin around between 16 & 18 pounds, we are good dog owners and do not let them rule the roost whether walking them (we keep them slightly behind us) or in the home.

Answer:

We have an entire section on the website on the proper way to introduce a new dog into your home. Your dog Sophie is stressed and you are allowing this new dog to have WAY too much freedom. It’s terribly unfair to bring a new dog into a home and because there is no aggression shown, just let the new dog wander around.

Here is the article you need to read and follow. It doesn’t matter that you have already started things incorrectly, you can start over today.

We also have a Q & A on adding a dog to the family.

In the future, I would direct you to the search function in the upper left corner of the website. If you type in your key words it will guide you to articles, Q & A's and posts on our forum.

I hope this helps.

Cindy


16. Question:

Hi There.

I found your website while trolling for ways to control or train a new to our house Pitbull. We rescued her a few days ago and she is slowly putting weight back on, just skin and bones when we caught her, which wasn't hard!

We already have three house/garden dogs and three cats. The Pitbull, now named Harley, just won't stop trying to catch and kill the cats! How do we control Harley as we do not wish to have her put down? Would an electric collar work? What about a muzzle?

Any suggestions would be welcome.

Many thanks for your time

Caius

Answer:

I’d start with our Groundwork programPack Structure for the Family Pet is the DVD that picks up where the article leaves off.

I’d also recommend this article on how to introduce dogs into a home with cats.

I hope this helps.

Cindy


17. Question:

Cindy –

We are planning to add to our family.  Currently, we have a 3 year old, spayed female GSD who we purchased from the breeder when she was 9 weeks old.  Raven is very sweet and “soft” in temperament – definitely not an alpha female.  With the increase in home foreclosures, loss of jobs, etc., we feel as though it would be more socially responsible to adopt a rescue dog.

My question is this – is it a myth that the best pairings are male-female rather than adopting a dog of the same sex?  Everyone (rescue people, breeders, and vets alike) all have differing opinions.  I would definitely NOT adopt an alpha of any sex, mainly because Raven was our “first dog” and I believe that she has earned her “top dog” status.  However, I do want to ensure a successful of pairing as possible.  At this point, I am looking at a 7 month submissive male GSD, a 6 year old submissive female GSD, and a 7 month old submissive male Anatolian/Great Pyr. Mix.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks!

Sue in Cleveland, Ohio

Answer:

It’s usually best to have an opposite sex pair. Female/female fights are the worst.  Just because a dog is submissive at the shelter, is not a guarantee that the dog will remain that way when it feels settled in at a new home.  There is a “honeymoon” period with rescue dogs, usually about a month or so. I get a lot of emails from people who adopt a dog, it behaves beautifully so they don’t establish clear leadership from day one and all of a sudden they have a lot of behavioral problems on their hands.  The dogs settle in and start pushing the envelope, which is completely normal and expected dog behavior.

Whatever dog you end up with I would read and follow this article on Introducing Dogs. There are links to other helpful articles and training materials there also.

I would direct you to the search function in the upper left corner of the web site for any additional questions you may have. If you type in your key words it will guide you to articles, Q & A’s and posts on our forum. 

I hope this helps.

Cindy


18. Question:

Hi

Perhaps you could give some very desperate owners some advice on how to handle this?

We have three rescue dogs two about twelve; male and female one recently rescued about 8 months old a female…just over her first heat. She became very aggressive with the older female, she has established her dominance but still there has been several attacks and the last few were bloody ones and harmful to the older female.

Is something like this possible to fix and how? We’re planning to have her spayed will that help?

Our vet said to separate them and that the spaying probably won’t help the situation. Another professional dog trainer said to beat her if that doesn’t help get rid of her and our dog trainer said to spray pepper mace in her face. These are all very old school, we don’t beat our dogs.

I’m looking for an answer, getting rid of a dog is something we don’t won’t to do that’s the soul purpose of rescuing these animals.

Thank you in advance for any help!

Barbaranne

Answer:

You need to listen to this vet. The dog needs to be separated from the other dogs with a dog crate. They should not be together. This is not a big deal – we have dogs that we would not consider allowing them to be together.

You misrepresented the person who told you to beat the dog. This is a not professional – it’s a fool who lacks experience. Do your dogs a favor – don’t every go back to this person.

I can’t tell you if this dog will every co-exist out of a crate with this dog. When you add a third dog you own a dog pack and this ALWAYS elevates pack and rank drives.

I would recommend that you educate yourself with several of the DVDs I have produced:

Establishing Pack Structure with the Family Dog

Basic Dog Obedience

Remote Collar Training for the Pet Owner

Kind Regards,
Ed


19. Question:

You came highly recommended by a coworker and I could really use your advice. Last Saturday we picked up an 11 month old Australian Shepherd / Shih Tzu mix from the SPCA after being spayed. I have two girls one 8 and one 12 and a 13 year old cat. So far the cat and dog definitely do not get along and the dog has gone from constant submissive urination to becoming aggressive, hyper and even destructive. Unfortunately, I have had her crated all night and then again during the day while we work.

Last night she was jumping on me trying to rip my sleeves and just being completely defiant. My children are not able to get her out of her crate when they get out come home from school because she will growl and bark at them. She does sit, give her paw and lay down if I have a treat but otherwise she is no good on a leash or listening to anyone. I have enrolled in a beginner class at Pet Smart beginning tonight but I am not sure if it will help. After spending a full night crying due to fear I will need to take her back to the SPCA and just plain frustration at her behavior I thought I would ask your advice if you think there is a chance for her. I am willing to do the work but I do not have a large fenced in yard or a farm. I live in the Phila suburbs and my children have a very active life. If her behavior improves I would love to bring her with us to soccer games etc. Do you think she is the wrong dog for us?

If there is a possibility that she will calm down and be the good family companion I am searching for I would love to purchase some of your videos.

Thank for in advance for your help,
Tara

Answer:

Tara,

There are a number of things I would recommend. You need a crash course in pack structure and obedience.

Read the free eBooks on my web site. Especially the ones on pack structure and "My Philosophy of Dog Training." You need this information.

Frankly the Pet Smart obedience program is a complete and total failure. Fact is it's a joke. They don't teach people about pack structure when 99% of the behavioral problems dogs have relate back to that - yours certainly does. They don't incorporate corrections into their training program (read my free ebook on this) and as a general rule their so called instructors completely lack experience and training skills. But then you will find this out.

If you choose to keep this dog get these DVDs:

Basic Dog Obedience

Establishing Pack Structure with the Family Dog

Start this dog on marker training. Study the details (become a mast of the details) on this program. They are outlined in a training article on my web site.

Keep this dog crated in the house. When its out of the crate keep it on a leash while in the house. The leash needs to be tied to you. Where you go this dog goes. When your too busy for it - back into the crate. (pack structure training)

Read the article I wrote titled PREVENTING DOG BITES IN CHILDREN. Its in a free ebook on my site. It will help you.

After you have gone through the obedience work you should finish your training with a remote collar - Read the description.

There is a learning curve to owning and training a dog - if you choose to learn then you can make this work.

Kind Regards,
Ed


20. Question:

Hello,

I have read most of your articles on bringing a dog into a home with other dogs, I have not been able to discover your suggestion on what to do if you have a new puppy. I have 3 dogs a 12 year old, a 7 year old, and a 3 year, these are the dogs that I have had for years I have raised all these dogs from less then a year old most since they were puppies. The 3 year old is the only one that I have questions on, he is a malamute and he is a big baby. The puppy I am trying to introduce is a malamute that is 11 weeks old. The older dog does some dominate behavior, he stands over her and follows her around, is this something that I should worry about? The other thing that I am worried about is the older dog keeps trying to play with the little one, he nips, pushes, and does not let up when she yelps. He is not hurting her, he just does not stop. Another thing is he drools A LOT, I have rarely seen him do this, is this something I should worry about. The other two dogs are ignoring the little puppy, which, from what I have read means they have accepted her. Is there anything to worry about or am I just stressing over nothing?

Thank you,
Bradley

Answer:

Our article on becoming your puppies pack leader covers how we add new pups to our home.

I would NOT allow any contact between your other dogs and the puppy, this should not be happening at all. You need to work on pack structure with your older dogs, so they understand the pup is off limits but at the same time let the pup know that bugging the other dogs is not allowed. All dogs should have crates and they should be used to control interactions with the older dogs and the pup.

The dominant behavior and drooling (unless it’s a medical issue) are big warning signs that you need to maintain more structure for the dogs. I’d have the vet check the drooling dog’s mouth, teeth and throat just to make sure there isn’t a medical problem. Drooling can be a sign of anxiety or stress, or can be seen when dogs are fixated on something. I would stop this dog from having any contact with your puppy immediately.

I would direct you to the search function in the upper left corner of the website for any additional questions you may have. If you type in your key words it will guide you to articles, Q & A’s and posts on our forum. 

I hope this helps.

Cindy


21. Question:

Been a long time fan of your kennel and training methods.  Have a question that I would like your expert opinion on.  My wife and I have three small children 5,3,1 and would like to add a puppy to this mix?  I have been getting mixed reviews about having a dog with three small kids and that I should wait till the little one is at least 3?  My question too you is have you sold dogs in the past to people in my situation and how did it work out.  We have narrowed down the search to with a GSD or a Bernese Mountain Dog

Thank You,
John

Answer:

I’ve found that the success or failure of adding a puppy or dog to a home has less to do with the number and ages of the kids, and more to do with the level of time, training and leadership the adults in the house have to devote to a dog. 

Realize that a large working energetic breed is going to have a large exercise requirement in comparison with a smaller, lower energy type of dog. My dogs require a couple of hours of structured exercise every day, and would be hard to manage without it.  When my son was small I don’t know how I would have managed meeting all their needs on a daily basis. In my opinion, many people have unrealistic expectations from a dog and as the pup grows and hits adolescence things can sometimes be challenging to manage, even without small kids in the mix.  There are also a huge number of families that do a wonderful job raising a pup in a multi kid family.  I think education and realistic expectations are the key.

We have a section on the website that deals with dogs & kids.

My hat is off to you for doing the research ahead of time, more people should do this!  If you get a pup and need some help choosing training materials or equipment, please don’t hesitate to contact me.  I hope this helps.

Cindy


22. Question:

I have been reading many of your responses to questions about raising 2 puppies at once, and still have some outstanding concerns about my own situation before committing to adopting a couple of new family members.

Up until a couple of months ago, I had 2 miniature schnauzers, Basil (13 years old) and Oscar (8 years old). Oscar succumbed to a rapid cancer a couple of months ago and passed away peacefully thanks to our loving vets.

Basil was raised from a puppy with our previous mini schnauzer Nelson, who died when Basil was 5 years old. Basil, being the emotional little dog, suffered greatly from the loss of his older friend Nelson, so we quickly got Oscar. The addition of the puppy Oscar changed Basil's temperament from a frisky and playful young dog to a wise and gentle older 'sibling' for Oscar.

With the loss of Oscar, Basil is once again 'lost'. He was already quite senile in his old age, forgetting where he is at times, and now his whole life revolves around finding a family member and following them around.

We have been discussing the possibility of getting 2 miniature schnauzer puppies from a lovely local breeder. The litter is all boys, so I have been fretting over the implications of having 2 male puppies along with Basil.

The additional care and attention has never been an issue. Our dogs are are lives and we give up as much time is necessary to ensure our dogs are properly socialized and never go without attention.

Would having Basil, an older, gentle, yet dominant influence guide the development of 2 puppies, or would we face the same issues you discuss about raising 2 puppies.

When Basil eventually passes away, would the "power vacuum" cause problems in fighting for dominance? Or is it likely that they will find an order amongst themselves within the current structure, having Basil as a superior figure and ourselves as their leaders?

Your take on this matter would be hugely appreciated. It has been a terrible time for our family, yet is also a new chapter, and we are lucky enough to have such a complex dog such as Basil, who has happily adopted both subordinate roles and then a parental figure to Oscar when he was needed.

Many thanks,
Ed
Perth, Australia.

Answer:

Adding 2 dogs of the exact same age isn't what I would recommend.

If you do indeed think you need to have a couple of new dogs, I'd recommend adding one now and the second on in a year or so. Raising two pups that are littermates creates different dynamics that may not be the best thing for your Basil especially at his age. I've seen the addition of a young pup to rejuvenate an old dog, but adding 2 at the same time may be overwhelming for him.

Cindy

Thanks:

It sounds like wise advice. I think we'll end up taking your advice and getting one pup.

I really appreciate your reply and the great work you do through your website. I'm sure there are so many others out there who are as grateful as I am for your support.

Ed


23. Question:

I need your help in making the right decision. We have a large bullmastiff that is a 4 year old male. When we brought him into our family we had a male black lab who was 9 years and a female golden retriever who was 7. They adjusted to the bullmastiff just fine. The male black lab was the dominant dog and there was never any trouble with fighting. In fact, the bullmastiff would pretty much bow down to the lab. He played regularly with the golden. Last November we had to put the black lab down because of old age and health problems, and just recently last month we also had to put down the golden retriever. They were 13 and 11. The bullmastiff would always cuddle the golden when they slept. They all slept together in the basement. They got along very well. The bullmastiff acts still like a puppy and requires a lot of love and companionship. 

On two occasions neighbors dogs have entered our yard and inside our garage. On both occasions the bullmastiff attacked the intruding dogs to the point where it was almost impossible to control him. When dogs are outside our fence he shows a lot of aggression. After the lab was put down, the golden went to the fence to bark at a dog on the other side of the fence and the bullmastiff attacked our golden and drew blood.  It was as though he was stopping her from barking near the fence--that was his job. But it was very ugly. It hurt to see him attack his own sister. Also, when the golden got shaved once and was brought home he almost attacked her because he didn't recognize her. Luckily my husband intervened. She was drastically shaved and had a handkerchief around her neck which she had never had before. 

Now that the other dogs are gone we feel he needs company, however, I am so afraid that he will hurt a puppy. He is very large. And I don't know if I could ever trust him with another dog. Do you think he can have a relationship with another dog or is it too late for him. Would it be better to error on the safe side and not get a puppy? We've been told if we do we need to get a female. But he did attack his own sister that one time and I just don't know. Do you have any advise for us?

Answer:

It’s a misconception that dogs need other dogs for company, if they are getting their needs met by their owners.

If you do choose to try adding a puppy to your household, the first thing to do is make sure you have good pack structure in place LONG BEFORE you complicate things by adding another dog.

Start with our groundwork program and this video Pack Structure for the Family Pet.

I ‘d recommend this video too, so you have a way to deal with him if he does show aggressive behavior. Dealing with Dominant & Aggressive Dogs

I would only suggest a female pup, as same sex pairs are much more likely to fight.

From your email, I am doubtful that your bullmastiff every really looked at the humans in your house as his leaders.  It sounds like you let the dogs live in a pack type situation with very little intervention on their interactions with each other.  This sets up dogs to behave in a way that may not be what is best for them, they need rules and structure from the humans in the house.

If you do weigh the pros and cons of adding a new pup and decide to do so, read the article Ed wrote on how to properly introduce dogs

We also have a number of free eBooks that may interest you. 

I’d also direct you to the search function in the upper left corner of the website.  It will find posts, articles and Q & A’s that deal with your search terms.

I hope this helps.
Cindy


24. Question:

Great website!  I have read a great deal of the information on your website (and used the techniques on or first dog) but I still have a question. Let me explain:
 
Yesterday my husband and I went to look at a new dog to adopt. We already have a submissive, wonderful and laid-back Belgian Malinios / Lab mix, as well as a pretty fearless cat. The new dog, Heidi, is a Dutch Shepherd and about a year old. We went to the the previous owner's house and immediately saw the dog displaying intense and somewhat neurotic, as well as dominant behavior towards it's owners, towards us (trying to nip at our faces when we looked it in the eye or got in "its space") and to their other dog, a GSD. The previous owner did nothing to deter Heidi and it was obvious that the owner was not a pack leader AT ALL. Heidi had spent most of her life in a crate, with maybe three or four hours of non-crated time each day (during which time she was allowed to tear around the house, or go for a leashed walk where she pulled the entire way). We took her on a fifteen minute walk (without the owner) and, after my husband firmly but calmly displayed his dominance, she walked at his heels and didn't pull at all. It took very little effort on our part to rein her in- she is intensely intelligent and observant- so we decided to bring her home on a trial basis and try to turn her around. 
 
I'm not worried about training her. I'm not worried about how well she will get along with our dog and cat. I am confident that using your techniques (she is currently in the "social isolation" phase), those things will be just fine. I do have one concern. When we saw her at the previous owner's house, the best way I can describe her is *incredibly* intense and super intelligent, almost neurotic and conniving. She did not stop going 500 miles a minute the entire time. We lead very active lives outside of the house (and take our other dog with us) but inside the house we like it quiet and calm. So I'm wondering, once we fully establish dominance and train her and give her a "job," will she be relaxed in the house? I've never seen such an intense dog, so I don't know. Thank you for your help, and any advice! 
 
Davy

Answer:

It’s impossible to say whether you will be able to make this dog a relaxed house dog, but you are going about everything in the right way.  I have 2 very high drive Malinois in the house, and as long as they are exercised and given appropriate outlets for their intelligence and energy they are down right lazy in the house.  I’ve raised them both from puppies, but with proper management I think you can do it.

I’d make sure to challenge her mentally as well as physically; this has a much more profound effect on contentment for dogs like this than physical exercise.

I’d recommend http://leerburg.com/markers.htm

The Power of Training Dogs with Markers

The Power of Training Dogs with Food

Teach her that playing and running around NEVER happens in the house too, this is important. All the rowdy stuff, playing and tugging happen outside.  Many people make the mistake of letting the dogs run around in the house and then wonder why they don’t settle.  Dogs are perfectly capable of following these kinds of parameters as long as you are consistent.

I’d also direct you to the search function in the upper left corner of the website.  It will find posts, articles and Q & A’s that deal with your search terms.

Cindy


25. Question:

Hi Ed,

I really appreciate your online content. I've read a few days worth and still see there is much much more to go.

I have a question about your 'no two dogs' article. The first line talks about an example like "no, do not get a second puppy to keep your older dog company," but the article mainly talks about how people shouldn't raise two puppies at the same time.

I want to make sure if and what the distinction is. I am currently in the approximate position you mention and am taking your advice to heart as much as possible.

Sincerely,
Brian

Answer:

We don't recommend 2 puppies at the same time AND we don't recommend getting a puppy (or second dog) to keep another dog company.

The reason being is that if you want a second dog; get it because you want the responsibility and challenge of raising and training another dog-NOT because you think your first dog needs company (which is rarely the case).


26. Question:

Last week I received a rescued Golden Retriever - age 6-7? Still has a lot of puppy in him.  He needs proper training but is a wonderful dog. His name is "Boy" -- is it too late to change his name in some way?? All I know is that he originally came from a pound in GA and the family moved to PA but were told to give him up. Boy  is the only name he knows so I understand keeping that but, I think, he deserves something a bit more like him. And yes, he is a boy. Eager to hear your suggestions on this issue.

Barbara

Answer:

You can certainly change his name. Just start using his new name a LOT and pair it with a treat. It shouldn’t take him long to figure it out.

Cindy


27. Question:

Here is the history. I've had Yorkie's in the past and they are the very sensitive, loyal, and loveable dogs. As a breed, I don't feel they are the most brilliant, but smart enough if you work with them to catch on to basic tasks and potty training. A couple of months ago, I was in a store and overheard a man talking about a breeding kennel that had a little Yorkie that would not breed and they were getting rid of her. I could tell by the way he talked that she needed a home immediately. I walked up to him and asked for the dog. He dropped the dog off. She was blind in one eye, matted terribly, and stunk so bad you couldn't stand it. From this, I knew her living conditions were awful. Poor thing didn't even know what grass was when I got her. She's a 2 years old and weighs a mere 3 lbs.

Basically, she never leaves my side. We've crate trained her (she stays in this at night and we have a small 4 x 4 penned area around her doggy door leading to the outside potty area. Both dogs stay in the penned area when we are away for short periods. She's done pretty good (some accidents). My mini Schnauzer is her mate and they get along well.

Here is the issue: I work from home and I'm trying to allow her more freedom by letting her have the run of my bedroom while I work. We'll eventually allow her access to the rest of the house. In my bedroom, she can get to her doggy door and outside. If I'm in the room, she will go outside and potty. It seems the only time she uses my carpet, is if I leave the room for a drink, etc and shut her in my bedroom (close the door). She doesn't necessarily try to follow me to the other room....I think it's the closed door she doesn't like, but until I can trust her completely.....I can't allow her the run of the house. What's your suggestion?

I have scolded her for accidents, and learned real quickly not to do that because she regresses and stays hidden in her crate. Now it's a simple "No" when she pees and I carry her outside to her designated potty area. I've also carried the soiled tissue outside and shown it to her. Not sure that helped.

I could put a leash on both of us and have her take every step I take, but then I'm a prisoner. I want her trained...not me. Ha!

Thanks,
Kathy

Answer:

I think you answered your own question, until you can trust her then she can't have the run of the house (or even the run of a room).

You don't mention how long you've had her but it sounds like she's showing her anxiety by being left behind with the closed door. Dogs like security and structure and leaving her loose with no guidance and supervision she is worried. Too many people get in a big hurry to give dogs freedom they don't yet deserve.

Here's the groundwork program we use whenever we get a new dog. Scolding her won't do anything unless YOU CATCH her in the act. It will only diminish the relationship between the two of you. I would disagree with you about keeping her leashed. This is the next step in teaching a dog our rules, they are either in a crate or on a leash attached to us, sometimes for months.

I'd also recommend Pack Structure for the Family Pet and our house training eBook.

I would recommend learning to use our SEARCH function, which is located in the top left corner of every page of the website. If you type in your key words or question it will find you articles, Q & A's, free streaming video and links to threads on our discussion forum.

Cindy


28. Question:

Hello! I just recently adopted a 3 year old American Bulldog. She has never been around cats so introducing her to my cat Bob has made me nervous. I was reading about American Bulldogs and it says that they don’t get along with cats unless they have been around cats and my friends are telling me to get rid of the cat or give the dog back. I just don’t believe that because of a dogs breed they couldn’t get along with a cat. I did read the article about introducing dogs and cats and so far I have been doing everything correctly. Brix (the dog) will stay when I tell her to and just watch Bob (cat). I do not take her leash off and I've been putting the cat in one room for a little while and then putting Brix in a room and letting Bob out. Bob does creep up to her but I tell her to stay cause the second she moves he poofs up and growls at her but she never growls back or barks (still haven't heard her bark yet!) and she shakes a lot. I guess my question is: Is there any truth to American Bulldogs not getting along with cats if they haven't been around them?

Thanks so much!

Destinee

Answer:

Blanket statements like the one you have been told about American Bulldogs are silly.  Most dogs with strong prey drive need to be properly introduced to cats, the breed doesn’t matter. All dogs need training and supervision and leadership.

Ed has written an article about this. Here is a link to the videos we recommend to help you with the training process.

I would recommend learning to use our SEARCH function, which is located in the top left corner of every page of the website. If you type in your key words or question it will find you articles, Q&As, free streaming video and links to threads on our discussion forum.

I hope this helps.

Cindy


29. Question:

Hi Cindy,

You've helped me before and your advice has been right on, so I'm back for more help :) We are adopting an English Springer Spaniel dog (about a year old) and she is a perfect fit for our family. We are so excited to bring her home. I've studied your site and Ed's article on ground work for adult dogs. I plan to follow that advice carefully. The dog comes from a home where they didn't crate train her, free fed her garbage food, and had a doggie door so she's not house trained. I have  a lot of work to do! Thank goodness she already loves the raw food we give her here when she has visited us while we were getting to know her and deciding if she would be a fit for our family.

Here's my question: We have committed to take her but we are leaving for a week long trip in less that two weeks. The previous owners are willing to keep her until we get back. They also are fine if we take her now and bring her back to stay with them while we're gone. I am so anxious to get started on her ground work and to, honestly, just have her home as we really love this dog, that I want to bring her home for the next two weeks and work on groundwork and house and crate training. But then she would  have to go back to her previous home for a week and the bad habits until we got back home. Is that just poor training and will confuse her and I should just be patient, or would that immediate exposure with our family and the groundwork training right away be helpful and on the right track? I hope I've explained this clearly. Would you recommend bringing her home for two weeks then to them for a week while we're gone, or just leave her there completely until we get back and can train in earnest? 

I appreciate your time. You have been so gracious in the past with quick responses and helpful advice. Thank you so much.

L

Answer:

I wouldn’t take the dog home and then put her back in that situation for a week.  It would be too stressful and confusing for her.

I’d wait until you get back and then start up with all the groundwork and training.

Cindy Rhodes


30. Question:

Hi Cindy,
 
I have read many articles on your website and also purchased and viewed (and still viewing) your DVDs. I have currently got a 4th dog, which I was supposed to have in joint-ownership, however it seems that I will have it all by myself unless we return him to the rescue center. I am currently following your advise from DVD Establishing Pack Structure and eArticle Ground work. To Explain, my existing pack (I had all 3 dogs from pups) consists of:
 
1) 3.5 Year old JRT bitch - spayed - which is the Top Bitch - she is obedient, building her confidence at Agility, barker but otherwise she is well socialized with people, dogs and all different situations.
 
2) 3 Year old JRT dog - neutered - very mild temperament, not pushy, doing competitive obedience, again very well socialized with people, dogs, and all different situations.
 
3) 8.5 month old GSD - pure working line, dog, intact (and do not wish to neuter him) - progressing very well in training - obedient on command for his age, increasing distractions, well socialized with people, different situations and environments, good with other dogs while off lead on walks, playful - has good drive & focus and we are starting protection training with him...
 
4) The new rescue dog is 6.5 months old, intact male, border collie - he has lived all his life closed in the house, the former owners did not even had lead and collar for him, under socialized with dogs - but not afraid, does not know how to play, over submissive at the moment, very good with people - progressing lovely in basic commands - in less then 2 weeks we managed recall, fetch, sit and starting down - very eager to please, very mild temperament - will not be pushy dog.
 
My question is: My 8.5 months old GSD is starting to push where his boundaries are, started to be domineering / guarding his resources / space - not towards me but other dogs. I know I have to be persistent, consistent and do not let him get away. How would you correct the behavior? One of the trainer push him down when he started to guard agility tunnel and steamed up chaos, then when we were training focus turns - turning to the dog (opposite to heel work) he started to nip on my legs and sleeve, so the trainer, took him by the collar, hold his head up and said sharply Nooooooo. Then when we walked among 20 other dogs and there was a scruffle, the trainer put his hand into claws and twisted the scruff and again said sharply Nooo ... I am wondering whether this is a good way of correction. I have used your market training so I never really tagged my dogs, creamed at them or was rough. Can you please advise me? I would like my GSD to let any dog into house, garden car without growling, intimidating him just tolerating him as the two JRTs I have.
 
The last question I have, do you believe that keeping the Border Collier permanently will affect my GSD development? I was told its good to have him temporary for some time and train my GSD to accept dog, but not permanently. My GSD & BC are getting much better together, and if I keep the BC (He is really good natured dog and will excel in Agility as he is very lightly build) I would neuter him.
 
The key is to learn how correctly I shall correct my GSD when he is trying to be dominant, pushes his boundaries. I was told that my Hey AAaaaaaa would not suffice now as he is maturing. My GSD is now 90 Pound and I was told he will be about 120 pound dog, he is going to be large strong mail when he matures.
 
I am sorry for long question, and thank you for your input. Please note my GSD is not aggressive dog - but if I mishandle this period of his development / correction I can crate it. Please help!

Answer:

Hi Tamara,

I do think there comes a point that dogs need correction and your young dog needs to be shown that this behavior will not be tolerated.  I don’t agree with the way your trainer is doing it, I would use a leash and a dominant dog collar http://leerburg.com/746.htm  This young dog would wear a leash and collar any time he was out of his crate or kennel.    Pushing the dog or twisting his scruff is only going to damage the relationship between you and the dog .  We cover the correct usage of the dominant dog collar on the website and in Dealing with Dominant & Aggressive Dogs.

You may eventually want to go to a remote collar with him. We have an excellent video on how to train a dog with the electric collar called Electric Collar Training for the Pet Owner.

I will say that until my dogs are completely trained and will listen to me in the face of distraction I don’t allow them to interact with other dogs in the manner which you describe.

If you want to incorporate all your dogs into the house, then they need to respect you at all times. I’d read the article Ed wrote on introducing dogs.

As for the BC and the GSD, if you manage them properly and have the time to train each one it can be successful. The more dogs you add to a pack, the more complicated it can be!

Cindy Rhodes


31. Question:

Hello,

I have read your article about introducing a new adult dog into the home with other dogs and I just want to see if there is anything else you could help us with. My sister just asked me to keep her 9 year old German Shepard because she is moving to a big city and doesn’t want her to have to walk up the 5 flight of stairs. I happily accepted. Today was the first time we brought Sasha, the German Shepard, over to our house. We already have 2 dogs; a 2 1/2 year old min pin and an 11 month old collie. I did what I did when I brought the collie home at 14 weeks and introduced her to my 2 1/2 year old min pin, which consisted of just letting them sniff and meet one another. It went well there was no snarling or biting or anything. When it came to food the min pin did get a little aggressive and snap and growl at the collie which I quickly corrected and they have been great ever since. So I figured it would be the same with the Shepard. However I was horribly mistaken. After I read your article I realized that we should have handle it differently. The problem started when the Shepard put its paw on the min pin and the min pin got aggressive back and snapped and snarled. We did have the Shepard on a leash and the min pin and collie, who were running around the yard off the leash, are trained well and when we said no and called her name she backed off immediately. It scared me to death. When I informed my sister of what happened she told me the Shepard does that with her cats. I was very distraught after the incident and we separated them. I immediately started searching online for some answers and came across your article. We do plan on following your directions but I need to know if there is anything else we need to know or do. Is the Shepard to old to be introduced to a new family? I want her to really be apart of the family and not have to be an outside dog. Please help. I have 2 boys and my husband and I really want this to work out. The Shepard is not really well trained at all so this is very difficult for us but we are willing to try. The min pin and collie are trained well, enough that we let them off the leads at the beach and they stay right with us and come back when called if we do tell them they can go and chase the birds. I don’t want their training to go back a step either. Sasha is not aggressive towards any person or my children and is pretty calm when the other dogs were not in the yard. When they were all in the yard the other dogs seemed scared and the Shepard barked A LOT at them when she could not get to them. The Shepard’s tail was wagging but she seemed to be really pushy when we introduced just the collie to her. The collie let her for a little while then got irritated barred her teeth and walked away. I am just at a loss and need a little more direction. Can you please help?

Thank you so much already for all the advice in your article!

Sincerely,
Krystyn

Answer:

Re-read the article on introducing dogs and follow it to a T.

WHENEVER we introduce a new dog to our home we keep strict rules and boundaries in place for the dogs.  ALL the dogs. Your existing dogs would benefit from going through the training as well.

I would recommend the DVD Pack Structure for the Family Pet and Dealing with Dominant & Aggressive Dogs.

You need to know how to recognize and interrupt the signs of aggression so you can manage this.

We also have a number of eBooks, which include topics that may help you. 

I hope this helps.

Cindy Rhodes


32. Question:

Ed,

I found your site and felt compelled to reach out. I had 6 dogs. All of my dogs are neutered or spayed and rescues. My oldest, a female German/Rotti mix died from Degenerative Myleopathy at the age of 9 1/2 in November (3 months ago). She was the only one that could deal with the American bulldog. He started urinating in the house after her death. We took him for tests, but the vet said he is healthy-but depressed. I recently began interacting with a Golden Retriever female puppy that was for sale thinking she has a docile temperament that could work with the bulldog. My husband surprised me with her yesterday. I made him return her.

The thing is I am afraid. We have a blind female Newfoundland that is sweet with the other dogs but afraid in general. Our other 4 are males  have issues with each other. The Dane/pit mix and American bulldog have engaged in horrible fights. For the past two years, after a horrible fight, we do not allow them to have contact with each other. The Saint/Sharpei mix, who was also blind but had cataract surgery, and the Pit/Dobie mix, who is really mentally retarded b/c his former owners threw him out a second story window to kill him which resulted in severe neurological damage, ganged up on the American bulldog (when my husband stepped outside for a moment and someone had knocked on the door during that time) and sent him to the hospital. It cost 9000 to save his life. Now, no male dog is to be left with the bulldog. This has been the rule for the past 2 years as well. When we are home, we can have all the dogs, except the Dane and bulldog interact, but when we aren't home, everyone is separated!

I know the dynamics here are precarious. The three boys and the New interact reasonably well, BUT a fight is always possible-especially if one of them has caught a rodent.  I have an air horn for these situations. The American bulldog has a personality that is loving but fresh. He doesn't want to start problems, as the Dane does, BUT he conducts himself in a way that is unacceptable. He is always standing with his groin in the other dogs' faces and even tries it with me. When I try to move him away from me, he is quick to try to bite my face-as he does with the dogs which is why they don't tolerate him. Although I love him, I don't enjoy him. Last night, he was amping up with the Golden puppy and we had to keep disciplining him. We are aware that he is fresh but all the discipline in the world (nothing abusive) doesn't seem to be able to correct it. As sweet as the Golden is, I don't think it would be fair to her or the pack to bring her in. My husband says that I am being a drama queen and it can be done. I think the dynamics here are already compromised and enough is enough.

Can the sweet puppy be added or should the line be drawn?

Thanks for the time you spent reading this.

With happiness,
Stephanie

Cindy's Response:

I think adding a puppy to this situation would be very difficult and not something I would recommend.

Until the dogs you have now behave perfectly, why would you want to add more stress and chaos to the environment? I’d give all your dogs a crash course in pack structure, especially the Dane and AB. 

Start with our groundwork program and Pack Structure for the Family Pet.

I’d also recommend Dealing with Dominant & Aggressive Dogs.

We also have a number of eBooks, which include topics that may help you. 

I hope this helps.

Cindy Rhodes

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