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Categories: Adding a New Dog to Your Home

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

A. 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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