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Leerburg's Q&A database has 3350 entries from multiple categories.

 

Categories: Adding a New Dog to Your Home

Q. I currently have 4 dogs and am about to take on a foster. I would like your opinion of my current situation. Am I foolish to think that I can make it work?
Hi - I found your website last night and ordered a muzzle, a dominant collar and several of your DVDs (set 301, 302 & 308 and the house training ebook). I was very impressed with your website and your knowledge and wanted your expert opinion

I am divorced with 2 girls 15 and 16. We have 4 dogs and 4 cats. They all get along pretty well but several issues need to be corrected - thus the above training tools. The dogs are Candi - 12 year old golden - hips going, eyes going, etc. I made a mistake several years ago of getting 2 puppies at the same time. They are Molly (female) and Tucker (male) both 4 years old and 9 lbs -maltese/yorkie mix. They have gone to puppy classes, basic obedience and advanced obedience classes. Tucker has also gone to off leash classes. Since my 12 year old big dog is getting very old, my daughters asked if we could get another big dog sort of for protection, etc since it is only the 3 of us. I rescued Jack (male) a 6 week old "german shepherd mix." He is now almost 2 years old and about 85 pounds. He is gone to puppy class and to basic obedience class. He is great with us - no dominant issues with any of the animals in the house - his dominant issues are with animals outside the house. The dogs that run out of the backyards, or the people that let their dog come close to me while walking even when I tell them not to, etc. That is one of the reasons why I purchased the muzzle.

Each one of my dogs seem to have an issue (except the golden - she just has physical issues), which is why I purchased your DVDs, etc. I now believe these issues are because I have not been a very good pack leader. Molly is very sensitive and barks a very high pitched bark when she sees my next door neighbor or other dogs (outside of house). My neighbor is about 80 years old and hates little dogs. When I got the two little ones and they would bark, he would throw stones, sticks at them. So, I always thought Molly was going back at him for doing these things to her when she was little, but I realize maybe it is because of me. We have been working on this and it is getting better, but it is still there and Tucker has dominant male aggression. It has escalated since we got Jack. Tucker guards his treats in front of Jack, almost to egg Jack on (which I then tell Tucker no and take the treat away and put it back in the jar) and has also started to lift his leg and mark in the house so this needs to be corrected immediately - which I am working on.

Jack went after two 6 month labs yesterday but it was my fault. We were walking with a neighbor whose dog Jack gets along with when the mailman stopped and gave them a biscuit. Jack ate his very quickly while the young lab dropped some pieces on the ground. Jack went to get the pieces and so did the young lab. Well, you can picture what happened. I pulled Jack away but it was very unsettling. The other time, I petted another dog and Jack went berserk. I have him on a "prong" collar and when I have to pull back on him, he screams and tries to re-direct his aggression. Yes, I believe this is hurting my relationship with him. He has not bitten me and has not come close to it, but he may if this continues. I have tried a lot of other collars and have now ordered and paid extra for 2nd day shipping for your dominant dog collar. I think that will help tremendously.

Recently, I have gotten involved with a rescue organization that rescues animals from the kill shelters in South Carolina and Georgia and bring them to New Jersey and foster them in different homes. I agreed to foster one of these dogs that was set to be euthanized. She will be arriving in about 2 - 3 weeks. Eve is a 3 - 4 year old Golden/lab mix and apparently very "laid back." I am starting to get nervous that I made the wrong decision to foster her but the wheels are already in motion. I have spoken to many people and I may have someone who may be interested in adopting her but that is not definite.

I would like your opinion with the foster dog coming. Am I foolish to think that I can make it work?

Thank you for your time and hope you can get back to me soon

Carol

A. I think that based on your email description of the dogs you have now and your issues I could not recommend adding a rescue/foster dog. The dynamics of your current dogs are such that adding another one is only going to make things more difficult to handle.

You need time and training invested in the current dogs you have and it would be unfair to all the dogs involved (and to you!) to add another dog at this point.

I wouldn’t do it.

Cindy Rhodes
  
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