I recently acquired a new dog from my son because she nipped my grandbaby. The new dog is not getting along with one of my older dogs. I'm not sure what else to do, please help!
I recently acquired a new dog (4 y/o lab/shepherd mx)) from my son who got her 2 1/2 years ago from a rescue group. I brought her home because she nipped my grandbaby & I felt she deserved another chance. The problem is she and my 14 y/o Border Collie/Aussie mix HATE each other! The new dog is now dog aggressive with most dogs (especially if they run up to her) although she gets along with my little terrier mix and does not bother my 3 cats. We keep them separated, either with the crate or one inside, one out or the old dog sleeps in my bedroom quite a bit. They have gotten into it 2x and I am sure the new dog could kill my old dog and it terrifies me. I walk the new dog several times a day but because she had surgery (for hip dysplasia) before I brought her here (6 weeks ago) I can't run her to tire her out. I am reading articles and watching and working with her but obviously I am not doing it right! I need help!
I give you a lot of credit for helping this dog. My son has the same issue, a new baby and a 2 year old, plus a dog. My son refused to manage his dog the way I recommended and to teach his 2 year old to leave the dog alone. He gave the dog to his in-laws (who had just lost their old dog), so it worked out OK.
I can tell you that you are justified in worrying about the new dog killing the older dog. I can't tell you how often this happens. I have a file full of emails from people who have one of their dogs kill a second dog. Just got one last week.
Your doing the right thing in keeping them separated. We would recommend a crate for each dog. In my opinion, crates are better than putting them in a separate room. It is too easy for an accident to happen when dogs are kept in rooms rather than crates. A guest or family member can accidentally open a door and then you have a dog fight.
One of the things to consider is an ex-pen for an older dog that has not been crate trained. They don't get as stressed in them.
We keep new dogs on-leash in our home for a long time. The leash is in our hand, not tethered to a table or something else. The dog either wears a prong collar or a dominant dog collar. If the dog goes near the ex-pen and will not come back to you if it goes near the ex-pen, they will get corrected. We just don't allow bad behavior in cases like this.
A point to mention is a correction can mean a number of things. It can be a leash correction, it can be a time out in a dog crate etc etc.
I also recently produced a short video on Management for one of our recent newsletters. It's free to watch if you can watch streaming video on your computer. I suggest you watch it. Good management is just as important as good obedience training when it comes to living with a dog.
In closing, I also wrote an article on How to Break Up a Dog Fight Without Getting Hurt. And I have a web site filled with cases of people who did it wrong and got bit trying to break up a dog fight. Some of the photos people have sent me are pretty bad, so be aware that this is a dangerous thing to do.
But in the end it comes down with good management and having a routine. Dogs react to this in positive ways. In reality it's not that difficult to do right.
Regards, Ed Frawley
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