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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Achilles still thinks Andromeda is a chew toy. I've read at least a dozen articles, none of which agree, on how to properly introduce a new dog into the "pack" (which I'm guessing I have since the number of dogs in this house totals three?). She is still crated in my living room most of the time and he has accidentally barrelled in there about 3 times, only one of which he has ignored her entirely. She was out sitting with me in teh dining area last night and he totally and completely ignored her about 10 minutes before he decided to posture, hackle, bark, growl, and lunge. His issue with barking at other doggies through our window is resolved -- he learned a brand new commadn titled "halts maul" with the aid of a prong collar and he has obeyed it ever since. OF course he seems to forget ALL commands in the presence of poor Andi (who certainly does NOT need to deal with a barking, attacking knucklehead after teh month she's had).

How do you all do this? She's crate defensive and food aggressive toward the other two dogs (no issues with humans). He's suddenly dog aggressive since his stay at a boarding kennel (at least I know that he wasn't aggressive before the kennel and now he is..could also be that he's 13 mths old). She's about 2 and has recently had a litter of pups.

I have this feeling they could be best friends if he'd just stop being a jerk. She's a nice dog, BTW. Definitely AmBred, but has a nice full bite and an alligator mentality. Soft temperment, no ball drive though. I tried her with a jute and she went after that thing. Trains VERY easiliiy -- only "treat" she needs is praise for me. Very willing to please. Already knows her new name, "come," "aus," and "sitz." Still limping on her back leg and is having x rays to check for HD on the 12th along with her spay....
 

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I am a little confused about the question.....do you mean introduce into you pack & play nice with the other dog or dogs. ...or strange dogs? I will address .......if it's within your pack, since I don't allow my dogs to interact with dogs not of our pack (ie. dog parks etc or play with friends dogs, I just don't feel that my dogs need to do this...JMO) as for the pack I had my female for almost 2 years when I got an almost 3 yr old male....the male was crated & or kenneled with my female loose for the fisrt few weeks or a month (can't remember exactly how long it was) so that they had time to smell & see eachother before being allowed together. Sometimes she would be in the crate & he would be loose, but always on a leash even in the house. After doing this for a while with no real negative responces (he was used to being around other female but she didn't care to be around other dogs much. Would pretty much ignore them) I let her out in the back yard (totally fenced) & I took him out on a leash. This went on for about a week with no negitave behaviors. Next, I took him out on a leash while she was out there & then let him off the leash while I stayed with them & could monitor what when on. I only allowed this for a short time & increased the time each day until they could be out there for about 1/2 hour together(with me still present) I was more concerned that she would be bullied since he was not submissive to any other dogs & she was a bit warry of other dogs. They had a few little spats....mostly him letting her know that he was going to be the boss, which was fine with her......They get along great together (been 6 months now)& have allot of fun playing & chasing each other around the yard. Occasionally, they will have a spat, she will take his bone or he will try to bully her about something....but she stands her ground for the most part unless she knows that she is wrong & then will be very submissive to him. If a spat breaks out, although very rarely, I am always close by to just say "knock it off" & it ends instantly. No one is ever hurt....they each know their places & the pack order is restored. I hope that this helps. Ed Frawley on his Leerburg site has a good article on bring a new dog into a house with an existing one...if you haven't read it & would like to read it. I should also add, that sometimes, dogs just won't EVER get along & cannot ever be out together at the same time & that is just the way it is sometimes. So you may also have that kind of situation...if you have tried all the ways to make if work & not rushed it & it still doesn't work...you may have that kind of a situation. It is also more difficult to put 2 males especially intact or 2 females together & have them get along. Males & females are usually a better mix, but again not always a guaranteed fit. Good luck.
 

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Re: How do you get your dog to play nice with the other dogs

Stacia Porter said:
.....How do you all do this? She's crate defensive and food aggressive toward the other two dogs (no issues with humans). He's suddenly dog aggressive since his stay at a boarding kennel (at least I know that he wasn't aggressive before the kennel and now he is..could also be that he's 13 mths old)......
Yes, you have a pack, and three is WAY different from two. One thing is the food aggression. Are you allowing that, or working with her?

Each behavior you don't want, from each dog, is (IMO) what you might want to focus on first. Each dog who is showing dog aggression, food aggression, or any other bad behavior, needs one-on-one work.

In my own experience, this all has to be addressed before the pack-of-three work.

Basic obedience issues that can slide (maybe) with two dogs around are more important now.

You got your work cut out! :wink:
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Anne Jones said:
I am a little confused about the question.....do you mean introduce into you pack & play nice with the other dog or dogs. ...or strange dogs? I will address .......if it's within your pack, since I don't allow my dogs to interact with dogs not of our pack (ie. dog parks etc or play with friends dogs, I just don't feel that my dogs need to do this...JMO) .
Anne,

My dogs are also not allowed to interact with dogs outside my pack. I have a 13 mo in tact male GSD and an 8 yo female spayed beagle mix and I just adtoped a 2 yo full bitch GSD. My male is having issues with the new female (he has no issues with the 8 yo female; she was here first and he's always accepted that).

Connie,

I'm going to take your advice and work with each one seperately on issues. Achilles is mostly past his with the advice you all gave me. Now he barks at other dogs/people/squirrels (those darn squirrels, always taunitn him) and I tell him "halts maul" and his ears go back and he leaves the window. If he doesn't, I correct him. He can be around Andi for up to 10 minutes with no spat, but after that he goes after her! I had him with my uncle's 4 yo border collie this past weekend and he didnt' initiate any problems!!! Played rather well but still hasnt' figured out when to leave another dog alone when play is over. He'll get it someday, I think.

Andi is pretty emaciated and she was locked in a pen at the shelter with other large breed dogs; the workers would put out one bowl of food per pen and the dogs had to fight over who got it. It doesn't surprise me that she's aggressived about her food. She as NO issue with me or the kids getting near her while she's eating. How do I get her to allow the other dogs near her? Achilles is quite used to food aggression as it rears its ugly head with my Abbie every once in a while still (she's also a shelter rescue...a human can touch her food but not anoter dog).
 

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Stacia, Connie has given you excellent advice. The dogs need to be TOTALLY obedient to you, on an individual basis, before you can expect them to pe a part of a pack. It's your individual ability to control each dog that controls the pack.
There is also absolutely no reason why they need to get along at a feeding. That's nothing more then respecting one another's space. Separate them at feeding time. Crates, different rooms, whatever it takes.
It takes an expierienced dog person to be in charge of a pack. If this 3rd dog becomes to much to intigrate into you family, you may have to think with your head instead of your heart. Like Anne said, it's not always a guranteed fit.
 

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QUOTE:

Andi is pretty emaciated and she was locked in a pen at the shelter with other large breed dogs; the workers would put out one bowl of food per pen and the dogs had to fight over who got it. It doesn't surprise me that she's aggressived about her food. She as NO issue with me or the kids getting near her while she's eating. How do I get her to allow the other dogs near her? Achilles is quite used to food aggression as it rears its ugly head with my Abbie every once in a while still (she's also a shelter rescue...a human can touch her food but not anoter dog). END

You don't let them near her yet, until she and they have basic OB down pat with you, IMO. In fact, they are all separated until you've worked with obedience and manners with each one and have pack leadership completely established. (Again, it's the three-dog thing.....no wiggle-room!)

It's so hard to do, but we have to forget the bad past and focus on the moment. Feeling sorry is not pack leadership. :cry: It's a hard lesson. (Well, it was for me. :oops: )
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Connie Sutherland said:
QUOTE:

Andi is pretty emaciated and she was locked in a pen at the shelter with other large breed dogs; the workers would put out one bowl of food per pen and the dogs had to fight over who got it. It doesn't surprise me that she's aggressived about her food. She as NO issue with me or the kids getting near her while she's eating. How do I get her to allow the other dogs near her? Achilles is quite used to food aggression as it rears its ugly head with my Abbie every once in a while still (she's also a shelter rescue...a human can touch her food but not anoter dog). END

You don't let them near her yet, until she and they have basic OB down pat with you, IMO. In fact, they are all separated until you've worked with obedience and manners with each one and have pack leadership completely established. (Again, it's the three-dog thing.....no wiggle-room!)

It's so hard to do, but we have to forget the bad past and focus on the moment. Feeling sorry is not pack leadership. :cry: It's a hard lesson. (Well, it was for me. :oops: )
Right now she's fed in my living room in the crate only. I discovered the food aggression by sheer accident when I took Achilles out the side door to go potty past her crate and she still had food in there that I didn't know about (it had gotten under her bedding).

I'm going to crack down on teh two of them, then, and keep up the shepherd shuffle. She really isn't the problem, it's HIM. And I made it clear when I took her that iff 3-4 months down teh line things still werent working out then I was finding her a home. I haven't really allowed myself to become attached to her. Achilles was here first and it's no less noble to simply foster a rescued shepherd rather than adopt. It may just be that Achilles will never accept another dog in teh household...

Thanks!!!!!!! Other opinions still welcome :wink:
 

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A couple of you stated you don't allow your dogs to "interact" with "strange" dogs.

Personally, I don't believe in allowing working dogs to "play" with strange dogs. For one a fight might occur and, second, the dog may view other strange dogs as play pals and lose their focus.

But when you say "interact" I'm not sure I'm understanding you. I think that there is a benefit to having working dogs "interact" with one another. If two dogs are permitted to momentarily greet and sniff one another, that is an interaction. To disallow even this would meet my idea of "no interaction".

Handlers may do some obedience exercises in which the dogs must go into a down by or even upon one another or must work through agility with other dogs in and around the "obstacles". The idea is that the dogs should become accustomed to working within the immediate proximity of other dogs and remain neutral to them. How do we get a dog to be neutral in various environments and scenarios? We train them in those places. Allowing them to "interact" with other dogs, while in training, is necessary for most dogs so that they can learn to be tolerant or "neutral" around other working dogs.

On a side note an FHP K-9 handler recently seemingly bragged to me when he told me I better put my dog up before he brought out his K-9 because, as he put it, "there will be a fight"! You see, unlike my lowly civilian dog, his highly trained and highly glorified police dog will indiscriminately attack other dogs. A lot of people don't see a problem with this. I do. I'm not a police K-9 handler but I think it's fair for this civilian novice to say that there are many instances in which a police K-9 may come into direct contact with other dogs. The K-9 should stay focsed on the job at hand and not be distracted and disturbed by other dogs, period.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Jeff Oehlsen said:
Are you keeping this dog? Or is it just a rescue?
Jeff, we haven't actually made that decision yet. She's an adoptin at the moment in the sense that I'm the one who went to the shelter and paid the fee to get her out and I'm footing her vet bills (as in she's not sponosred by a rescue). But I am working with a rescue about her situation and they're the ones who listed her as a dog in need, so there is always the option to rehome her.

My thought process was something like if she works out in the home, we'll consider adding her to the family and if she doesn't we get her healthy again, teach her some OB and manners, and find her a wonderful family.

Patrick,

What you're saying does make sense. I have to admit my SchH dog isn't there yet :oops: . He makes quite the fuss over other dogs, even though he did have one "friend" in Germany whom he trained with and went on hikes with (a 5 yo GSD named Hans owned by one of our friends). He and Hans played together on occasion, as well, adn motivated each other. His inability to be near other dogs withtou barking/growling/hackling is new (and a bit alarming). Most of our "no other dog" policy comes from teh misperceptions people have about GSD's and the fact that others are quick to to label our dog as an aggressive menace for the slightest infractions.

That K-9 sounds extreme. Is it safe to have a K-9 on the streets who wil attack other dogs? Isn't that distracting for his work? I didn't know that was permitted for a K-9 (the military working dogs I was around were trained to simply ignore other dogs unless the handler needed them not to).
 

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Stacia, a working dog handler's point of view may be that if they let their dog "play" with other dogs, even if the dogs get along good, the working dog may begin to view other dogs as play pals and lose their neutrality and their focus when encountering other dogs in a work environment.
 

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I do have to warn you, that you aren't going to like my answer. :oops:
With your two dogs, they pretty much had who was alpha over who figured out, but now you've disrupted by bringing in a new dog. Whenever I've introduced dogs to a pack, I generally let them sort it out. As long as there is no blood, dogs need to determine rank. IMO, if you keep them separated, the aggression will escalate. Unless they will ALWAYS be separated, you need them to be at least civil around each other.
Remember, also, that Achilles is a male (intact I would guess), and will naturally try to dominate every other dog. Give HIM the most attention to keep his dominance over the others secure. I'm not saying ignore the others totally, but he's the first to be pet, first to be fed, first to be walked, etc.
As for food aggression, I NEVER feed a dog outside of it's crate in a multi-dog household. As long as the dog isn't aggresive toward you and your kids, I wouldn't try to push the "problem". If you've seen a video of wolves in the wild (I know, I reference to them way too much!!), the dominant pack individuals will growl with teeth shown and hackles up to warn subordunates away until they are done eating.
Good luck!
 

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Sarah Hall said:
Whenever I've introduced dogs to a pack, I generally let them sort it out. As long as there is no blood, dogs need to determine rank. As for food aggression, I NEVER feed a dog outside of it's crate in a multi-dog household.
Sarah, in the past I would have agreed with you. That is, until I saw the show "The Dog Whisperer" with Cesar Milan. I'm not sure that he would agree with the concept of letting the dogs sort it out on their own, even if there is no actual violence because, as you know, the threat of attack from a domineering dog is always there. And from what I have seen of Cesar and his pack is that he does not allow domineering behavior by any of his dogs as he is the dominant member of the pack.

Additionally, I've seen Cesar feeding groups of 40 dogs at the same time. In fact I've seen him pick the calmest dog to get to eat first and then so on and so forth. Although for the average pet owner it might be best to have some dogs eat seperate from the others.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Sarah, I've tried your approach, too, with Achilles and other dogs (like my uncle's border collie). I learned that when I got involved, there was aggression, but when we let the two of them, off leash, out into a fenced in yard there was NO PROBLEM. My uncle has been around working dogs for years and he told me to stand back, get out of the way, and let him handle it. I was standing there ready to run out and break up a dog fight after the noise they made at their initial meeting, but the next thing I know the two are romping around the yard playing chase!!!! Of course I still watched through the window like a hawk, but still.

I was thinking of doing that with these two, but for starters this dog might not stay in my home permanently. I don't want to create aggression issues in her by allowing Achilles to dominate her, issues that might bleed over into a new home if we go that route. I also don't want Achilles to injure her (I have no idea if he would). And my biggest thing is that *I* am supposed to be the pack leader here. Don't I decide who fights, and how, and who does what? And since I'm the leader, who the heck does Achilles think he is showing aggression toward a dog I have decided to add to the pack? Should he have that right? Don't I get to decide? Or am I just disillusioned?

And I can't really tell what Achilles is thinking. He was always a very high prey drive dog, but now all of a sudden he is VERY high in defense and not as driven in prey any longer! I'm not real pleased with that. Any advice on this issue? Is it just a phase, or do I just have a dog who is high in defense on my hands? He always did SchH bitework in prey until we made our "big move." I never expected any fight out of him LOL...

It's not imperative to me that my dogs eat in the same room. I haven't even tried to feed Andi with the other dogs, mostly b/c I expected the food aggression based on her history and b/c food and toys are major catalysts for aggression/dog fights. Why invite trouble? However, I need to get her past that should she move to a home where the new owners don't share my views on food (I really don't want this sweet girl to be dumped b/c she gets growly around a bowl of kibble). So far I have insisted on hand feeding her in her crate (I want her to be clear that food comes from ME). No problems with this. I started yestereday with bowls of food in her crate and removed the food after 15 min so she also knows that food is eaten when it's given or not at all. Again, no issues. She's not much of a complainer :wink:

And now all of a sudden Achilles is refusing kibble all together! I bought a new bag of food on Thursday and all three dogs kept spitting it out so I called the company to have it tested. Ever since that he refuses the kibble (but he'll eat "human" food). I don't know what the heck his issue is, but I plan to get him a vet check to make sure we haven't got an intestinal issue going on (heh still has a tendency to try to eat things that he shouldn't :roll: )

Patrick, I understand that a workikng dog shouldn't play, but shouldn't he at least be able to be near/around/walk past other dogs without attacking? Just sounds counterproductive to me to have a dog working teh streets as a k-9 who can't be around other dogs -- isn't he sure to meet them along the way?
 

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Stacia Porter said:
Patrick, I understand that a workikng dog shouldn't play, but shouldn't he at least be able to be near/around/walk past other dogs without attacking? Just sounds counterproductive to me to have a dog working teh streets as a k-9 who can't be around other dogs -- isn't he sure to meet them along the way?
In my humble, novice, amateur opinion, ABSOLUTELY!
 

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I, at one point, owned 4 very large GSDs. They knew no doubt that I was their alpha, however there is always a pecking order between pack member. Watch a special on wild dogs/wolves and you'll see. There are usually two alphas, and Alpha Male, and an Alpha Female. Then, there are between 1-2 beta wolves, male or female, that are kind of like Vice-Presidents. There are the subordinates (yearlings, weaker individuals, etc), there there is the Omega and the puppies. The omega is a weak individual with no chances of ever becoming more than a member that the others vent their frustrations on. It may sound cruel, but take a look a human society. The only way these positions are obtained are through posturing, intimidation, and, occasionally, fighting. The higher positions, Alpha and Beta, are more likely to be fought over. Rarely, in these fights, is a dog actually physically hurt.
I stress the fact not to look only at one person's view of dog training and behavior. As I responsed to in another post, it doesn't seem to me that this "Dog Whisperer" is any better than a Petsmart training. If you don't really know the genetics of dog behavior, you shouldn't dare call yourself a "dog whisperer", or behavioralist. All, of course, IMO.
As for the food refusal, is it a new brand? If not, maybe they just don't like the specific bag, or recipie you purchased. That's one of the benifits of feeding raw: ground beef is ground beef. :) Taking them to the vet for a fecal is a good preventative measure anyways.
 

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Dogs aren't wolves. You can get away with letting them choose the pack order a lot of the time. Then you get a strong dog, and then they decide for YOU, who gets to stay and who doesn't. BAD IDEA. I only have to be right once. Dead dogs? been there, when I thought the same as you. There are working lines/personalities that will go along with you till 18 months, then take their shot at the big time. Don't have to bury dogs like I and others have.



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Sarah Hall said:
I do have to warn you, that you aren't going to like my answer. :oops:
With your two dogs, they pretty much had who was alpha over who figured out, but now you've disrupted by bringing in a new dog. Whenever I've introduced dogs to a pack, I generally let them sort it out. As long as there is no blood, dogs need to determine rank......
I have to say this isn't my own habit. I sort it out.

There is no aggression allowed among my pack, no matter what the breeds or ages. Period.

Does it ever start? Yes, it has. Do I let them work it out? No.

JMO.

P.S. With more than one strong dog, I've supervised feeding.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Jeff Oehlsen said:
Dogs aren't wolves. You can get away with letting them choose the pack order a lot of the time. Then you get a strong dog, and then they decide for YOU, who gets to stay and who doesn't. BAD IDEA. I only have to be right once. Dead dogs? been there, when I thought the same as you. There are working lines/personalities that will go along with you till 18 months, then take their shot at the big time. Don't have to bury dogs like I and others have.
This is exactly what I'm afraid of. Achilles isn't playing anymore, or at least I don't think he is. He's growing up and what was once a happy go lucky game of tug has turned into life or death for him. I still have no clue what caused his mindset to change -- maybe it was just plain puberty -- but I'm not willing to find out how serious he is about no liking the new dog by letting him go at it. It also speaks to a larger problem in my eyes: unwillingness to allow me to be his pack leader. I could be wrong, but if he fully accepted my role as alpha he wouldn't be challenging it by trying to dominate a new pack member even after I made it clear it was unacceptable. Makes me think I don't have the control of him I thought I did...again, I haven't been at this very long so I might have the wrong idea.

I am having a bag of dog food tested by Royal Canin after all three dogs refused to eat it. I like to err on the side of caution. Each one spit it across teh room which leads me to believe there's something wrong with it. I bought a replacement bag and now he won't touch that...no clue why. I used to feed raw but with our humungous over-the-Atlantic move we are giving kibble. I'd like to go back to raw but haven't found a butcher or slaughterhouse in the nearby area to facilitate that (all meat is brought into the city apparently). So it could just be that after the bad tatse on the other food he doesn't trust the brand period :lol: .
 

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I own 3 gsd's and i feed them all at the same time, no problems. I would NEVER let them sort out their own rank because there is no rank, jmo
 
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