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Tuesday Training Byte: Adding a new dog

Over the years people have often asked me how to go about adding a new dog so they get along with the existing pets. We had four dogs after the passing of our smooth collie, Lassie. We wanted another collie, but not a puppy. Adding a puppy tends to be easier however we added an adult male. The integration process is done in stages. The breeder informed me that this male had been used as a stud and was bossy/dominant with pups and other males. I started with my oldest female that is also dominant. We put both on leashes in a more neutral space and kept them apart. We made sure to praise the existing dog for being such a good girl. Then we brought in the new guy and put him in a wire crate in the family room and brought the female in. After a few moments, the female was put in her crate and the new pup let free. We made sure to give lots of attention to our existing dog. We next let them out in the room on leashes and then removed the leashes while supervising. The female is an indoor dog and lives mostly in the family room, so this is her territory. Once these steps went well, we put both into the back yard together without us there, but watching. Each dog has their own crate where they sleep and are fed. They are given a chew bone in their crates to prevent any squabbles. Toys are community property. We took two days per dog for introductions always starting on leash and in a neutral space. The smaller the space that your dog has, the more likely it will be protective of that space. I do not correct my existing dog when she sets the boundaries with the new boy. Dogs will establish their pecking order, so I do not interfere with that, but I give a harsh correction if they take it too far so as to start a fight. Be aware that dogs can have a pack mentality and if a scuffle erupts, the bystanders may all jump in. With careful, slow, supervised introductions, it can be possible to have adult males learn to get along. Pictured is our new adult male Collie playing in the yard with my male stud Rottweiler. within three more days, I anticipate being able to turn out all five dogs into the back yard unsupervised. We are not quite there yet in the process.

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