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Old 12-09-2013, 01:06 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Please Help? My GSD won't accept newest pack member.

Our GSD Xena tries to be a lap dog and is a very affectionate, but at 80 lbs, she's too heavy for me to pick up and carry around. I decided to add a lapdog to the pack and rescued a cream colored Pomeranian type dog from Craigslist. He's a year old, neutered, potty trained, extremely energetic, and loves being picked up. Our huge Siberian Husky Thor sniffed at him and acted like he wanted to play with him, but he was restrained to a degree by us holding on to his leash. Our humane society rescue dog Rascal played nicely with him. Unfortunately, Xena growled and tried to lunge at him while he happily jumped around and barked like he did with the other two. I was shocked. Xena has never acted this way toward another dog. In the past when at the dog park, Xena always tried to play with the other dogs. Once another dog nipped her and she whined and ran under the table. When Xena was still a puppy, she laid down and let a tiny teacup size dog bat at her face when it couldn't jump high enough to play with her. We haven't taken Xena to the dog park for a few months. Could she have forgotten how to socialize with other dogs? Xena must learn how to get along with this dog. Failure is not an option. Should we try to reintroduce them at the dog park? Should we put both of them in their crates in the front room and slowly move the crates closer together? Should we give the new dog a bath, pet Xena, and rub Xena's scent all over him? How do we convince Xena accept our new addition?

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Old 12-09-2013, 01:39 PM   #2 (permalink)
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So, i have had this happen and i find using a muzzle is the best tool. Just until you are sure zena will not hurt him, it may take a few days, walk them all together and make sure the little newbie knows his place in YOUR pack, be a leader. I have used a muzzle as a tool for situations that could get sticky, and it took about a week before my big goof (the one wearing the muzzle) accepted and moved on. I am not talking the nylon muzzle that fully keeps the mouth clamped i am talking about the roomy face mask that allows for the mouth to be open to a point, my dog to freely pant and drink water.
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Old 12-09-2013, 01:45 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Xena may be feeling a little jealousy over the new one getting to sit in your lap. You mentioned that she had an idea she would fit in your lap and may feel put out. A basket muzzle would protect the new little one until you are sure it is safe. Training is the only way to get past this. You have to show Xena that she is still special that she still has her place but still has to show respect to you and other dogs. The only reason I would suggest the muzzle is to protect the littler one. Otherwise you have to be on top of the situation all the time and sometimes things happen that you don't expect and can't react to fast enough.
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Old 12-09-2013, 01:50 PM   #4 (permalink)
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It sounds like you did the introductions at your home? If so, definitely do it again somewhere else - on neutral territory.
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Old 12-09-2013, 02:29 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Is this your 4th dog? Maybe it's one too many. My cats are like that. If you have to make it work, try walking these two dogs together, as Blanketback mentioned, get them on neutral territory. You said your new dog loves to be picked up? That could bring out some jealousy, maybe do that less and have the new dog next to you but not on your lap.

My dog is happy to share me with other dogs, but there is a fine line between petting them and giving them attention and having them too close, then she acts jealous or protective.
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Old 12-09-2013, 02:34 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gretchen View Post
Is this your 4th dog? Maybe it's one too many. My cats are like that. If you have to make it work, try walking these two dogs together, as Blanketback mentioned, get them on neutral territory. You said your new dog loves to be picked up? That could bring out some jealousy, maybe do that less and have the new dog next to you but not on your lap.
I agree with this.
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Old 12-09-2013, 03:02 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I finally found an out of town pet store that sells basket mussels. For some strange reason most only sell the cloth ones that won't let dogs open their mouths. The lady at the pet store also advised me to crate the new dog in the same room with the other dogs, not separately like last night.
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Old 12-09-2013, 05:33 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Sometimes, when you pick up a (smaller) dog it can cause the more dominant dog to react. You are bringing the new dog over the head of the other dog and they can think that means the little dog is trying to be dominant.

If you are at a dog park and dogs are getting pushy with a dog, the owner will pick up the dog that is being bullied. That will heighten the aggression in the other dogs. They'll jump and nip at the dog in the arms of the owner. Even if they are just playing, it can charge the situation.

I'd suggest doing what was mentioned in the above posts, but also add that when you are home, try sitting on the floor with the little dog between your legs and have someone else keep your GSD on a leash (for control should things go south). Let both dogs know you won't stand for any rudeness. That would include the little dog trying to get your GSD to play and your GSD doesn't want to.
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Old 12-09-2013, 08:42 PM   #9 (permalink)
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There is so much wrong here...
As people have said: Probably one too many -- Adding a dog changes the pack dynamic in ways I cannot anticipate always.
As people have said: Placing the little dog on the couch on your lap; holding the little dog up high -- all bad ideas for getting along with the dog that wants to be a lap dog and is being denied and usurped as well.
AND WHY???? does this have to work? Dogs already there get priority over any new comer. They do. They have squatters rights. Your GSD is undoubtedly picking up the idea that she's lost status and that this little thing is taking over (has to work.)
It may not work. Get the "have to" out of your thoughts and it will have a better chance of working.
Muzzling your GSD may temporarily protect the smaller dog but I'd guess rendering it ineffective is really going to PO the GSD.
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Old 12-09-2013, 08:58 PM   #10 (permalink)
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People tend to over complicate these kinds of things with their theories on pack interactions and dynamics. Just treat it like any other behavior. Reward responses you want to see and block or punish ones you don't want to see. The dogs will figure it out. If Xena has good bite inhibition that makes things a little bit safer, if not, that's what muzzles are for.
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