German Shepherds Forum banner

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
115 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

Need some advice... I have a 1.5 year old male rescue who loves playing with other dogs and would very much like to play with our cat but the cat isn't so game. We've been considering getting him a buddy as this was an excellent solution for my parent's young dog who was also showing some signs of benefitting from a buddy.

The caveat is Loki, my current 1.5yo male, is extremely protective (to other dogs only, not humans) of his toys and food. Even if he isn't playing with the toys, if another dog just so happens to walk by a toy of his he'll immediately react. Doesn't matter how big the other dog is. He'd never consider it towards a human, but to a dog he'll do it.

I wanna give him a buddy, but I'm concerned he'll hurt the other dog.

Thoughts?

Leigh
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
4,682 Posts
Don't get a pet for your pet. You may be ready to get a 2nd dog when your first dog is behaving the way you like! If your dog is reactive now, bringing home another dog will significantly increase your work load, managing both dogs. 2 dogs is 3 times the work!

If you do get a 2nd dog there is no rule that toys have to be out and available at all times. It is not unusual to put toys away so that there is no argument. Toys come out when it is time to play with a human.
If you can it might be best to go on pack walks. See if you can organize one on a local trail or park. With spring coming up the local shelters may schedule some as fund raisers.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
115 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Don't get a pet for your pet. You may be ready to get a 2nd dog when your first dog is behaving the way you like! If your dog is reactive now, bringing home another dog will significantly increase your work load, managing both dogs. 2 dogs is 3 times the work!

If you do get a 2nd dog there is no rule that toys have to be out and available at all times. It is not unusual to put toys away so that there is no argument. Toys come out when it is time to play with a human.
If you can it might be best to go on pack walks. See if you can organize one on a local trail or park. With spring coming up the local shelters may schedule some as fund raisers.
Definitely. We've been talking about adding a second dog for awhile and don't plan to do it for a few months now at the very least, but it's something we're toying with.

Good call on hiding the toys unless it's time to play with human. I worry about taking them from Loki a bit, though, as he really does love chewing. He did have to live without them for a few months after mouth surgery and did fine, though, so perhaps it is a solution.

He won't have much of an issue on a pack walk, it's really only in a situation where a dog in his home goes near one of his toys or food. Then he gets reactive. He backs down the second the dog backs down, though, and he gives plenty of warning. But if the dog persists, he will get aggressive. I worry another dog may not submit, so likely best to get an adult dog we know is more submissive, I suppose.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
643 Posts
I'd recommend waiting until he's a bit older closer to 3 than 2 or at least two and is solid on his obedience.

After that you'll have to decide if you want to deal with the management of a resource guarder and another dog.

Sounds like he'd only be able to have toys if he is kenneled or the other dog is kenneled. Same with treats and meal times so if you free feed you'd likely have to go to set mealtimes where both or one dog is kenneled while they eat.

It isn't just needing a dog that would submit though, You shouldn't put Loki in a position where he feel he needs to defend his food or toys and put another dog at risk of getting attacked by him. Part of it is training but in this case where there is already an issue I just wouldn't risk it and they wouldn't get free reign of toys and treats. Neither of my guys resource guard but if I'm giving a chew treat inside they both get kenneled separately. Outside they both have to lay down a distance away from each other and chew on their individual items.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
115 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
I'd recommend waiting until he's a bit older closer to 3 than 2 or at least two and is solid on his obedience.

After that you'll have to decide if you want to deal with the management of a resource guarder and another dog.

Sounds like he'd only be able to have toys if he is kenneled or the other dog is kenneled. Same with treats and meal times so if you free feed you'd likely have to go to set mealtimes where both or one dog is kenneled while they eat.

It isn't just needing a dog that would submit though, You shouldn't put Loki in a position where he feel he needs to defend his food or toys and put another dog at risk of getting attacked by him. Part of it is training but in this case where there is already an issue I just wouldn't risk it and they wouldn't get free reign of toys and treats. Neither of my guys resource guard but if I'm giving a chew treat inside they both get kenneled separately. Outside they both have to lay down a distance away from each other and chew on their individual items.
Wise! Thank you.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
6,711 Posts
Well, ‘react’ and ‘reactive’ doesn’t give me a clear picture of what he’ll do (or has done), with or without intervention.

I’ve had a dog that has full on attacked, causing injuries to another dog over a ball...

I also have one that avoids conflict yet still has a possessive side, except, he shows it in more subtle ways by body blocking or laying his head over his possessions.

Neither is OK, but the consequences of one are much greater. There is obviously a lot that falls in between the two as well.

Loki is young.... without a handle on things, with more maturity and confidence, it could get worse. It could extend to other items that he doesn’t currently guard (you, his bed, the closet where you put the toys when they’re put away).

It can be done.... but I say that while echoing that one should never get a dog for their dog. Just as I’d suggest to someone who doesn’t have a resource guarder - be prepared to possibly separate / manage the environment... with the space and commitment to that, you’ll be fine.

Lastly, stack the cards in your favor in regards to age, breed, gender.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
115 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
@Fodder Good point! The history I know of that is making me raise these concerns came from when my friend's 6yo GSD male (who has 30lbs on Loki) stayed with us. He and Loki get along well, they like to roughhouse and they go on walks together well, etc. No issues. But when her dog chews on Loki's toys, Loki will come up to him and try to take it back. When Zeke gets upset, Loki growls softly and shows his teeth. If the dog still doesn't back down, it will soon escalate to a lot of barking, air snapping, and hair raised. At one point, it did escalate to a pretty good brawl, but not once did Loki truly try and bite the other dog, it was a LOT of air bites and sounded quite terrible for a bit, but never did he hurt Zeke. As soon as Zeke backed down, Loki was fine. But Loki showed no signs of ever backing down. But that was a couple of times that happened before we found all the toys and it went on for awhile before it ended, no human intervention (I was not about to put myself between them).

But never, under any circumstance, would Loki EVER show aggression towards a human. We've practiced that since the day I got him, having food/toys given and taken away, teaching him to wait until I say okay, etc. It has never been a problem and I know this dog... I do not see this ever being a problem to humans. Ever.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
115 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
So general consensus states; wait until he's older and more confirmed in his obedience. And find ways to work on this possessive nature. I will do some research. Thanks everyone! Love this forum for things like this, I am a better dog owner every day because of it!
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
6,711 Posts
i meant that he may begin to resource guard you.... you being the resource that he doesn’t want the other dog to have access to.

how he behaves towards a visiting dog can certainly give you some insight, but it doesn’t compare to a dog that you are now walking, stroking, playing, feeding, snuggling with etc. jealousy is a thing...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
643 Posts
@Fodder Good point! The history I know of that is making me raise these concerns came from when my friend's 6yo GSD male (who has 30lbs on Loki) stayed with us. He and Loki get along well, they like to roughhouse and they go on walks together well, etc. No issues. But when her dog chews on Loki's toys, Loki will come up to him and try to take it back. When Zeke gets upset, Loki growls softly and shows his teeth. If the dog still doesn't back down, it will soon escalate to a lot of barking, air snapping, and hair raised. At one point, it did escalate to a pretty good brawl, but not once did Loki truly try and bite the other dog, it was a LOT of air bites and sounded quite terrible for a bit, but never did he hurt Zeke. As soon as Zeke backed down, Loki was fine. But Loki showed no signs of ever backing down. But that was a couple of times that happened before we found all the toys and it went on for awhile before it ended, no human intervention (I was not about to put myself between them).

But never, under any circumstance, would Loki EVER show aggression towards a human. We've practiced that since the day I got him, having food/toys given and taken away, teaching him to wait until I say okay, etc. It has never been a problem and I know this dog... I do not see this ever being a problem to humans. Ever.
If you aren't willing to break up potential fights it may not be a good idea to get another dog. Dog fights are dangerous and people can definitely get hurt by them. There is some truth to letting dogs work it out as in if they are showing proper behavior and respecting each other, or a quick correction on a young dog for it being a brat. But if you are at the point of having actual fights chances are you'll just get escalation. I would never have let two dogs particularly one I don't own get to the point of having several fights over toys. Also keep in mind some dogs will back down until they won't and then you have a major fight on your hands and from there you're often in trouble.

The fact that he will come and take another toy from a dog and fight over that toy is not a good sign in my books. As others have mentioned he may start resource guarding more than just food and toys. This could be doable, but it would take a lot of good handling and consistency such as cleaning up toys every time etc. (This can vary by individual dog pairings.) but in general it'll be a lot of work.

You may be best off just finding a good dog buddy that you can go on play dates with while you up your handling skills and see how Loki continues on as he matures and grows. (I don't know if I missed or you mentioned it but Loki definitely sounds like a dog that should stay far away from dog parks as too many people bring toys and that can spark a serious fight. The more fights a dog gets in the more issues can crop up.)
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top