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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We are bringing home a new GSD girl, Vega. (spayed) on Friday. She is 2.5 years old, is friendly and well socialized with dogs, cats, kids, people. She is in a household with other female dogs and has not had any issues with aggression. The breeder says that in general, her female dogs don't have issues with other females even though many GSDs do.

She and Regen met at Vega's house and did well together. Regen can have issues resource guarding me and my husband, but this meeting went well. Regen tends to be submissive with other dogs (outside of resource guarding). We are having the dogs meet at our trainer's house on Friday to do introductions again before we bring them home.

Here are my questions (and I did read what Leerburg had to say, too):
1. Should we put Vega's crate away from Regen's crate in our bedroom?

2. We have 11 days of being home with the dogs before we go back to work. Regen can't be crated currently because of her separation anxiety. Is it okay to have Vega crated and Regen uncrated? We can also have Vega in a baby-gated mud room, but it's possible she or Regen could jump the gate.
We could also continue Regen's daycare for a little longer if it would increase the chances that they'll be peaceful together later.

3. How long should we wait before leaving them alone together without crates?

4. How would you suggest building up to them being alone (crated or uncrated) given 11 days?

5. Should we walk them at the same time or separately?


GSD Raven gave me some great suggestions for feeding and playing for the first couple of weeks. Any tips that you guys have would be appreciated...we really want to make this work! We are hoping another dog will also mean that Regen will no longer need daycare, because we can't continue to do that much longer. We have a month to figure out if it will work (within the month we can return Vega if necessary).

Also, we know Vega has a calm and balanced temperament. Regen does not. She is high strung, anxious, and can be reactive. Is there anything we can do to set them up so Vega helps Regen relax, rather than Regen helping Vega turn into a neurotic twin?

So excited to have 2 GSDs finally...my hubby and I really wanted a pair of them to play and train with :wub:
 

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You are asking a lot of great questions. I hope someone on this forum with foster experiance can help you out.

Congrats on your new GSD!
 

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1. Don't see why you would need to. My dog's have always had their crates in a row.

2. Yes it is okay to have one dog crated and the other uncrated. Argos was raised in his crate with our SA dog loose all the time. No problems. My current puppy used to sleep in a crate in my bedroom and my older dog would sleep on the floor next to the crate. There might be some fussing because the dog in the crate wants out too...but they usually get over it as long as you don't reward the fussing. I'm not sure how daycare would help in the 11 days.

3. Personally...it would be a long long time for me. Certainly not in 11 days. I know I might not have a house left if two of my dogs got to playing without me there. Also it's going to take a while for you to really know the way both dogs are with each other in every conceivable situation...and I feel like the rules change when Mom isn't there.

4. Crated...I would just carry on as normal. I don't know that there would be any building up. Loose dog loose, other dog crated. If they're fighting through the crate...personally I'd be skeptical that it would work out at all. Otherwise they should be fine if you run out to the store, even on Day 1.

5. Maybe separately for the first day or so...just to give everyone time to settle in. But then together, I don't see why you wouldn't unless there's a problem.

I know you're hoping that the new dog will settle your SA dog down a little. But I want to add some caution to that. Our first Shepherd was a severe SA case. We also got Argos in the expectation that maybe he would settle her down. He actually made her worse. She bonded as strongly to him as to any of her humans. If we had to take him with us out of the house, she was worse. He became another crutch for her to lean on, and without him she would stress. Having her own other dog also made her more territorial of him and she started giving us trouble with other dogs for the first time in her life. And she did rub off on him. To this day he doesn't board well, is not as independent as our other dogs, and likes his people to stay on their schedule. I would just say be sure that you give Vega some time away from Regen so that she can work to maintain her own personality.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you for the info- very helpful.
What you describe with Argos is exactly what we hope to avoid. I plan to socialize the new dog, Vega, separately from Regen and Vega will be working on therapy dog training tasks as well, so hopefully she'll be able to keep her personality and disposition.
We're lucky because there are two of us, and we are both exercise freaks, so making sure the dogs can have separate time every day to train and run will not be too much of a problem.

I am most concerned about making sure we do everything in that first 10-11 days that we have lots of time and energy to spend on them to get them off on the right foot.

In hindsight, I think we could have prevented Regen's separation anxiety if we had asked the right questions beforehand.
 
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