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Another question about my rescue dog coming into the picture. He's 2 years old, GSD/husky mix. We just lost the pack leader that kept the other two dogs in line (he was a 17 year old eskie). Our 2 year old female chi mix is keeping her distance, but my 10 month old shep/hound mix is scrapping with the rescue dog. They are both neutered and get along pretty well most of the time (it's only been a day). Today a friend of my daughter came into the house (8 years old) and the new dog was excitedly jumping around her and pulling at her sleeve. Our shep mix (Arizona) just went off on him....jumped on his back, growling and going insane. I immediately regretted letting my daughter's friend in and told her she had to go. Then this evening some sniffing again turned into a fight. The rescue dog is blind, easy going, and bigger than Arizona. Is this a fight for position? Does he see the rescue as weaker due to the handicap? Should I discipline Arizona when he starts a fight? Help!
 

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I'm sure others on here will be able to help you more than I can, but I would say that for the moment, it's too soon to just let the new dog immediately "into the fray." It sounds like you might need to take a step back and kind of start over, and gradually introduce the new dog into your pack. There are a lot of good threads on here about how to go about doing just that.

Most likely, the blind dog, not being able to see, is unable to read the body language that Arizona is sending out (likely signals of dominance). Arizona, seeing that this dog doesn't react the way he expects him to (submissively), doesn't quite know what to think of him and thus reacts to the new dog's lack of response. That sounds confusing, so do you get what I mean?

Your existing dogs are still adjusting from your loss, and this new guy with "weird" mixed body language/communication comes along, making things more confusing. You were smart in having your daughter's friend leave, because that's just adding one more thing to an already chaotic situation. All of these energies together stress all of the dogs, making them likely to fight. It may not necessarily be a dominance issue, or taking advantage of the new dog's handicap.

It will take at least a few weeks for your dogs to learn how to communicate with the new dog, and vice versa. Blind dogs can make it fine (we even had one come to daycare with her normal sister), but it will take time for him to get used to your family and vice versa. It definitely makes it more complicated than introducing a new dog, but I would definitely start by checking out the other threads on here about that.

As for correcting Arizona, try to avoid a fight by keep both dogs on leash when they are together. This will help you in establishing your bond with the new dog, as well as give him time to adjust to your household safely. This also gives Arizona (held by someone else, or tied to something/crated if that's not possible) a chance to hang back and watch the new dog. He needs time to learn to read the new dog's body language and realize that he is different.

On the other hand, I could be completely wrong and the two dogs could be just sorting things out, or really fighting for dominance. However, I think it's too soon to say, especially not being able to witness this firsthand.

Maybe someone with a blind dog can add?
 

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You are probably right...maybe it was too soon to let them loose. They were pretty friendly off the bat and Arizona is pretty easy going himself...but then again, he's still a pup. It may be hard to separate them now. When they're not fighting, they are best buddies.
 
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