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introducing pup-help me figure out dynamic?

881 Views 4 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  ellen366
Hi everyone. This is going to be a bit long, so bear with me. I posted an intro here about the 6 month old GSD that has just come into our lives. (Stray who followed a friend home and wouldn't leave). He is great, and I really want to keep him, but I'm concerned about how it's affecting my first dog, Dizzy.

She is about 4-5 (not sure, she was an adult stray/rescue as well), we think some sort of Aussie-X. She is a very easy and mellow dog, and has been since we've had her. She goes everywhere with me, is never on a leash unless we're somewhere it's required, and is just an incredibly polite, quiet and well-mannered dog. She's not timid, but standoffish with strangers, and will usually prefer to avoid confrontation. She generally doesn't shy away from correcting younger, bouncy dogs who get in her space, but will more often walk away if something's bothering her (like my toddler).

I'm trying to figure out the dynamic between her and the new GSD, who we're calling Cyrus. I don't want her to feel displaced, and want her to be the alpha. To this end, I've designated the bedroom and the bed, and my husband's study where she hangs out with him as Cyrus-free zones. He is very good about staying out, and Dizzy has tended to spend most of her time in them. I feed her first, and llet her in doors first, keep him on the leash while she is off. I have a horse, and Dizzy still comes to the barn with me without him, where she can play with her Jack Russell friend and go on trail rides with me and my horse.

She is going OK--it's only been a week that he's been here--but she's not particularly happy about it. Every once in while she will correct him if he's in her space, and he'll go lie down, but mostly she'll just stay away. If I try to pet her, he will come over and try to get between us, and even if I push him away she doesn't want to deal with it so sighs and walks away. He'll also try to "herd" her around the house, following her around at her shoulder. She doesn't seem to mind, and usually just goes upstairs. There are other times, though, when she corrects him, and I think she "wins"--he will lie down or go away.

Sometimes she will growl at him when he's trying to push her around, but keep her head averted. I'm trying to figure out if this means she's submitting or correcting him. He'll be looking straight at her, ears up, and she'll look away growling.

Things are better when we are outside or on walks. They are happy to trot shoulder to shoulder, either on leash or off, and a few times have actually played chase while we were on the beach or in the park. At home, though, she won't really play when he's around. She's not a big player, anyway, but she always enjoyed playing tether ball with us in the back yard. Now she won't play unless Cyrus is inside with the door closed, even though he doesn't try to play, just lies down and watches.

I'm sorry this is so long, I'm just trying to figure out if Dizzy is letting herself be bossed around by this big puppy, and if so, if that's all right, in terms of both his development and her happiness. If she is going to end up depressed about having Cyrus around, I want to start looking for another home for him before he gets too attached to us.

Thanks for any insight anyone can give. I've always had a one-dog household, so I don't know how to interpret what's going on, or how long this adjustment period will be.
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introductions and the adjustment period can be trying; personally, i let the dogs work it out themselves; they'll decide who's the alpha based on their own personalities and then i work w/their decision; i do rescue and do this all the time; it always works out in the end, w/o my interference; just love them both and give bothof them lots of attention so neither feels left out

although you want dizzy to be alpha, she may not want to be the alpha; not all dogs want to be the top dog; i have a 10 mos old pup who'se trying to figure out where he fits with my pack; he's learning, sometimes by getting a nip from one of the older, more dominant boys; but, based on my observations, i'm betting this pup, when he matures will be the alpha dog and will soon be putting the more dominant males in their places; i'm letting them work things out on their own (i do observe though to be sure no one gets too rough; if it gets too wild, i just wade in and intervene) and i make sure he gets to spend time with all of the other dogs one on one; since i have a pack, time spent one on one is different

relax and enjoy watching them interact; they'll warm up to one another and work it out on their own

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I agree with ellen366, they need to work it out for themselves. Just keep an eye on them so that it never gets too wild.

Dizzy needs some time to get used to the changes and accept that the little monster is not going away!!

Good luck.
I know they have to work it out for themselves, it just breaks my heart to see Dizzy retreat like this. I want this to work out, but if she's going to stay really unhappy, I will start looking for a suitable home for Cyrus. (For those who didn't read my intro, I didn't buy/adopt Cyrus--just offered him a place when he showed up at my friends house as a stray and her dog wouldnt' accept him. I thought if it as a short term foster, but we're fallign in love with him. All of us but Dizzy, that is.)

Dizzy's not miserable, just a bit mopey. I just don't want her to spend the rest of her life hiding on my bed!
don't worry, she'll adjust; they always do; even my spoiled, bratty min pin who thinks he owns me has adjusted to the other dogs that have followed; it's amazing just how much they can handle and adjust too; just keep loving dizzy; she won't mope and hide forever
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