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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
If possible want a collective opinion on how to introduce my new 11 month old GSD female to a 7 year old Rottie Male rescue I have only owned for a few months. He was taken to a dog training center for the program and the owners never came back to get him. I adopted him through the local dog pound as the training center trains dogs that are at the pound and so they thought he would have a better chance of getting a home. He showed no dog aggression at either place. I also have a 14 year old female Chi who he loves.


Cairo's (GSD) details are at in the introduction section of the forum - Just posted yesterday. Basically a barn dog with no socialization. There are pictures of all the dogs in the thread: https://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/introductions-welcome-mat/753059-new-11-month-old-female-cairo.html


I live alone so I am going to be the only one handling the integration of her into my family. So keep that in mind. I have contacted a dog behaviorist and she is going to be here with me when they finally do the meeting:

Here's the plan and I am willing to accept all advice please:

1. She's been doing great in her crate and is in the basement. She is timid and not really loving but I see glimmers.

2. Chopper (Rottie) has been able to smell her for the last day- he is on the main floor.

3. Yesterday I walked Chopper down to the basement where he has his own crate and fed them both in their crates that
are separated by 12 feet. They can see each other. No aggression- he acts like he really doesn't notice her. When I
took him out of his crate 35 minutes later, I played with him a bit and he kept flopping on his back for me to give him
snuggles just like normal. He was about 5 feet away from her. She just laid in her crate and didn't react to him. So
far so good. He did get a little too close (my fault) to her crate (2 feet) and she snarled at him from a lying position.
I had him on a lead so I pulled him back and he wanted to go upstairs.

4. Day 3 and I am going to take as long as necessary she is clearly nervous and needs to knows she is safe. I have seen
her wag her tail only twice! I have been spending lots of time with her, no pushing her at all. She loves walks -
yesterday we walked for a total of 3.75 miles around the neighborhood to get her out of her crate and build up her
confidence with me. Shockingly of all the dogs I have owned- she is the best walker. She watches every step I make and
stays right inline. I can lead her holding the leash with two fingers. Of course I have the other end tethered to my
wrist in case she spooks.

She has lots of marks that look like dog bites on her muzzle and ears. :crying: I am thinking she has had some bad
experiences with other dogs and that is going to make things a bit more difficult.

So all in all my plan is to keep her separated from Chopper (M) by keeping her on one floor and him the other. Feed them in the same room in their crates. Crate and Rotate them for at least a few weeks. She hasn't been upstairs yet so I think since she is so shy it will be a few days. When I do Chopper will be downstairs in his crate eating a frozen Kong toy
and I'll walk her around up here so she can get used to the place and lay down her scent. My concern is that I don't want Chopper to think the upstairs belongs to him. Does this sound like a good plan?
 

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You might try taking them outside to a place unfamiliar to both of them so it is neutral territory. Tie the Rottie out to a tree or something sturdy. Just have a good leash and put the end through the handle as you put it around the tree. Also use a good flat collar for both dogs. Then bring the GSD toward the Rottie at an angle if possible. You should be able to gauge their reactions. If they look calm and happy, eventually let them greet and smell each other. If any aggression starts, you can simply pull the GSD away.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
You might try taking them outside to a place unfamiliar to both of them so it is neutral territory. Tie the Rottie out to a tree or something sturdy. Just have a good leash and put the end through the handle as you put it around the tree. Also use a good flat collar for both dogs. Then bring the GSD toward the Rottie at an angle if possible. You should be able to gauge their reactions. If they look calm and happy, eventually let them greet and smell each other. If any aggression starts, you can simply pull the GSD away.
Ideally I would do that but my yard is small and it's just me so there is really no neutral ground here. I would have to take Chopper to someone else's property and leave him tied up and walk back to get Cairo. By the time I got back he would not be in a calm mind space.

Thank you for the suggestion though. The dog behavioralist is able to come over this weekend but that is still 6 days away and they have sort of met already. Maybe when she gets here we can both walk them and try it.
 

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Ideally I would do that but my yard is small and it's just me so there is really no neutral ground here. I would have to take Chopper to someone else's property and leave him tied up and walk back to get Cairo. By the time I got back he would not be in a calm mind space.

Thank you for the suggestion though. The dog behavioralist is able to come over this weekend but that is still 6 days away and they have sort of met already. Maybe when she gets here we can both walk them and try it.
Can you crate them in a vehicle and go to a park or some other area like a large parking lot?
 

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I would not tie the dog to the tree either separate outings in the backyard for now. In the home they should be separated for now but I would not separate them on different floors or the basement. Your dog has to know the new dog is part of the family completely segregating the new dog will only take longer to get that message. A crate in the next room with a gate is a better option. Any interactions would be leash walks away from house until everyone has adjusted. Leash walk is a great way for you to set the tone.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
I would not tie the dog to the tree either separate outings in the backyard for now. In the home they should be separated for now but I would not separate them on different floors or the basement. Your dog has to know the new dog is part of the family completely segregating the new dog will only take longer to get that message. A crate in the next room with a gate is a better option. Any interactions would be leash walks away from house until everyone has adjusted. Leash walk is a great way for you to set the tone.
I was just thinking that this morning but didn't do it because my house is an open design and I was afraid Chopper would mess with her. I would have to bring both XL Crates upstairs and crate one while I take the other one out to potty, play etc. as my house is an open Cape Cod with really no separate rooms downstairs and one huge bedroom on the second floor. I think that could work since he doesn't seem interested in messing with her.

ON A SIDE NOTE: She has her first Vet's appointment at 2:15 EST so I'll let you know how it goes.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
First vet visit for Cairo

Update of Vet visit:

She behaved like a different dog at the vets! Ride over there was only a couple of miles and she did well.

She behaved like she’d been at the vets office 20 times before. She sat in the waiting room up on the bench where the people sit. She let everyone pet her. She didn’t growl or look sideways at any dogs or cats. Stool sample came back with hookworms and whipworms which she was treated for. She got her shots and has to back in three weeks for her spay and booster shot.

Vet said she was underweight at her current 62 pounds and should get to 80-85 pounds at full size.

Here's her waiting in the exam room for the vet:
 

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Don't worry about her weight yet. My big boy didn't reach his full weight until he was 3. He stuck at mid 70s from 1 1/2 to his early second year and the vet said he was fine and healthy. Now he is 92 lbs and when you feel under his fur you can tell he's not fat.
I have read that females need less calories after they are spay and it seems true for my gal, so your lady will pick up a few pounds after her procedure.
 
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