UK Labradoodle Association

Introducing a new dog
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Author:  Bertiesmom [ 20 Aug 2017, 20:26 ]
Post subject:  Introducing a new dog

Bertie is a 5yr old standard Labradoodle. He is a happy chappy, quite bouncy and up til now has got on well with most of the dogs he meets. My son had 2 border collies male and female who he has known since he was a puppy and he has an excellent relationship with these dogs. Which is just as well as we go to the same places and regularly dog sit each others dogs and they stay over for holidays. The elderly male collie died and my son and his wife have taken on a rescue border collie of approx 1yr ( all the dogs are neutered). On 1st meeting the dogs played happily together in the garden and in my sons house. We have walked together and been out socially together. We spent a long weekend in a tent with the 3 dogs and there were no cross words between them. The last visit to to their house the new collie was quite snappy and nippy with Bertie and there was a small altercation, no wounds just them sorting it out between them. Today however they had a small fight in the garden and Bertie was cowering in the hedge ( he is 3x bigger and heavier than the other dog). When we at last coaxed him into the housie he climbed onto the sofa and refused to move. We took them out for a walk together and they were fine, when we returned Bertie took up position on the sofa and refused to move. The young collie does "eyeball" Bertie constantly, he does a mixture of behaviour too, either offering up his rear end to Bertie or putting his head over Berties shoulders (which is quite a stretch because he is not very big at all). We have tried distraction coaxing putting both dogs on a lead and ignoring them but its not going well. The collies are meant to be coming to stay with me for a week in September and Im quite worried about this. Any suggestions would be most welcome.

Author:  Bid [ 20 Aug 2017, 22:29 ]
Post subject:  Re: Introducing a new dog

That's a tough one - it is quite common with rescued adults for there to be a honeymoon period where everything seems fine, and then after a few months little things start to surface. Without seeing what happened, it's hard to make suggestions as there could be any number of things going on. As they were OK elsewhere it could be a touch of territorial aggression creeping in - have the collies been to visit Bertie on his home territory since their altercation? Is the male collie any different when just him and Bertie are around without the female? Could he actually be a bit scared of Bertie as he is so much bigger? There are so many possibilities.

I would think that whatever the problem is, it is likely to take time to sort out and is unlikely to be resolved by September. It might be worth your son coming up with a contingency plan!

Author:  Bertiesmom [ 21 Aug 2017, 09:27 ]
Post subject:  Re: Introducing a new dog

To be honest the collies havent visited Berties house since the altercation and its something we will be working on this week. The female collie is fairly submissive and stays out of the way mostly I dont think she contributes anything to make things worse or better. Im really surprised at Berties reaction, he is gentle and friendly but he has been known to hold his own very well when other dogs pick on him. (which is hardly ever). Poor Bertie was a quivering wreck. The rescued collie is quite nervous he paces constantly and as yet has never been off the lead outside the house and garden. He is very distracted by everything and until he was rescued didnt know his name or any commands. He is learning fast and knows sit and down now. I am also a bit concerned because he nipped the back of my leg before and he also went to nip at me yesterday. Not a big full on bite more of an anxious nip that he thought better of when I raised my voice to him with a firm no. I think he is going to take a lot of work. I dont want either of the dogs to be hurt in the process and I just wish Bertie would man up because he could flatten him with a paw.

Author:  Bertiesmom [ 24 Aug 2017, 17:26 ]
Post subject:  Re: Introducing a new dog

Well this has escalated further. We went for a walk in a big open park today. 2 collies and Bertie, female collie and Bertie off lead and Ralph (male collie) on a long lead as he doesnt have a recall yet. We had walked for about 1 hour and all the dogs were getting on fine, paddling in the stream chasing a ball and generally having a lovely time. Ralph then start seriously "eyeballing" Bertie again and went on to display all kinds of domination behaviour and then there was a huge challenge. We intervened and Ralph carried on with the "eyeballing" whilst Bertie became afraid and rooted to the spot. It took a while for him to recover and then we walked for another 30 mins without incident.
Decision is made that Ralph wont be coming to stay when my son and his wife go on holiday he will have to go into kennels.
I think this is going to take a lot of work. I think what Im most surprised about is Berties reaction, hes a lovely friendly chap but he doesnt normally let other dogs dominate him and plays nicely with other dogs we meet. He literally shakes and cowers when Ralph challenges him. I dont want to change his lovely personality but I do wish he would get over this.

Author:  Pollydoodle [ 24 Aug 2017, 23:48 ]
Post subject:  Re: Introducing a new dog

Has your son spoken to the rescue the dog came from for some advice, also to check if this behaviour was anticipated or is a surprise. One year old rescue is a mixed bag , likely high stress due a rescue and also st the age trying to test the waters and find his feet, err paws.
Sounds like you have a lot of experience. It also seems there is a lot going on with this dog and the dog needs some extra help.

Poor Bertie , I don't think dogs can "man up" Perhaps Bertie senses something about this dog that we as humans can't gauge or quite possibly this is the first time he encounters a dog that is serious in his intention.

Goodluck and take care.

Author:  Bid [ 25 Aug 2017, 00:16 ]
Post subject:  Re: Introducing a new dog

Sounds like a sensible decision. Just a thought - Bertie may not be scared and cowering - could he just be doing everything in his power to send lots of "I am not a threat" messages to Ralph? In general dogs will do all they can to avoid physical conflict, because it will end in someone getting hurt. If he is really scared though, it is best if Ralph doesn't visit, because a dog needs to be comfortable in his own home.

Author:  Bertiesmom [ 25 Aug 2017, 08:50 ]
Post subject:  Re: Introducing a new dog

Thank you for your advice. I am asking them to ring the border collie rescue to see if Ralph has a history with other dogs while he was there or offer some insight . Gemma has enrolled him in dog socialisation/obedience classes from the beginning of september. She got Ralph to use him for agility when her other collie retires. Im not sure she is ever going to do this as he is so distracted all the time and very "barky" and hyper in most situations. Best thing is when we do go into these situations is he hides behind Bertie and kind of seeks comfort from him? We have decided that they will only be having on lead neutral associations from now on until some more work is done. I have just found out that he growled and tried to bite my son, he is the weakest member of the pack and not a doggy person at all really.

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