by DHawk on 03 August 2021 - 17:08
I have an 8 year old male GSD. We have primarily lived on our own during this time except for brief periods of time where I would come home to visit my dad, who has a little sweet heart female GSD the same age as him. They get along great. They met when they were both 10 months old and have never had any issue with each other. Other than her, my male hasn't been around any other dogs off a leash.
When he was about two years old he got into a fight with an older male GSD and since then I've kept him away from other males and most dogs in general out of caution. This was an over correction on my part because now he isn't very well socialized with dogs. He is well mannered on a leash and doesn't pay attention to any dogs unless they get close to him. He gets tense and on edge when they try to approach him. He has never attacked or bit any dog though (aside from the GSD that he fought). I take him to public events and community dog runs and he is fine as long as no dogs come play with him or touch him.
With that being said, a family member has a 5 year old female GSD. I have known her since she was a pup and she's absolutely great. High drive, smart, obedient, good around kids. She is too high drive for her family. They have 4 kids and don't have the time she requires. She is also extremely under-socialized. They live in the country and she doesn't get out much so she's not socialized with dogs. She's very smart though and wants to please so I am confident she will learn and adapt quickly.
So I said I would consider taking her if they spay her first. My only draw back is I don't know how to introduce her to my male and incorporate her into our household when it has been just us two for 8 years and neither one of them are very socialized with other dogs. Any insight would be appreciated. Thanks.
by GK1 on 03 August 2021 - 18:08
I have a 4yo male that will latch on to another male instantly. Can’t suppress the fighting spirit, only control and manage. But he’s no problem with females and pups. Mother nature has a vote.
Intro the female with her handler to you and yours on neutral turf - like a public park. First from a distance, then gradually walk them closer as long as they don’t get apprehensive or defensive. May take a couple sessions to build up to bringing her home. You should know soon whether this would work, or not. Go from there. Should be a fun project..liven things up.
Spaying would prevent an unwanted breeding, not much else initially.
by GSCat on 03 August 2021 - 19:08
Make sure the female is healed from her surgery so she can rough-house with the male dog before you take her.
If possible, you provide a blanket with your dog's smell on it to the female dog's owners and they provide you with one with the female dog's smell on it at least a few days to a week before the dogs meet. The dogs get to smell each other and get accustomed to the other's smell before ever meeting.
Introduce them in a neutral place. Preferably someplace fun. If there's a quiet dog park or quiet area of a dog park or a quiet fenced park, or even a fenced tennis court (watch out for hot pavement), that would be good. The key is not having too many distractions and definitely no interference from others. Your vet or a friend may have a suitable fenced area.
If the female dog's family can bring her to the park (or wherever) that will help both the dog and the family. The family, especially the kids, will be able to see the two dogs interacting, and that will be helpful.
Lots of encouragement and treats. Everything on-leash at first. Take it slowly and be patient. There might be instant friendship, shyness, or bullying. Chances are after initial caution, there will be the start of a good friendship. However, it is possible it might take a couple of trips to the park. Long training leads can be helpful, but they can get hopelessly tangled, leading to issues, so any crossing, wind-ups, etc. must be immediately fixed before the dogs get knotted/trapped together. Best for a different handler for each lead
Try to transport home in separate vehicles or crated so they cannot play or fight in the vehicle. Your vehicle is not a neutral zone. Let them get used to each other in your yard before taking them inside. Best to start leashed. Ditto going inside.
Make sure at first the dogs are fed and watered separately with their respective familiar bowls/buckets. Separate toys. Until you are absolutely certain, make sure there is nothing for them to fight over. They may need separate potty areas or not. Expect them to pee and poo on top of the other dog's pee and poo, even if you keep things picked up (the smell's still there).
Ensure they are always supervised if they can reach the other, and separated in such a way they cannot reach each other when not.
Both dogs will need individual and joint attention from everyone in your family. Make sure not lop-sided.
Your dog is going to need extra attention and reassurance. Make sure the extra is out of sight out of earshot of the new dog. The female is going to miss her family and may act out, mope, cry, whine, howl, etc. for days/weeks and need extra attention/comfort. Best case, your male comforts her and helps her through it. Although they're obviously not brother-sister, "sibling rivalry" among dogs in the same house for the owner's attention can lead to unwanted behaviors. The easiest way to solve them is prevent them with supervision and lots of attention for both. At least at first, make sure you have a spearate handler for each dog when they are interacting, just in case. Heavy leather gloves in case of a worst case (not likely, but better safe than sorry).
Find out from the current owners what the female knows, commands, rewards, and punishments/discipline so there's consistency/relatively seamless transition and she'll know better what to expect/how to behave. Write it down, or better yet, have her current owners write it down. If there's something she doesn't know, teach her before she violates the rule if at all possible. Don't forget any paperwork transfer, titles, training records, vet records, etc. Remember to transfer ownership/registration (old owners SIGN THE PAPERS) and remember any municipal registration. Also update any liability insurance you carry. Some veterinary care insurance can be transferred without interruption to a new owner with no premium increase. Others not. Or you may need to change policies. Some companies have multi-dog discounts.
TAKE PHOTOS AND VIDEO. Provide copies to her current owners ASAP. Agree on visitation (if any) and sharing of future photos/video. Both the humans and dog will miss each other. Maybe they'll provide copies of her puppy and earlier adult photos.
There's probably more that I'm forgetting LOL
Important: There's a lot more likelihood of rough-housing in the house, so reinforcement of *manners* for both dogs is critical from the get-go.
Good luck, and have lots of fun :-) A two-dog house can be very enriching for both dogs :-) and the humans :-)