Intend to Add Another Dog?

This peace is specially meant for those dog lovers, who intend to bring another dog home. Let us find out why people bring home an additional pup? Often people do it to provide company to their existing dog. Sometimes, people feel that bringing home a mate for their dog will help improving his psyche or help him release his pent up frustration. Some people do it to activate their lazy dog, presuming that a perky dog would activate the older one.

Well, all the logics are fine. To add another pooch in the house, one doesn’t need to give a justification, at least in India. But before adding another pup one must understand some facts. Firstly, dogs are highly territorial. They resent any form of encroachment in their territory. A dog when he comes to your house as a pup, immediately begins to mark his territory with his indelible ‘stamp’-his pee. Soon he identifies a leader amongst the family member and treats the rest as pack members. The owner may or may not have that strong bond with the pup, but the pup develops unbreakable bonds. He cannot imagine anyone, a pup, a baby or any other pet come between him and his family. Majority of the owners either remain ignorant of this fact or ignore it.
Once the new pup comes home, the senior dog shows his resentment through different signals, depending upon the type of the dog he is. A shy dog may hide under the bed and bare his fangs, growl menacingly and at the height of his displeasure, he raises his heckles (hair at the shoulders). These are all warning signs, before an attack. Such is the height of mistrust that often most even tempered dogs lose their balance and attack the pup. At times the hatred is so much that a well-trained dog may restrain himself, but he will express his displeasure by urinating at all the places visited or used by the pup. Over a period of time the problem gets compounded.
If you have a dog and you bring home a dog pup or if you have a bitch and you bring home a bitch, they will surely fight, unless you take proper steps in the very beginning. In case the old and the new one are of opposite sexes, they will rarely fight, but it may be difficult to stop them from mating. The experts however, know how to manage the two and go for planned mating.
The new pup should be introduced to the older dog in a neutral territory. That can be outside the house, in a park or someplace where the two can meet undisturbed. One should keep an eye on the older dog, as he may get offended by the pranks of the pup. But after two-three meetings the older one may start accepting the new pup. Once the pup is accepted in the neutral territory, one can venture to bring the pup home and let them meet in some common area-like the drive in or the foyer. Watch the reactions of the senior dog before proceeding further. If the two meet without any sign of aggression from the older dog, more than half the battle has been won. Always remember, at no stage you should try to show affection towards the new one by cuddling or stroking him. And also never try to shout or show your anger at the menacing gestures of the senior dog. Just play cool and use only soft tones to control any situation-as per the need.
It is a time taking and patience testing period. But if these steps are taken, be assured that for the remainder of the period the two strangers will remain best playmates. There are however, pitfalls even then. The new pup may be of dominant nature and may try to boss over the older dog. Soon after he gains enough strength, he may start attacking the senior dog. All the problems need to be tackles with due care and patience.
I made the mistake of bringing home a Miniature Pincher bitch pup, when my Chihuahua was around five years old. They became sworn enemies. Thanks to my earlier experience and the arrangement I had at home, I could afford to keep them separated throughout their lives. I must mention that outside the house the two were the best friends. And also when the two bitches were in season they never fought. These part they left no opportunity to grab each other’s throats. The Minpin kept on peeing till she died at all the spots where the Chihuahua used to lurk when she was around.
Do add a pup, but please be careful and try to understand the psyche of the senior dog and also the mind of the pup. 

More By  :  V. K. Joshi (Bijji)

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Comments on this Blog

Comment Dogfather-first of all I wish to congratulate you for choosing such a wonderful name! I agree fully with you. When two puppies are brought together they grow like liitermates and seldom quarrel, unless an opposite sex enters in the house-then they forget the brotherhood and become animals (like us!). Most dog owners go for a trainer. It is like engaging a tutor for your child. The tutor may teach well but he can never teach the family values. Thus training your own dog should be the motto. Yes one can always learn how to train, but then it is like swimming-u may read N number of books on 'how to swim', bu u learn only after jumping in the pool! Thanks for your comments. Keep in touch.

26-Jan-2013 11:05 AM

Comment Mr Joshi thanks for writing this interesting article. I have 2 dogs (Rocco the Lab and Mojo the GSD) and I got them together. They are 1 year now and have grown up believing that they are brothers. A single dog may have issues of boredom and anxiety. Though there will always be the likelihood of agression, I believe that it is always the owners job to draw the boundaries. People do like to get their dogs trained but they do not want to go thru the pain of training the digs themselves. Dogs are pack animals and they always need a leader. If they are unable to find a leader among their human pack, they assume that responsibility themselves. That is a recipe for disaster whether you have one dog or many. In most cases its the human who needs the training rather than the dog.

Dogfather Sidhu
25-Jan-2013 00:57 AM

Comment Well Subodh you are right in the sense that a Lab and a Boxer both are playful breeds and go well with each other. Particularly a Lab always makes the adjustments. But some breeds like Dachshunds, Chihuahuas, Yorkshire Terriers etc never like the intrusion in their domain. In other words temperament has to do a lot in this adjustment. In India there are millions of dog owners who rear the 'Desi ones'-where temperament is almost impossible to predict. Thus the piece is meant for all kinds of owners and their all kinds of dogs. I always had a number of dogs and never faced any problem. But now in retrospective I realise that it was more because I had Labs as the 'senior' ones. At the last phase of my active dog rearing I did the mistake of bringing home a Minpin, while the Chi was already there. And the fights they had-fortunately I had retired by then and I was around to control them. And lastly not only other dogs, often senior dogs do not tolerate the new born infant in their terrain. Thanks for your comment.

24-Jan-2013 23:04 PM

Comment It's always wonderful and merry-making for single pet dog to be in company of another pet dog. I feel both will fight and enjoy the day and night despite lot of opposition and shouting by owners of the pet dogs. But i can visualize the way these pet dogs would enjoy the sharing the accommodation. May be some initial teething problem shall be there and that is bound to occur due to arrival of later pet dog and the senior dog will definitely show supremacy. Even then atmosphere,as a whole , of the house would turn-up fantastic. I love to add another Boxer sharing companion - ship with my 3-year old LAB

subodh kumar sharma
24-Jan-2013 12:00 PM

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