Preventing SSA issues before they start-Tips?

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lambchop's picture
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So we've been saddled with a new Boston Terrier pup thanks to my irresponsible brother who got it for his way too young children. I offered to take the puppy in (9 week old female) for him so the kids could still see her once in a while and so she didn't have to go through another massive change at such a young age. 

I currently have a 4.5 year old female dobie. She's well socialized, gets along great with my brother's grown GSP gun dogs that we regularly babysit and is overall pretty perfect (lol of course I'm biased). My question is: what steps can I take NOW to ensure we don't run into SSA problems with the new puppy? In general my female dog gets along better with other female dogs over males, and smaller dogs over larger. Which is why I have hope the new puppy will fit in. 

Aside from feeding them separately, training separately, and crating the puppy when the dogs aren't under direct supervision, does anyone here have tips to ensure we're not putting the puppy at risk? I've trained my dog to wait before going through doorways and plan to do the same with the puppy to ensure they're not trying to race each other to barge into and out of the house/rooms. I'd like any further advice from those who own two same sex dogs.

DobermanGuy's picture
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In general my female dog gets along better with other female dogs over males, and smaller dogs over larger. Which is why I have hope the new puppy will fit in.  Aside from feeding them separately, training separately, and crating the puppy when the dogs aren't under direct supervision, does anyone here have tips to ensure we're not putting the puppy at risk?

As a guy that has raised a few pairs of females now -

I did the 'feeding them separately' thing for a few weeks with one pair and quickly found it was not really needed. Supervision yes, but feeding them in different rooms - No.

Dobes are not dumb. They can learn what bowl belongs to which particular dog if you do your part to teach them and help reinforce the 'no bowl sharing' rules that you set down. They will never learn that concept without you taking the time to 'supervise' and help them learn the rules. That would involve feeding them together in the same room at the same time...

My girl Patience has been picky lately and will occasionally walk away from her bowl for a little bit before coming back to finish. Neither of the other females here are going to mess with her bowl or her food. They know the 'rules' and they know darn well that that bowl does not belong to them. If they get caught with their nose in it - They have me to deal with! LOL! :)

Usually when feeding multiple dogs at the same time and in the same room they are going to eat fairly quickly and not be too picky about what is in the bowls. Back when I was rasing a single Doberman in the house - It would sometimes take forever to get them to eat regular kibble exactly when I wanted them to eat. You put 2 or 3 dogs in the same room, fill all the bowls with kibble and when you give them the 'ok' they are going to be diving in and finishing quickly most of the time. Even if one of them does not really 'care' to much for the particular kibble - They will look around and see everyone else going to town and quickly follow suit. Reminds me of that old cereal commercial where the kids tested out the new cereal on 'Mikey' and once they figured out that 'Mikey likes it' they all went to town eating it! LOL! :)

You really want all of your dogs eating on the schedule that YOU set down for them (and the food that you choose to feed them). A regular feeding schedule is going to lead to a regular potty schedule...

Supervision is more important here than the distance apart that you place the bowls.

Higher value foods you may want to separate them a bit while they are still learning -

Fed my rescue girl behind a baby gate with her by herself in the kitchen for a while when she first arrived. She got to where she would stand there at the gate during doggie dinnertime and watch the big girls eat (not touching her bowl at all). Once I figured out what she was trying to tell me and started feeding her in the same room with them at the same time - She stopped watching them eat and got down to business as soon as she was given her bowl.

 

lambchop's picture
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Thanks so much for the feeding tips! My girl does NOT like dogs coming near her food bowl when she's eating. She is a piglet though (she has to eat 2x the recommended amt for her weight) and needs a slow feeder or she'll inhale her food in the blink of an eye. My worry wasn't so much the puppy bothering her, it was more her shoving the much smaller Boston aside to eat her food lol.

I think you're right about just monitoring though. We can leave a whole roast chicken out on the coffee table and she won't touch it because she knows anything there is off limits. Luckily she's always been fine with sharing water although treats are another story. She once lunged at my friend's husky for daring to come near us while we were eating popcorn, her favorite food to hoover off the floor when it happens to miss our mouths. 

All in all, we have a great dog, but I don't want to be one of the fools lulled into a false sense of security because our solitary dog is so well behaved. People always say after a bad incident, "my dog's the sweetest and wouldn't hurt a fly! I can't understand what got into her". 

DobermanGuy's picture
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She is a piglet though (she has to eat 2x the recommended amt for her weight) and needs a slow feeder or she'll inhale her food in the blink of an eye.

Lol! :)

 

Was dispensing some hotdog pieces between the girls one day and like usual Patience sucked her pieces down whole. No way she could have tasted anything as fast as she sucked them down. The other dogs actually chewed their pieces a little but not Patience...

A few minutes later I look up to see Patience in her crate regurgitating those hotdogs pieces she hoovered down. Every single one of them got spit up and they looked pretty much untouched sitting there on the tray in her crate. Once she inspected them all (obviously she counted them to make sure they were all there... LOL!) she slowly and carefully ate them all again for the second time before exiting her crate.

The other dogs sat there watching her with amazement and jealousy. 'How come she got more than me??' 

I got to admit that it was impressive her figuring out how she could get to eat twice as many treats as everyone else. Smart dog!  

Chances are you might be fine as they are not the same breed or same age.  Do be very careful with a small puppy as it could easily get hurt with normal Doberman play.  If you are worried about the Dobe eating the puppy's food, then feed the puppy in her crate or another room.  I would not leave them alone together. 

My 3 Dobes all bolt down their food - always have. Until recently, I fed all 3 at the same time in the same room.  I now have some serious SSA with my two bitches and they cannot be together without both wearing basket muzzles. So now one gets fed in the laundry room with the door shut.  I've had SSA with two sets of bitches - but they have all been Dobermans.  One is spayed and one isn't as she is still showing (or will be once the pandemic is over).  This will be my last set of bitches (and I'd never have two male Dobermans) - it is way too stressful.  They are 6 years apart in age (they actually have the same birthday), and I never dreamed I'd have this happen again. It sucks. 

lambchop's picture
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Wow, that's so awful to hear! I'm hoping because the Boston is so much smaller than our girl that she won't be as bothered. She's a strange one because she HATES puppies but once they're able to play she seems unbothered. Our daycare lady took in a litter of cane corso pups last year and our girl really bonded with one of the little girl puppies in that litter. She has always seemed to gravitate more towards females for whatever reason.

My worry now is that we just brought home a corner of puppy's blanket from their home and our Dobie is TERRIFIED of it. She took one whiff and ran off to the other corner of the room and began to sulk. I'm heartbroken, becuase I don't want to ruin her little life with the pup. We're trying to keep the intro as slow as possible. I'm glad the response wasn't a growl or raised hackles but still, this wasn't the result I was hoping for!

DobermanGuy's picture
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I now have some serious SSA with my two bitches and they cannot be together without both wearing basket muzzles. So now one gets fed in the laundry room with the door shut.  I've had SSA with two sets of bitches - but they have all been Dobermans.  One is spayed and one isn't as she is still showing (or will be once the pandemic is over).  This will be my last set of bitches (and I'd never have two male Dobermans) - it is way too stressful. 

Damn... That stinks to hear. 

Just out of curiosity - How 'firmly' do you handle them? No nonsense - 'You WILL do what I say when I say it' or more laid back in your approach / methods?