Introducing new puppy to my 3 yr old doberman

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meghan3's picture
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Joined: 2011-02-23

We will be bringing home a new female doberman puppy in about seven weeks. I currently have a three-year old spayed female doberman named Meghan. She has been an only dog since we got her at 12 weeks, but is well socialized around other people and animals. With so many snippy, cranky small dogs around the neighborhood, she is more cautious now about her social interactions with other dogs (we always have her on leash except at play in our home or back yard with one of her dog friends). I would appreciate any advice on making this a smooth transition for her and the puppy. We plan to take her with us to pick up the pup since it is a five hour drive one way.

Tannaidhe's picture
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Joined: 2013-02-25

The big, glaring question here is: are you aware of same-sex aggression, are you prepared to keep an eye out for it, and do you have a backup plan in place if your girls should display it?

 

Before answering your actual question, though..  how old will the puppy be when brought home?

meghan3's picture
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Joined: 2011-02-23

Yes, I am aware there can be issues. I've always had female dogs (previously two dalmations, one of which didn't like other dogs except for her "sister"), but the two of them were very close (with the occasional scuffle). I am a master of the time out and diversions, when necessary to rein  in bad behavior. The puppy will be nine weeks when I bring her home.

I would suggest neutral ground. Someplace outside of the house or yard. Could be a next door neighbor's yard. This can deter a territorial issue for the intro. Watch the puppy but don't pine over it. Pay a little more attention to the older one. Reward your present dog for being patient with the pup.

As far as Same Sex Aggression, that's more of a male on male thing. Inperticular intact males. Not saying it doesn't happen with females but not as common. You'll always have the occasional scuffles between two dogs. Mine have had scuffles over a stick. 10,000 sticks in the yard but both had to have THAT one. Who knows?

Congrats on the new pup!!!!!

Gunny

meghan3's picture
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Joined: 2011-02-23

Gunny,

Thanks so much! Yes, we will not be introducing them in our yard or house, especially since Meghan is so yard protective. I definitely plan to shower Meghan with all the affection she is used to, and will be focusing on lots of positive reinforcement for even tolerating the new addition. I know I will jsut have to be patient myself and not expect Meghan to be thrilled with the idea right away. After that initial adjustment period, I'm sure she will be thrilled to have a full-time playmate. I know what you mean about the toys - I used to buy two of everything for my dalmations, and they still would both occasionally want the same one - not unlike feuding human siblings!

Tannaidhe's picture
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Joined: 2013-02-25

Yes, the same sex aggression is much more of a male thing, but it's not entirely uncommon in females too, and something that a new doberman owner (or more accurately, a proposed multi-doberman owner) needs to be aware of and watch out for, and as I said, have a plan in place in case it turns uncompromisingly violent.

At nine weeks old, you can't really take them for a nice long walk together, which is among the easiest ways to introduce new packmates.  :-/  (Because A, the puppy won't be able to walk far, and B, won't have enough of her shots yet to have any real immunity to anything.)  Neutral ground is a definite, just be aware of point B there. 

Don't push either of them to do anything they aren't comfortable with, and don't let them push each other past the comfort threshold, either.  One of the best ways to build comfort with each other and confidence in you, is to learn where that comfort threashold is, and -you- stop the other dog from pushing past it.  For example, I know how close Nyxie can get to Koko's food bowl before he gets "nervous", so I sit with him while he's eating, and if Nyxie starts to get too curious, I chase her off, gently but vocally, so that by now Koko barely pays attention to her, because he knows I will chase her off, he doesn't have to.

Obviously, if Meghan is yard-protective, don't let them in the yard at the same time for a while, even under supervision.  For the first few weeks, it's enough of an intrusion to even have the puppy's smell in the yard.  Be sure to give them both 'alone' time with you, and training time as well. 

Unfortunately, until you get them together and see what your challenges are, there's no real way to plan for them.  It may go smooth as you please, or it may be a train wreck.  Every dog and dog-combination is different.

meghan3's picture
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Joined: 2011-02-23

I'm going to keep a positive but realistic attitude about the whole thing. I know that Meghan may not be ready to roll out the welcome mat right away, but she has always been wonderful when we dogsit for our friends. We even had a dog birthday party for her a year ago (four other dogs were at the house). They shared toys and water, and there weren't any issues. That said, I realize it will be different when she realizes the puppy is not a visitor, but actually moving in. Until I know Meghan is onboard with the new living situation, I am going to take care to ensure that she gets her space, lots of affection and positive reinforcement (which of course is the norm in our home), and that she is able to establish some boundaries with the puppy. She is a sweet girl and I am confident she wouldn't hurt the puppy intentionally. That said, I will be closely supervising their time together to ensure everyone is safe and happy. Thanks so much for the feedback and advice. :)

I've always had females and kept multiples together with no problems. My male on the other hand is another story a little more controlling of his environment and doesnt hesitate to make it known he is boss even towards females so you just never know. All raised the exact same way and each socialized the exact same way. They are each unique individuals. My reason for saying this about the male is usually a male female combo is what people consider the best but there are exceptions to every rule and each dog has it own personality.temperment. I wouldn't hesitate keeping 2 females together.

My friend has had quite a few visitors and new additions at her house as well as fostering many different dogs and puppies. She always has an x-pen set up for the new member of the pack to stay in while the other dogs in the house are able to walk around it, smell it and have safe interactions for awhile until they are used to eachother. I personally love this idea and if and whenever I get another new member into my house I will use this exact same method. I've seen the ease of how helpful this is with her dog family. The other thing she does with her male and new puppies is put a basket muzzle on him while they interact until he can be trusted.

I haven't had to purchase a dog in awhile due to having my own litters, but we do things similar with the puppies while in our house. When the puppies are old enough to socialize with the older dogs we bring them down to the main floor and set up different play areas that are fenced off with x-pens. This allows the big dogs to see the new puppies, and the puppies to socialized around the other dogs. Then they are slowly integrated with the other dogs.

Anyhow, lol after the long response I just wrote...I highly recommend x-pens for the adjustment period