Introducing the dogs more?

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Postby pitsnok » October 2nd, 2010, 6:55 pm

How should I know when it is a good time to introduce the dogs more thoroughly?

Harlow and Ollie adore each other... and I'm talking like 'can't...stop...playing...too...much...fun!!' adore each other. Degan has showed some signs of wanting to play with Ollie... (It's hard to explain) but he will be on the bed and put his front paws out and push them over and over with his ears all perky...that's how he initiates play with Harlow and with us...so I see that as a good sign.

Boss on the other hand, was good with Harlow last weekend but last night I let him out and he just avoided her altogether. He seems very unsure, and intimidated by other dogs...except Ollie. If Degan or Harlow get close to his crate to smell him he gets REALLY pissed like snarls and lunges in their direction. Obviously I know things are different when they are crated versus being out together, but I'm just kind of afraid, or apprehensive to try to move forward at this point. He pays no attention to Degan and Harlow if they are crated, and completely ignores Degan's barks and pleas to be let out. It seems like Boss is just constantly on the defense. Although, he shows absolutely no signs of resource guarding EXCEPT with people. He will gripe at Ollie if Ollie tries to steal his petting time. They trade off food bowls while they eat, and constantly trade toys. Even with Harlow he was that way.
He was obviously really apprehensive and defensive of people at first, but now neither he nor Ollie know a stranger. It's quite satisfying knowing we have really changed their minds about people.

What do you guys think I should do at this point? should I just accept that Boss just shouldn't be with other dogs, or should I 'test' it a little more (slowly, of course) to see if he is just unsure?

I don't know if the whole testosterone thing will make a difference...I know they say it takes about a month after neutering for all the testosterone to leave their system...and it has been three weeks since their surgery. But that doesn't seem to me like it would make that much of a difference.

I just need advice!
~Brittany, Degan and Harlow's mom


"It is true that Pit Bulls grab and hold on. But what they most often grab and refuse to let go of is your heart, not your arm."
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Postby pitbullmamaliz » October 2nd, 2010, 7:00 pm

Personally, I feel that if Boss doesn't want to hang around the other dogs, why try to make it happen?
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Postby pitsnok » October 2nd, 2010, 7:08 pm

I guess my whole reason for caring so much is that we aren't wanting to keep Boss forever, and I feel like I should have a better idea of how he feels before determining what would be the best home for him. Know what I mean?
~Brittany, Degan and Harlow's mom


"It is true that Pit Bulls grab and hold on. But what they most often grab and refuse to let go of is your heart, not your arm."
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Postby plebayo » October 3rd, 2010, 2:52 am

pitbullmamaliz wrote:Personally, I feel that if Boss doesn't want to hang around the other dogs, why try to make it happen?


I agree with this. If potential adopters have dogs then see how he does with them. I don't think he "shouldn't be with other dogs" clearly he's just been buddies with Ollie. I wouldn't rule out a home with another dog, but the people need to realize that Boss needs some work and that he may never be super social with the other dog.

You could always set up the adoption as a 2 week foster period and if he fits into the home - great - if not the "fosters" should be able to tell you what went wrong.

Who knows, you might also find someone to adopt him that wants one dog only and has no desire to turn the dog into a dog park dog. Regardless it sounds like you've made a lot of headway they are still so lucky to have found you!
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Postby mnp13 » October 3rd, 2010, 8:21 am

I don't see a problem either way honestly. But I would not let them anywhere near him in his crate, and I would never EVER let dogs eat together and trade food bowls. It only takes one time for it to "go bad" and then it goes REALLY bad.
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Postby dlynne1123 » October 3rd, 2010, 5:41 pm

They should also realize he should NEVER be a dog park dog. Its totally different then supervised play time with family pack members or friends dogs. Please whenever adopting out a bully, address this thoroughly. I see people who are a little too ignorant end up with a bully and think the dog park is totally acceptable, until that one time. NEVER dog parks or day cares. Just too much at stake. As far as socializing with appropriate dogs, with handlers you trust, I like to take dogs for long walks together with other handlers to get some of the 'new car smell' worn off and then let them passivelly sniff while walking, avoiding eye contact and overcrowding at first. A brisk walk too so there's no real face to face contact. They should be more interested in the walk than each other, then gradually get them doing work together. Obedience or exercises, that aren't play at first. This will help establish leadership. After a few weeks of this you should have a pretty good idea whether other dogs will work, or none at all. It'll give you a better idea of what kind of home is appropriate. I don't recommend meetings off leash with bullies as things can go pretty bad pretty fast. So the walk works well with my fosters. Then we come home, they are all tired and lay in particular areas in the house without encouraging play. If the other two are teasing it isn't fair.

I agree with Michelle, avoid toys, treats and food altogether! It just can't be expected of every dog to share. Especially temporary packs.
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Postby plebayo » October 3rd, 2010, 9:01 pm

dlynne1123 wrote:They should also realize he should NEVER be a dog park dog. Its totally different then supervised play time with family pack members or friends dogs. Please whenever adopting out a bully, address this thoroughly. I see people who are a little too ignorant end up with a bully and think the dog park is totally acceptable, until that one time. NEVER dog parks or day cares. Just too much at stake. As far as socializing with appropriate dogs, with handlers you trust, I like to take dogs for long walks together with other handlers to get some of the 'new car smell' worn off and then let them passivelly sniff while walking, avoiding eye contact and overcrowding at first. A brisk walk too so there's no real face to face contact. They should be more interested in the walk than each other, then gradually get them doing work together. Obedience or exercises, that aren't play at first. This will help establish leadership. After a few weeks of this you should have a pretty good idea whether other dogs will work, or none at all. It'll give you a better idea of what kind of home is appropriate. I don't recommend meetings off leash with bullies as things can go pretty bad pretty fast. So the walk works well with my fosters. Then we come home, they are all tired and lay in particular areas in the house without encouraging play. If the other two are teasing it isn't fair.

I agree with Michelle, avoid toys, treats and food altogether! It just can't be expected of every dog to share. Especially temporary packs.


I guess I should have worded it differently as someone might be interested in adopting a non-social dog. I'm pretty sure most people on this board don't advocate the dog park. I used a "dog park dog" as an example of a social dog who gets along with other dogs. I don't think anyone on this board is a dog park advocate.
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Postby pitsnok » October 3rd, 2010, 11:19 pm

It is going to be REALLY hard for anyone to adopt him. They will have to be perfect. I will drill into their heads (if they don't already know) that he can NOT go to dog parks. I'm really hoping to find someone with bully experience, and would prefer to know the people personally beforehand, just so I could have a better feel of them as a whole, and be able to keep close contact. We will keep him until we find that right person.

We feed Ollie and Boss together, but their bowls are on opposite sides of the room. We have a center island so that keeps them from seeing each other while they eat. We never leave their side while they eat, just as we do Degan and Harlow. We keep a close eye on them, and although I know that is an ideal time for something bad to happen, if they were to get snarky with each other I'm confident we would stop it before anything happened. The trading of bowls doesn't really happen anymore. When we first got them though, it was obvious that they had shared food at their previous home because they were very confused about having their own bowls-- we had to coax them away from each other to eat, and constantly had to reassure them that it was okay.

Do you guys suggest we crate Boss in another room? I was under the impression it was good to have them crated in the same area so they could get used to seeing, and being around each other without actually having any contact. I also thought it was good for Degan and Harlow to be out and get used to Boss and Ollie being in their crates--to desensitize them. It is rare for them to 'investigate' him in his crate, and for him to get mad about it. They can be around him anywhere and he pays no attention, it's just when they are obviously checking him out. I felt like it was important to include that in my original post so you guys could have a better understanding of the whole situation.

I don't feel like he is necessarily dog aggressive because he never gets excited, or anxious. He never puts his hackles up. He seems similar to Degan in the sense that he is just unsure how to behave, and like I said, feels like he has to be on the defense because all of this is SO new to him. He is REALLY chill, and most of the time just wants to lay around. When we had him out with Harlow last week everything was totally fine. They smelled each other and hung out with no problems whatsoever.

With all the improvements he has made with everything else so far I feel like it's too early for me to just chalk everything up to dog aggression and leave it at that. Is that wrong of me? Am I being too hopeful?
~Brittany, Degan and Harlow's mom


"It is true that Pit Bulls grab and hold on. But what they most often grab and refuse to let go of is your heart, not your arm."
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Postby pitsnok » October 5th, 2010, 3:37 am

I hate to be that girl, but I want to give this a bump...

So... *bump*.
~Brittany, Degan and Harlow's mom


"It is true that Pit Bulls grab and hold on. But what they most often grab and refuse to let go of is your heart, not your arm."
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Postby mnp13 » October 5th, 2010, 3:46 pm

pitsnok wrote:Do you guys suggest we crate Boss in another room? I was under the impression it was good to have them crated in the same area so they could get used to seeing, and being around each other without actually having any contact.

It's good to have them around each other without contact, but only if they are not harassing each other. If there is stress for any of the dogs, it's counter productive.

I also thought it was good for Degan and Harlow to be out and get used to Boss and Ollie being in their crates--to desensitize them. It is rare for them to 'investigate' him in his crate, and for him to get mad about it. They can be around him anywhere and he pays no attention, it's just when they are obviously checking him out. I felt like it was important to include that in my original post so you guys could have a better understanding of the whole situation.

Understood. If it's a rare occurrence that they are bugging him, then it's ok in my opinion, and they should be reprimanded for it. But if it's more than "rare" I'd get him out of the general area.

I don't feel like he is necessarily dog aggressive because he never gets excited, or anxious. He never puts his hackles up. He seems similar to Degan in the sense that he is just unsure how to behave, and like I said, feels like he has to be on the defense because all of this is SO new to him. He is REALLY chill, and most of the time just wants to lay around. When we had him out with Harlow last week everything was totally fine. They smelled each other and hung out with no problems whatsoever.

Sounds like he may be a little like Riggs? Riggs usually leaves dogs alone until they bug him. Even Inara, who he tried to kill the first time he met her - repeatedly - he completely ignored when we put her in a down. As long as she was not moving around, he just stepped over her and pretended she didn't exist. However, Riggs is not like that because he is unsure, Riggs is confident and doesn't really care about the other dogs until they bother him.

With all the improvements he has made with everything else so far I feel like it's too early for me to just chalk everything up to dog aggression and leave it at that. Is that wrong of me? Am I being too hopeful?

No, I don't think you're being too hopeful. You may be right on in that he just doesn't know how to behave. The problem is finding a dog that sends really clear cues to teach him how to act.
Michelle

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