Sigh of relief

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Postby amalie79 » August 26th, 2010, 9:40 pm

We took Robin for a walk today and misjudged the heat and distance, so we stopped at my mother's house on the way home to get some water.

While we were there we thought, hey, what the hell. Let's introduce her to my mom's dog and see how they do. We haven't introduced Robin to any dogs other than ours; she was in/going into heat the first 6 weeks or so, and then it's just hard to find the right dogs (and owners!) to make playdates around here.

Well...It was a success! Mostly. We starte don the leashes, and when they seemed comfortable with each other, we let them off leash in a small fenced area. Robin showed zero aggression, and just bounced around Gypsy in a play bow. Gypsy was a little confused-- she doesn't get a lot of dog socialization, and she is older. She's a 7 year old border collie/aussie (?) with a bum knee. But she always loves the company of other dogs, even just following them around, and Robin was really excited to meet someone new.

They'd met very briefly on leash, only to sniff butts, several months ago. I've been a little anxious about Robin's doggie skillz, but this was a very pleasant surprise! I think they'll be good friends. :dance:
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Postby iluvk9 » August 27th, 2010, 6:50 am

That is great! I was taught, when we adopted dogs at the shelter to people who already had a dog, it helps to introduce dogs on neutral territory. Maybe next time, you can have them meet on leashes outside and go for a stroll. :dance:
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Postby PetieMarie22 » August 27th, 2010, 9:05 am

That is awesome! Petie plays very well with the dog that lives behind us. She gets A TON of exercise playing with him.
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Postby amalie79 » August 27th, 2010, 9:33 am

iluvk9 wrote:That is great! I was taught, when we adopted dogs at the shelter to people who already had a dog, it helps to introduce dogs on neutral territory. Maybe next time, you can have them meet on leashes outside and go for a stroll. :dance:


That's actually what we did...kind of. The first time we introduced them months ago, we took them separately to a little field near our house and walked them around; but that day we didn't have much time to see how things would go off-leash and we hadn't had Robin for very long. Yesterday, we brought Gypsy out into my mother's front yard and took a walk down the street together to start with. Then, when they were comfy with each other we went back into a fenced off part of the yard that Gypsy doesn't really go into (it's a little weird; my mom's back yard is fenced into 2 sections, and the one closest to the house is the one Gypsy goes into. The other is usually closed.). Then we opened up the regular part.

At any rate, this is giving me more confidence to introduce her to our friend's boxer, who is the same age, and loves to play with other dogs. The boxer is just very excitable, to the point that River is a little afraid of her; the last time River and I went over there, they stayed on leash, but the other dog was soooo exciiiited that she couldn't sit still and River hid behind me and then the door. Needless to say, she and I didn't stay long at all.
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Postby Jenn » August 27th, 2010, 3:26 pm

:goodStuff:
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Postby DemoDick » September 3rd, 2010, 4:20 pm

Introducing dogs on leash is a bad idea. I'm glad nothing happened.

In any introduction between two animals, each has a choice to make if the other becomes aggressive or offensive: fight or flight. When you introduce them on leash, you have removed the option of flight as the dog realizes that he is tethered. This leaves one option.

If you are going too introduce two dogs, the best method is to make sure both dogs are collared, take them to a neutral location and allow them to meet off leash.

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Postby amalie79 » September 3rd, 2010, 4:52 pm

DemoDick wrote:Introducing dogs on leash is a bad idea. I'm glad nothing happened.

In any introduction between two animals, each has a choice to make if the other becomes aggressive or offensive: fight or flight. When you introduce them on leash, you have removed the option of flight as the dog realizes that he is tethered. This leaves one option.

If you are going too introduce two dogs, the best method is to make sure both dogs are collared, take them to a neutral location and allow them to meet off leash.

Demo Dick


I don't generally allow nose to nose on-leash greetings. What we basically did was do some parallel leash walking at a distance and observed both dogs' behavior toward each other, gradually moving closer together, eventually allowing some ultra-quick butt sniffing for the first greeting; I don't generally allow any real contact when they're on leash, but I strive to keep a loose lead. Once we had calm body language from everyone while close to each other, then we moved to off-leash.

This is one of the reasons I've been hesitant to introduce Robin to other dogs. First, I don't know many people who have enough control over their dogs or wherewithal to jump in that I trust to break up a fight quickly enough. I know a lot of people who DON'T understand dog body language, yet I have to be careful with my friends of being too much of a control-freak know-it-all :) . For example, when we tried to introduce River to our friend's boxer, I was EXTREMELY thankful I had her on a leash. River is not very tolerant of overly exuberant pups, and Belle is one of those. She showed her exuberance immediately-- not aggression, just really happy to see another dog, and it didn't help that she was kept on a super TIGHT lead the whole time. She's very dog friendly, but I know River, and a dog of Belle's size and energy level running up to her would be bad news; but at the same time, my friend wasn't keeping the leash loose and had tried to usher everyone into a tight space. River took one look at her, started flicking her tongue, looking away, and trying to stay behind me. No way was I letting them go off-leash. I think if we'd taken a short leash walk, with enough distance between them, allowed Belle to calm down to the idea of a NEW! DOG!, and for River to be more accustomed to Belle's energy, we might have been able to allow off-leash play.

We also have, up until this point, had little sense of Robin's level of dog tolerance. I DO however, know that my mother's dog is very dog-friendly and tends to be very chill and easy-going and (I hate the word) "submissive" with other dogs. She doesn't get a ton of regular dog socialization/play-time, but I've had her around a lot of different dogs since she was adopted, and I know her pretty well; she's also older and Robin is one of those exuberant types, too, and I wanted Robin to get a little more used to the idea of a new dog and not RUSH her immediately. Now I feel like I know Robin's body language better, what her different growls mean, when it's play, when it's a warning, what kinds of warnings she gives to our other dogs, etc. I felt it was really important to know Robin's signals before introducing her at all. And I don't like lunging leash greetings; parallel walking at a distance, gradually getting closer. Finding people willing to take that kind of time with their dogs' introductions is difficult.

Off-leash meetings are the one thing dog parks have going for them.
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Postby iluvk9 » September 3rd, 2010, 5:16 pm

DemoDick wrote:Introducing dogs on leash is a bad idea. I'm glad nothing happened.
Demo Dick


How do you control them if there is a fight?

At the shelter, when someone was adopting, we had them meet us with their dog and sort of ignore each other, as if we were both just happened to "be there". We looked for signs of aggression like hair up, lunging, yadda, yadda. If that was okay, then we walked near each other and continued adding more contact while we observed reactions.
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Postby mnp13 » September 3rd, 2010, 5:32 pm

Amalie, from your initial post the meeting sounded VERY different than what you detailed in your later posts.

It sounds like you took about every step that you could have to make sure that it would go well.
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Postby amalie79 » September 3rd, 2010, 5:45 pm

mnp13 wrote:Amalie, from your initial post the meeting sounded VERY different than what you detailed in your later posts.

It sounds like you took about every step that you could have to make sure that it would go well.


Yeah, I guess my first post was a little short on the details; the second post had a little more info...

It was a spontaneous decision, a bit of a "what the hell," and they had "met" before on a parallel leash walk and sniffed each other, so they weren't entirely unfamiliar with one another and we were able to move pretty quickly; their body language from the very start was positive (they caught a glimpse of each other through the screen, and both were excited to meet), but I didn't let them really make contact for any length of time until I was comfortable with everyone's attitude, and most of all until Robin had calmed down. My posts just tend to be long and rambly :oops: , so I didn't want to bore everyone with too much detail. :|

I hate introducing dogs on leashes, and at the same time, I don't want to take chances with Robin. I, myself, need to be comfortable with her meeting dogs, and I'm just not there yet with allowing her to meet other dogs off-leash. River does everything in her power to avoid a confrontation. She makes clear snaps and snarls, but once she's made her point, she moves away. Robin, in true terrier fashion, isn't so ready to "let go" of an argument, as I've seen with some of her issues with bones, etc. I feel like I have more leeway with River and new dogs (that doesn't mean I'm not careful, I'm just more inclined to allow off-leash meetings) and I have better vocal control over her. Robin can be very driven. I want to be very cautious with her, without being too stressed.

I guess it's a balancing act.
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Where you invest your love, you invest your life." --Marcus Mumford

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Postby mnp13 » September 3rd, 2010, 6:27 pm

amalie79 wrote:My posts just tend to be long and rambly :oops: , so I didn't want to bore everyone with too much detail.


Ah, but remember, someone who does a search for "introduce my dog to a new dog" might find your post and see that you introduced the dogs on leash and that it went so well and then just go do it the way you described. That's why we like detail, and can't ever get too much... :) And why we can only go by why you say so when it's not there can only guess that what isn't there didn't happen. Another reason why the "old timers" will often ask leading questions or seem to be poking at things that seemed to be ok in the first place.

It's all good and I'm glad you explained!
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Postby amalie79 » September 3rd, 2010, 7:10 pm

Ah, but remember, someone who does a search for "introduce my dog to a new dog" might find your post and see that you introduced the dogs on leash and that it went so well and then just go do it the way you described.


Good point, Michelle. I forget that sometimes... :)
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