Thursday, August 27, 2009

Introducing dogs in blended families


When Stacy Jensen remarried, she wasn't the only one moving in with her new husband, Andy. She was also introducing her dog to the new family--including Andy's dog. Stacy has a Poodle-Pomeranian mix, Eddie. Andy's dog is Mauly, a young Vizsla. They were about 2 years old when they were brought together in one blended family. Introducing dogs into one "pack" can be tricky. Here Stacy tells us about her experience.

Q: How did you introduce Eddie and Mauly?

A: They met at the front door of my house. They were allowed to sniff around and check each other out. We were there in case there was a problem. We pretty much let them get to know each other.


Q: Did one dog become dominant?

A: Neither really. It depends on what is going on whether they display dominance. Mauly will sometimes show dominance due to her size. She can easily push Eddie out of the way. Eddie, of course, acts like he is much bigger than he is.


Q:How do you resolve any fights/disagreements?

A: We separate them. The only disagreements involve treats or food. Mauly is fairly mild mannered about even this. If Eddie abandons his food (because he gets distracted), Mauly will patiently sit next to Eddie's food bowl hoping for permission to eat it.


Q: What is your advice to others?

A: Each dog should have its own crate and bedding to lounge around the house.


Q: Anything else interesting you've noted about your dogs?

A: Eddie is overall more accepting of other dogs. Mauly had a dog try to steal her stick in the past year and ever since she will randomly be aggressive toward other dogs or 100 percent ignores them. This behavior is odd, because Mauly interacts well with other animals like calves, goats and horses we have encountered on walks.

Both dogs love people. Mauly is a bit jealous. If she hears Eddie's name or senses he is getting pets and affection, she runs into the room and will attempt to push Eddie away. Her size makes her triumphant in this endeavor. Eddie never seems to mind.

Andy and I still note that each dog knows his or her person. I may be sleeping in, but Eddie will sit at the bedroom door waiting for me to get up and ignoring Andy. Mauly will listen to me while Andy is at work, but once Andy arrives home she looks to Andy for direction (unless I have a treat!). As long as one of them listens to someone in the house, I'm good.

Thank you Stacy for your insight!

You can read Stacy's blog at: http://www.getyouroxygenfirst.blogspot.com
or follow her on Twitter: @StacyWrites

2 comments:

Alexis Grant said...

Wow -- I never even thought of this! Dogs have to get to know each other in blended families, too. Huh. :)

Kate Fenner said...

Good advice - thanks Stacy!

I'd also like to hear stories about introducing dogs and cats, as at some point we hope to bring a dog into our single-cat household.

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