Q. Do you have any tips on introducing new dogs into homes with older dogs? I have two dogs, a 7-year-old doxie and a 6-year-old jealous Scottie, both females. Since they were attacked by a stray dog while being walked on a leash, they do not tolerate other dogs.
I will be having house guests this month, bringing two female dogs, a 9-month-old wire-haired doxie and a 15-month-old German shepherd that is very protective of the doxie.
Since my Scottie is rather intimidating, I feel I'm going to have a problem. There is no way I can keep them separated. I'd like the dogs to get along but don't know how to handle this. I'd like them to meet outside the yard and bring them in the house together, but don't know if this would be a good way to handle it. Closed doors won't mean much as the shepherd knows how to open doors. As you can see. I have a problem.
J. Genton, Anaheim
A. Introducing these dogs may not be possible without several territorial bouts. Gradual introduction with all pets on leashes may help you control this initial animosity, but leaving all four alone in a yard could be inviting trouble, especially with a large dog such as the shepherd. To avoid fighting and possible serious injuries, you may be forced to board one or more of the dogs. The cost of boarding would probably be cheaper than the cost of veterinary bills for bite wounds. Or, you might see if you can't find a close neighbor or friend who could keep your guests' dogs while they are staying with you. Good luck.