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Old 02-02-2013, 05:26 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Introducing aggressive boxer?

We just adopted a 3 year old boxer/hound girl. She is such a sweetheart with people and we love her! The problem is we have a 9 month old black lab male who is rather submissive and timid. We brought the two to neutral ground for them to meet and it didn't go well. We kept them on leash but she only sniffed him for a minute before jumping on him and biting at him. She was able to mount him twice and he became very intimidated. We took them apart and then introduced them again at a friends house between a fence. The lab just wants to play but she is just super aggressive. We can't tell if she is being playful or aggressive. She wags her tail and looks to be doing a play bow, but she also had the hair on her back sticking up and was making growling noises when they meet. What should we do? We don't know anything about her history and we want to make this work. We are scared to bring her home because we have two cats. We hope it's just because she is stressed and tired. Our lab is spending the night at a friends house and we will try again tomorrow. Any tips?
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Old 02-02-2013, 05:30 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Personally I would not introduce behind a fence or on a leash. Some dogs become overly protective when restricted. I would go into a large fenced in area that is completely secure and allow them off leash. I am a little bit worried about your cats, though. Did the shelter not give you any information?
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Old 02-02-2013, 05:39 PM   #3 (permalink)
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They got her from a shelter in a different state so they don't know anything about her. Is it a good idea to put her in her crate and let the cats come to her?

As for the lab, we were going to do that but was worried about it getting out of hand. We really want to make this work but we are worried. She is showing behavior symptoms that seem like she was abused. She had a toy and dropped it and I went to pick it up and she jumped and tucked her tail between her legs.
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Old 02-02-2013, 09:23 PM   #4 (permalink)
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If you're uncomfortable having them off-leash together you can try parallel walking with the two dogs. You'll need two people, one walking each dog on leash. Walk as far apart as necessary to make sure the dogs start the exercise calmly - maybe you're on opposite sides of the street maybe you're even farther apart (it'll also help if the dogs are exercised before you start so they're already a little tired and calm). Walk parallel to each other with the dogs on the outside of the people (so you're walking dog-person-person-dog) until the dogs are calm and not paying attention to each other, then move just a little bit closer to each other and walk at that distance until the dogs are comfortable, and just keep getting closer and closer and closer together. It might take a LONG time and you might just go back and forth a million times on one block, but just be patient and don't rush things. Eventually you and the other person will be walking next to each other with the dogs on the outside. Then switch one dog in between the two of you so you're walking dog-person-dog-person. Then move that dog back to the outside and the other dog into the middle. Eventually switch one dog into the middle and then when the dogs are completely relaxed and calm switch the other dog into the middle as well so you're walking person-dog-dog-person. The dogs should not be allowed to sniff or play or get excited, they should just be calm in the presence of each other. Walk like this for a while and then one person/dog can drop in behind while you're walking so a bum sniff can occur, then walk together again, then the other person/dog drop in behind so there can be another bum sniff. If they're comfortable like this continue walking side by side and allow the dogs to interact in a calm way (sniff, maybe a little face lick, some body rubbing) but no playing. This may take a long time to accomplish and maybe even several seperate walking sessions to get there. Each person should be paying very close attention to their dog and the instant there are signs of stress (freezing, staring, lip lifting/growling, hackles up, etc) just increase the distance between the dogs while keeping everything positive. But don't be too crazy up beat, you should just be acting like this is all no big deal.

Hopefully this helps and good luck!

Oh, as far as the cats are concerned, you can try crating the dog while the cats are around so long as the dog is already crate trained. You don't want her to be stressed and anxious in the crate when she sees the cats as she may then associate these feelings with the cats. Definitly have the dog on a leash in the presence of cats, it's totally normal for the dog to be curious and want to chase, and this urge will usually subside with time (and your cats will probably learn to stay up high for a while!). There's definitly a concern if there are raised hackles, growling, staring, freezing, etc when she sees the cats so just keep her on a leash and make sure the encounters with the cats are controlled.
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Last edited by jessmke; 02-02-2013 at 09:26 PM.
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Old 02-03-2013, 12:25 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I don't ever introduce new dogs immediately with current dogs. I rotate kennels for a minimum of two weeks, sometimes longer if they seem to need more time to adjust. This allows each dog to get to recognize the scent of the other dog. You also have to realize that the new dog is probably shell shocked from all the changes. This gives the new dog a chance to relax and get to know the rhythms of your household--when people come and go, the meal and potty schedule, etc. It gives each dog the opportunity to approach the other without worry of bodily harm. After two weeks, allow them to be in a room together, but have them leashed and let the leashes drag. Only do this for a short period of time, then give them a break. Extend the time period each time they're together. Eventually they'll be able to be together full time.

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Old 02-13-2013, 09:42 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I'm having a similar problem with my recent rescue, and my current ball of energy. I introduced the two by walking them as suggested above, but the new dog seems very scared and will attack my older dog as soon as we enter the house. I have been keeping them seperate, and only introducing them to the same space when we're training with both of them. It's a lot of work, and I'm hoping she settles down and accepts Cooper as a part of her new home.
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