Dilemma - introducing dogs

Taffyhorse

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Joined
30 January 2009
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808
Location
Surrey
Hi All,

Looking for some advice as I can't decide on the best scenario... So, we have been invited around to our neighbours on Friday for a BBQ (weather permitting!) which is great. My parents are also coming to stay with their 2 labs. Normally F comes with us as he loves playing with their JRT. But this weekend they also have their daughter staying with her dobie and dobie X and herin lies the problem...

The dobie X can be noisy but is actually ok. The dobe on the other hand is a bit more of a problem and when he and F met on the footpath near our house they had a bit of a dust-up - lots of noise and snarling rather than actual biting but we seperated them quickly before it could get to that stage. However, I would really like them all to be socialised with one another as normally when they come to stay, we keep them apart, check where the others are before we leave the house etc etc which is all fine but I do find it a bit stressful.

It would also be good if we can get them introduced before Friday so that all the dogs can 'mingle' together otherwise we will have to leave F and my parents dogs at home which is ok but not ideal as our dogs have always been a big part of our social life too (and our neighbours). So my thoughts are as follows:

A) Meet at a 'neutral' point out on a walk where there is plenty of space (F is much better then, than on a narrow footpath) and carry on walking together trying to keep it low key and then off lead if they settle.
B) Bite the bullet and put them all in our neighbours garden together and let them get on with it (BTW I don't mean letting it escalate into WW3, I just mean giving them a chance to get the 'I'm the man', no 'I'm the man' posturing and noisiness out of the way). It is only the dobe and mine that I am worried about here - the JRT gets on with everything already and my dads dogs are very non-reactive.
C) carry on as we are, keeping them seperate and trying to avoid each other.

Any thoughts on the above or alternative options would be gratefully received. At present, I am leaning towards A followed by B - generally F is fine once he's been introduced and I think the dobe is the same. However, if it did all go wrong, I'd feel awful - particularly if my parents dogs got mixed up with it as they are the light of my dad's life!

So thoughts please from you lovely, knowledgable peeps on here and apologies for the essay!

Thanks
 

CorvusCorax

I'm Dill Dandon
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15 January 2008
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The shadows, apparently.
It's hard to advise without seeing the dogs in front of you, seeing how they interact, what the triggers are for aggression and how the humans might be influencing the situation. We may think we don't have an influence, but we often do via our behaviour.

It is also a tight turnaround to try and have everybody friends.

I agree not all dogs can be friends, it is a nice idea but sometimes it does not work.
My pup and my friend's dog used to get on like a house on fire but now mine is growing a pair :p and is getting pushy, it usually ends up in a scrap (never any injuries, just noise and flashy teeth) so we keep them apart.
It is not a stress or an ordeal, it just means keeping doors closed and being vigilant.
He gets on fine with the other dogs in the house.

Try NOT to wade in when two dogs are having handbags, grab their leads or something instead, have had it drummed into me that dogs will rarely hurt each other when they are scrapping, but they will hurt you if you stick your hands into the middle of it.

If you think it is going to be a big stress and having to watch them like hawks all the time I would just make sure that the dogs who have a problem with one another do not mix.
 

BigRed

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7 January 2008
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4,145
Why do you feel you need to take your dogs along ? I wouldn't dream of taking my dogs to someone's BBQ.
 

Taffyhorse

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Joined
30 January 2009
Messages
808
Location
Surrey
Thanks All. Hmm, leaving them at home is probably the best option. I appreciate that not all dogs get on, its more that we've never really tried to socialise them but kept them apart and I wondered if it might be a better option to introduce them properly and see how they are. If they don't take to each other, then fine we can continue to keep them apart - the other dogs (dobie and dobie X) only visit every few months so its not a major headache but the layout of our houses/gardens does mean we have to be super-vigilant (which we are) and so I wondered if trying to socialise them was the better option.

CC - mine is definitely better when I am further away from him (he can be protective if I'm next to him) and if you are in open space. He is also super sensitive to my body language so I always try and stay as cool and calm as possible - unless he bogs off after a squirrel when I do my indian war dance to get his attention back :) Will not and haven't waded in (I quite like my fingers) - the time they had a dust up we met unexpectedly on the foot path and called them both away in seperate directions.

BigRed - each to their own. These are very close friends and neighbours who we see all the time. They bring their dog when they come to ours and vice versa and we often walk together.
 

Littlelegs

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Joined
25 February 2012
Messages
9,355
I'd try a carefully but if it didn't go very well I'd just accept its not going to happen. My dobiex & friends rottie get on well but we never take our eyes of them. Both are dominant males & like wrestling with each other, but it gets too rough so we make sure playing doesn't start. However if there is food around eg bbq smells both spend their time grumbling at each other so much its not worth the hastle. On the other hand, her other rottie & mine have to be kept to heel when they meet, & will never get on.
 
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