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Introducing Two Dominant Females


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Luna's favorite friend in the whole world is Clark. Clark is an almost 2 yo Border Collie mix. His wonderful parents adopted a 9 yo Border Collie/GSD mix called Turbo a month ago. Turbo is as sweet as pie, catches balls and runs around like a puppy, but is a very dominant female. Luna is also a pretty dominant female (to the point that most dogs immediatly lay down and roll onto their backs when they first meet), although she isn't snarky towards other dogs unless someone growls at her first. Turbo will get quite growly, but mainly when an unleashed dog runs up to her or if she doesn't get the first sniff.

 

Here's our conundrum. Luna and Clark have continued to have regular play-dates a couple of times a week, and we would love to get Turbo involved as well. My friends are also moving to a house that is literally right across the street from mine (I am already prepping myself for the amount of wine that will be consumed) in September, which means that chances are, we will all be outside at the same time, although neither of us have fenced yards, so all outings are on a leash.

 

My question is, what is the best way to introduce two dominant females? We will absolutely have them both on a short leash and under a lot of supervision, but I would hate for them to go at each other. If one of them starts growling or their hackles go up, should we separate them right away? Also, if the introduction goes poorly the first time, are we basically out of luck for future meetings? I would love some of your insight, because the safety of our dogs are first and foremost in all of our minds, and we want to make sure we introduce our companions in a safe and controlled way.

 

 

 

 

And just because they are so darn cute, here are Luna and Clark:

Birthday2012012.jpg

Laura, mom to Luna (Boc's Duchess) and Nova (Atascocita Venus).
Forever in my heart, Phantom (Tequila Nights) and Zippy (Iruska Monte).

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Guest jbbuzby

Muzzles might be a good idea. You should also walk them, not immediately side-by-side, but together so they get the message they are in the same group. Don't introduce them face to face, and leashes can actually make things worse. Also be sure to meet on neutral territory.

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Muzzles are a necessity. Don't spend time on introducing them -- instead just start walking them in neutral territory and walk fast, not slow. If you can, walk side by side ... if not, then one ahead of the other. If you have any incidents the first time then keep on trying. Once you can walk them together, let them get closer to one another and sniff and see where it goes from there.

 

Muzzles are a necessity. Don't spend time on introducing them -- instead just start walking them in neutral territory and walk fast, not slow. If you can, walk side by side ... if not, then one ahead of the other. If you have any incidents the first time then keep on trying. Once you can walk them together, let them get closer to one another and sniff and see where it goes from there.

 

edited to add - if you are walking side to side, always keep one person between the dogs.

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I don't have any suggestions, but I introduced my female grey/lab mix to my friends Samoyed mix and they had words to the point we had to separate them. After that they were inseparable (and Belle, mine was the alpha). When they first fought we thought they would never be able to be together again-and it was awhile before we let them-but they worked it out and loved eachother.

 

You have good ideas. They might surprise you.

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Thank you for your ideas! Keep them coming!

 

I think we could definitely try to walk them together, or as a group. We should have no problem bringing another person or two into the mix as we walk. Since Clark walks well with both Turbo and Luna, perhaps he could come too. Or would that just add another dynamic?

 

I know I would definitely be more comfortable if both of the dogs were in muzzles, but it doesn't seem like an option with Turbo. My friends tried to muzzle her, but she became very stressed and panicked. Is there another alternative that might work instead of a muzzle?

 

TIA!!

Laura, mom to Luna (Boc's Duchess) and Nova (Atascocita Venus).
Forever in my heart, Phantom (Tequila Nights) and Zippy (Iruska Monte).

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As long as you are careful hating short leashes and walking I don't think you need muzzles. Keep a positive attitude and stay relaxed or the dogs will tense up. Take turns walking 5-10 feet or so in front if each other so the dogs can "sniff" each others bottoms. Walk 5-10 feet away side by side and as you get comfortable start getting closer to each other keeping a close eye on the dogs. If either starts having a problem, back up and start over. It will probably be fine since both are friendly over all.

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I agree with all the suggestions of walking the dogs together in a group first, starting with the dogs separated from each other by distance and other people/dogs. Then if they seem comfortable with each other, gradually decrease the separation until the dogs are walking side-by-side. An additional note is that the leashes should be short, but not tight. Leash tension can trigger an aggressive response.

 

If the dogs seem to be doing really well together on the walk, I'd actually consider letting them meet face-to-face for the first time off leash in a fenced area, rather than try to do that introduction on-leash. But you have to be pretty experienced reading dog body language to gauge whether this will be safe to do.

Jennifer &

Willow (Wilma Waggle), Wiki (Wiki Hard Ten), Carter (Let's Get It On),

Ollie (whippet), Gracie (whippet x), & Terra (whippet) + Just Saying + Just Alice

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