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Merging Households


Guest hplove45
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Guest hplove45

Hey all! So I have some exciting news along with a question. My boyfriend and I recently got engaged. Our wedding will be in five short months, and then my greyhound, Neville, and I will be moving from our duplex into his town home. I am super excited but also a bit nervous about the transition for Neville, who has been an only dog for the entire time he has lived with me. My fiance has two Rhodesian ridgebacks, a male and a female ages 1 and 4. They are great dogs but are very rough and boisterous when they play together. Neville enjoys the company of other dogs, but he can get snappy when other dogs get too rough and jump on him. He also has some food aggression issues that I know of from when he has been dog-sat by friends, though it has been difficult for me to work on this with him since there are currently no other dogs in our household. Neville has met the two ridgebacks many times before at the dog park and at mine and my fiance's respective homes, but I am worried about how he is going to do actually living with them. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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Guest Wasserbuffel

I would make sure that Neville has a crate set up in the family area, so that he can retreat to a protected place when the other two are playing. He can also be fed in the crate to eliminate any danger from his food aggression.

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They will "sort it out". I have 2 mixed breeds that play VERY rough and when we added GiGi into the mix she quickly made it known they would not be doing that to her. Nothing aggressive but she firmly made it clear to them and now they leave her alone pretty much and only get rough with each other. I'm sure they will all be fine!

 

And Congratulations on your engagement!!

amr236.jpg
**Shellie with GiGi aka: Good Girl (Abita Raginflame X Ace High Heart) and two honorary hounds Butter and Bella**

https://www.etsy.com/shop/GiGisCloset2?ref=si_shop

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Sammi also went from being an only dog and content with it to living with 2 huskies, one her age, one that wasn't 2 yet when we moved in. They also play very roughly and --while supervised-- we allowed Sammi to let her feelings on the matter be made clear in canine language. And she did. We were there to back her up and make sure it didn't go beyond a snark. Everyone learned quickly the playtime rules:

~No jumping/roughhousing on the furniture. (Sammi noticed that rule and that is where she hops to watch them)

~No bouncing off of Sammi, I don't care how wound up you are!! (This was more for the teenager husky. Sammi growled out that rule, she listened. Now when she plays, she's more observant of her surroundings and doesn't get too close to Sammi until she's ready to nap and then slowly approaches Sammi and lays down curled up with her.)

~When Sammi gets a zoomie attack, she doesn't always have brakes installed! (They hop to the couch when Sammi is flying around)

 

There were a few growls and barks at first, but thankfully they all understood each other. Giz (alpha of those 2) tried to dominance play with Sammi...once. Very quickly learned there was a new, taller alpha in the house. In fact, Sammi really "frowns upon" that type of play between them. If Giz pins Bella and didn't immediately get up, Sammi will get up off the couch, walk over there, and stare at her until she lets Bella up. If she doesn't, Sammi barks that booming bark she uses for a strange male at the door and Giz will let Bella up.

 

Very grateful that my roommate understood that Sammi's snarking at a rambunctious younger dog was akin to an adult telling a wound up toddler to settle their butt down. I also had her read "He Just Wants to Say Hi!" and the post about a greyhound's life (Article by Kathleen Gilley floating around here on GT) so that she would understand some of Sammi's quirks.

 

As for food aggression, well Sammi surprisingly wasn't the one with it here (I feared she might have issues) it was Giz. We worked out a feeding plan for this household that is seamless now... well, as seamless as things can be with kids in the house. Sammi & Bella are fed in the kitchen, Sammi first (by the door) and then Bella by the sink across the kitchen. Then Gizmo has to wait on the living room area rug -calmly!- for her food to be served by the dining table and she is given the command to go eat.

 

This was done for 2 reasons.

1. Trying NILF on Gizmo. So far it's helping a ton with her attitude at meal times.

2. Gizmo isn't food obsessed, she's food possessed. She was a true rescue from a horrid situation and I don't think this is something she will ever fully grow out of. If she isn't watched carefully, she would try to bully Bella from her dish and steal her food, and not let anyone near hers. Being submissive as she is, Bells wouldn't try to get her food back.

 

I really wish I would have recorded Giz the day she thought she could steal Sammi's food with the same ease :lol I was watching the whole time, we were all tired of Gizmo's bullying of Bella if they weren't carefully monitored (even in separate rooms, there had to be an adult /gate between them, or Bella crated since due to previous home, you cannot crate Gizmo) and I had said "maybe let her try to steal a dish from a dog that won't be bullied?" So there I was, watching the Queen B as she tried creeping in between the doorway and the wall, between Sammi and the wall to get to the dish. Sammi, without even a growl or pausing in eating waiting for Giz's head to be at her shoulder... then steps down on her foot. Giz yanks her foot back and backs up to reassess the situation. She tries again. And again, without pausing or showing she was even aware of the fluffy monster next to her, she waits for Giz to get to her shoulder, and this time, she shoulder checked her against the wall. Giz won't even enter the kitchen now if Sammi is standing across the doorway eating, which suits Bella just fine. She knows Sammi won't try to take her food, and I think she feels safe eating with her there, because if for some reason she is being fed and Sammi isn't at her position by the doorway, Bella won't eat. in fact, quite often Sammi kinda hangs out in the kitchen/DR doorway until Bella is done and they both walk out together.

Edited by Gryffenne
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I did this about 6 months ago when DBF and his airedale along with be and my two greys rented a new house together.

 

The boys get snarky over food, so the Airedale eats in the bedroom with the door closed while the greys eat in the kitchen area. In my opinion, it's not worth it to work on their food aggression when it's just as easy to keep them separated.

 

Lots of long walks as a pack also help tremendously. Not only will it tire the dogs, it will help all three bond.

 

Congrats on your upcoming nuptials. How exciting!

Tessie, PK's Cat Island 12/9/13
Gabby the Airedale 7/1/18
Forever missing Grace (RT's Grace, 18156/23B), Fenway (not registered, def a greyhound), and Jackson (airedale terrier, honorary greyhound)

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Guest hplove45

Thanks for the responses! The food aggression is what I was worried most about. I wanted to work with him and try to get rid of this behavior, but I guess it will just be easier to separate them. Thank you!

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