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Dr. Altman
Dr. Altman, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 24460
Experience:  Practicing small animal veterinarian for 17 years.
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I have met a new girlfriend and we want to move in together,we

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I have met a new girlfriend and we want to move in together,we havw been staying at each others houses for about 3 months. we both have dogs, her a jack russel cross about 13 years old and me a staffie cross about 9. Mine has taken the dominant role in both of our houses. Most of the time they get on well together but occasionally mine tries to nip the other dog, we usually stop him. At the moment we dared not leave them alone together for any period of time is there any advice you could give as to how we could be sure mine will not hurt the other dog if we leave them alone together.

thanks
Tom

DogDoc4U :

Welcome to the chat! I am Dr. Altman and am happy to answer your questions today

DogDoc4U :

May I ask the sex of your girlfriend's dog?

DogDoc4U :

The best way to minimize the tension is to let it be known the heirarchy of the home is as you mentioned

DogDoc4U :

With this, that means your dog gets fed first, goes through doorways first, gets greeted and treats first

Customer:

it is male, both dogs have been neutered

DogDoc4U :

If there is a scuffle not reprimanding your dog (which as an alpha of your girlfriends dog it is not his place but he should still not be reprimanded for it) but laying down your girlfriends dog on his side when this occurs (which allows your dog to show dominance in the situation

DogDoc4U :

Also if you all walk together (which is highly advised, the best way to build a bond for them both) allowing your dog to move in front of her dog as an alpha

DogDoc4U :

Typically the most difficult is to not reprimand your dog if there is a scuffle and pull them apart because there is no resolution to the issue

Customer:

her dog does not try to fight back, and moves out of my dogs way, I forgot to mention her dog is also deaf so does not hear the warning growl my dog give out

DogDoc4U :

Interesting, I am sure her dog senses the tenseness in the situation without the growl (the energy change)

DogDoc4U :

Whose house are you at more regularly?

DogDoc4U :

Her dog might not try to fight back but might make eye contact or have ears forward, a sign that he is not backing down

DogDoc4U :

There are many subtleties besides the physical especially in a dog that has lost one of their senses

Customer:

we are at hers more often, it usually starts when her dog licks mine, mine gives a warning growl but hers continues to lick. He does it to us humans too

DogDoc4U :

Interesting, where is her dog licking him?

Customer:

on the anus

DogDoc4U :

Which is a dominant thing unfortunately

DogDoc4U :

Submissive licking is at the lip fold

DogDoc4U :

A dominant dog will smell and lick at the other dog as you describe

DogDoc4U :

So I wouldn't allow this behavior

DogDoc4U :

If he tries, he needs to be reprimanded for it

DogDoc4U :

A submissive dog will present its rear to the dominant dog for smelling at an introduction

Customer:

so we have to stop the licking

DogDoc4U :

Of this type yes

DogDoc4U :

Not necessarily for you but towards your dog yes

DogDoc4U :

My dogs lick me often but it is in a submissive way

Customer:

mine seems dominant in other areas so I can see now why this upsets him

DogDoc4U :

Yes, it is a conflict

DogDoc4U :

And his warning is telling your g-friend's dog this is inappropriate but he isn't getting the hint

DogDoc4U :

So you as the alpha need to step in and stop the behavior

Customer:

at other times they seem ok together, they even share the same sofa and bed at times, it is just after the licking mine gets annoyed

DogDoc4U :

Well it is great that you know the cause and we have something to work with here!

DogDoc4U :

But I would definitely be doing all the other things that I mentioned so it is clear to her dog that order of dominance

Customer:

thanks I will have a go at stopping the licking

DogDoc4U :

Since her dog is deaf, you might need to cut a leash short (about a foot) while they are together so that if you note her dog is going to lick you have something to grab and snap to stop the behavior (since he is deaf)

Customer:

they already walk together, we can even give them treats and they will not try to get each others, so I thought it may be something to do with the licking, i will try the short lead

DogDoc4U :

Perfect

Customer:

Thank you

DogDoc4U :

Can I assist with any additional questions today? By the way please feel free to reenter if things do not change and you need any other advise

Customer:

thats it for today thanks, XXXXX XXXXX come back if nothing changes

DogDoc4U :

Perfect, good luck in your new situation :)

DogDoc4U :

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