Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Pooches:Three Pitties in the City

For this week, we are watching my friend E's pit bull, while he is off in sunny California visiting his dad. So we now have three big dogs running around our place. Its been a bit hectic in the beginning to say the least, but doing a proper dog introduction has really made it quite easier. Here are some tips on how to properly introduce your dog to another dog, especially if you need to watch the dog. Just remember that a proper introduction cannot happen in one day and it requires a lot of patience.
1. Pick a neutral place to meet, somewhere that is neither dog's territory or where neither dog has been to, such as a park, a parking lot or such. Start by having the dogs and the handlers walk past each other. Have the other dog and handler start on one side of the park or parking lot and you will start on the other side with your dog. Calmly walk past each other, making sure the dog pays attention to you and not the other dog or handler and do not let the dogs meet or greet each other. Turn around and pass each other again. Do this until they have calmed down and could walk past each other without jumping or getting hyper.
2. Proceed to parallel walking, where you and the other handler walk the dogs in the same direction but a few feet apart and alternate which dog is ahead, but do not let the dogs interact with each other, especially no lunging, jumping or pulling.
3. If they appear to be friendly to each other, then find a place where they can meet. Allow them to sniff each other briefly, but pay attention to body signals. Immediately stop the interaction when it appears that one dog is afraid or being aggressive. If everything is going well, work on obedience training with one while the other dog gets to walk around either off leash or loosely on the leash.
4. On the second day, have the other dog and handler come over, but meet them on the street. Proceed to parallel walk down the street a couple blocks, so that each dog could get reacquainted, then proceed into the house.
5. Keep both dogs on leash, but let the other dog and handler walk around the house. When the other dog appears comfortable, take your dog off leash and let him/her walk around as he/she normally does around the house. When it seems that both dogs are getting along well, let the other dog off leash, but monitor their interaction. You should intervene when the interaction gets out of hand, but if they are playing allow them to play and have the dogs correct each other.
6. Finally, on the day that the other dog is staying with you, have them come up, but keep the dog on leash until he/she feels comfortable again. Allow the dogs to interact, but monitor them closely. Usually on the second or third day everything is back to a peaceful environment even with three pitties.

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