Monday, August 23, 2010

Ask the Trainer - Pit and ShiTzu Meeting

Question: Hey if u can email me advice I'd appreciate it. So my bf got a male pit named Mac he's 6 months old and fairly obedient. He still plays too rough and nips a bit but he plays w a 5 and 7 year old fairly well. Sometimes rough. Well I just got an 8 year old female shihtzu named tahllulah. I slept at my bfs house and brought tahllulah but i wasn't ready to have them meet cuz my bf went to bed so mac was in the yard and I took tahllulah to potty out front. Well he was dying to (I hope just) meet her. Oh btw I loveee pits. I have raised only pits tahllulah is my 1st small dog so I don't stereotype pits as bad. I just know as w ppl dogs have their own personality and tolerance. Well he squeezed through the fence and charged at tahllulah and chased her under the truck I dk what he did under there but she cried (she's just fine tho) I got them apart and held her while he sniffed her and he got too wild so she ggave a warning growl. I separated them. I don't think he's vicious maybe it had to do w her not being altered (I just got her she was their cash cow. They bred her til she could no longer handle another litter and then gave her away. Lucky me tho :) mac is very rough with other dogs when he plays and tahllulah is a calm lap dog. Such a loyal sweetie. I dk what to do abt our dogs. I don't want to keep them separate I want them to get along but I'm afraid. Can anyone help me or give advice? Anything is appreciated

Answer: First off, the more fear you have, the more the dogs are going to react. Your emotional state is sensed by the dogs and they start trying to figure out where the danger is, and since Tallulah is the new kid on the block, Mac could target her as the problem or vice versa.

Secondly, Tallulah is older and settled in her emotional state right now. She isn't going to want much of that puppy energy from Mac. I would get Mac REALLY tired before introducing them again. Take him on a good long walk till he's so totally tired he can barely move. Then put the two dogs together. This way Tallulah can view him without all the energetic running around. Then make sure that Mac gets plenty of exercise every day so that his interactions with Tallulah are at a level she can tolerate.

Third, Mac outweighs her by a goodly amount even at 6 months. I have to watch two of my dogs with each other because one weighs 60 lbs and the other weighs 10 lbs. The big one likes to push with her paws when playing with other big dogs, but that really hurts the poor toy poodle. So again, make sure Mac is tired so that he doesn't inadvertintly hurt Tallulah.

Fourth and final, start training Mac. Teach him much more then just sit,stay,come,heel. He needs to learn leave it, give it, take it, drop it, how to focus, self control, impulse control and to always look to his owners for direction when he hasn't been taught the answer to a situation.