Q & A: New Dogs, Sloppy Eating, & Sleeping Arrangements
“A friend of mine gave me a mixed pup that she was unable to keep. He’s over a year old now. He was about 7 months old when she got him and had been a bit bullied by the other dogs in the kennel. When she got him home she had a great deal of difficulty with trying to housebreak him, as she was gone most of the time. She also had another small dog from January to June, during which time she underwent a divorce. Then “Spuds” (the new dog) was left almost totally alone during the entire summer.
What I am wondering is how to get my own dog to adjust to Tiger. The dog training books are full of virtually no help in obtaining information on dogs (and cats – I have one of those, too) adjusting to each other.
How do I get them to eat their own food? Also, the new dog drinks water and drips all over the floor. What do I do about sleeping quarters? The other two have been used to sleeping with me. And how do I get them to go potty outside and to tell me when he wants to?”
There are virtually no guaranteed methods of inducing individual dogs and/or cats to tolerate each other. Just like people, some will never get along well, however, most at least become mutually tolerant if given enough time. Typically, a dominance order must be established, and this may involve a few non-violent “skirmishes” between the animals.
In reference to the food bowl problem, this is quite common, even in animals which have established friendly relationships. During a meal (often several times during a given meal), the dominant individual will horn in on another individual who in turn may move over to the vacated bowl or attempt to separate a third party from his bowl.
The best solution for this kind of problem is not to decide who should eat from what bowl and when. Let them decide – and if someone is getting less than he needs (or more), simply feed them in separate rooms.
About the sloppy water drinking, unfortunately this is just a bad habit which is virtually impossible to correct.
In regards to sleeping quarters, where do you want the new dog to sleep? If you find two dogs and a cat in your bed mutually tolerable, then fine. However, I’ve known a number of dogs that were not particularly cozy with their owners at bed time, and suffered no psychological problems.
Housebreaking requires patience and perseverance. Although several techniques are outlined in many dog training books, the one “best” method seems to be frequent trips outside, especially after eating, and gentle (but firm) reprimands for “accidents”, which should be immediately followed with a trip outside to the potty area.
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