Here`s another great article:
TL;DR = title above.
Hi everyone, this will be long and I don’t know if this is the right sub to post in, but I’m going to start here.
Harry is my established dog. He’s a 9 year old schnauzer-poodle mix weighing 13 lbs. He is well-behaved and affectionate with me, my son and daughter that live the house here. Outside the house and with people who don’t live here, he loves my mother, my brother niece and nephew, and my best friend. He is generally territorial, and has noise phobia for which he is prescribed Xanax from the vet (went through all the other recommended remedies first to no avail). We got Harry when he was 5 months old, and I think he may have been neglected before we got him. Overall, I think Harry tries his best to do the right thing.
Up until February of 2019, we had another dog in our family, Dexter (lab-poodle mix, 65 lbs) . Dexter was the established dog when we brought Harry home, and Dex was perfect and accepting and chill about the whole thing. They became inseparable and best companions and they’d sleep together and groom each other etc. Sadly, it became time to put Dex down at age 12. Harry kinda didn’t know what to do with himself at first, but then he moved on, but a spark that he had appears to have left him.
I always thought that Harry would be better with another dog to keep him company, and not just us humans. So more than 18 mos after we lost Dexter, and with all of us being home because of the pandemic, I thought this would be right right time. We found Remy, another schnauzer-poodle, same as Harry. I love big dopey dogs, but purposely opted for a smaller dog like Harry to reduce any intimidation because of size.
We got Remy yesterday morning. He’s 10 weeks old and weighs prob 5 pounds. From what I can tell about him in this short time, he seems really chill about everything so far. He’s curious, happy, has warmed right up to us, he just rolls with it.
Harry is losing his mind. We introduced them by taking them both for a short walk on neutral ground, kept them at a distance but let them see each other, etc) He won’t stop barking if Remy is in sight, so I keep them separated. Which isn’t good. If Harry can get to Remy’s crate, he will lunge and bark nonstop. I can sometimes carry Remy around with me, and Harry will pant bark and follow me around, sometimes he might try to jump up on me.
I didn’t want to keep Remy isolated in my room all the time, so I place his crate inside a larger puppy play pen so that he could walk around freely yet sill be confined, but Harry lunges at the play pen. So we had to block off the door to that room with yet another gate. Harry can’t breach that, so he’ll just stand there and pant and bark for hours if we let him.
So. I obviously have several concerns:
1) how long can harry physically tolerate being in a constant state of agitation like that? I’m afraid he’ll have a freaking heart attack or pass out or something. We keep saying to ourselves “well he HAS to stop SOMETIME, right?? Just tire himself out and stop”—but he doesn’t stop. I worry for his physical health.
2) Remy on the other hand appears mostly ok when Harry is barking non-stop, although I know that he can’t be exposed to this for too long. He just plays with his toys and mostly ignores it from what I can see; I don’t want him to become fearful or start cowering, etc. I don’t know what this is doing to Remy’s mental status nor what prolonged exposure to this behavior will do to him.
What we have tried so far: 1) constant physical separation either in separate rooms completely, or the playpen-gate combo when we want to bring Remy downstairs.
2) carrying Remy around in one arm but ignoring him, and interacting with Harry exclusively, and treating him when he shows the slightest move toward being quiet and not jumping.
2a) I even bought a wearable pouch-sling to keep Remy in to give my arm a rest, to just get Harry used to being in the same room with Remy.
3) taking them for walks together, at a distance when they can’t get too close.
Things we’ve read about to try next: 1) A muzzle?!??? My daughter is doing research and this keeps coming up. I don’t know if this would make Harry even worse. But I’m starting to warm up to the idea so that they can start being together on the same level and not have Harry bite at Remy.
I’m ultimate worried that I’ll eventually have to rehome Remy, if this won’t stop and it’s ultimately harming both of them. I’ll cry if I think of this option for too long. I know it’s been only 24 hours and I’m frazzled, but am I harming both dogs by not seeing the writing on the wall?
If you made it this far, thank you. As I said above, I’d this isn’t the best place to ask this, please let me know and where might be a better place to post. Thank you for your time.
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