New dog in family

Posted by marla-duffy
Oct 5, 2012
My mother just passed away suddenly and I brought her 8 year old Pomeranian home with me. I have a 4 year old rescue dog golden retreiver mix who has aggressive tendencies. Pixie, the Pomerian, has been here many times over the years with my mother and there have been a few issues between the dogs, with Darby, my dog, going after her. Usually because she wanted my mother to pay attention to her instead. So now I have both dogs - Darby seems to be very tense around Pixie, and Pixie seems so frightened of Darby. I need these two to get along because Pixie is older and has health issues, and was such a spoiled dog that I can't imagine anyone else taking care of her like my mother did. She's so sad that my mother isn't her anymore. What should I be doing to help Darby accept her?
Posted by KOPCaroline
Oct 13, 2012
Hi there,

Good on you for taking Pixie home - hopefully we can sort out how to get her and Darby to get along!

I'd start by putting one of them in the house hierarchy above the other. Its not playing favorites, but is more about the order in which they get food, attention, everything. It might help to make Darby the "top dog' since he has been with you longest, and its kind of "his house" right now.

When you come home, say hello and pet Darby first. Feed Darby dinner and meals first. Give Darby toys first. This will reassure him of his place in the house and hopefully decrease his need to dominate Pixie.

I'd also suggest having them interact together in "neutral" places - not your home or yard since Darby views that as his territory right now. Take them to pet shops together, new parks, walks, etc. Hopefully Darby will be interested in checking out new things to not go after Pixie, and Pixie will feel more comfortable.

Another idea is to crate train the two of them, so they both have a space in the house that is their area, and a safe place for just them.