Saturday, November 24, 2012

Why Can't You Boys Get Along?

Bud's first meeting with Michelle's dog, Gin, was disastrous. We first had them meet on Michelle's property. Gosh the dogs hated each other!

The next meeting was in my driveway, which again yielded horrible results. Gin is a high energy mostly white with black ticking Border Collie/Shepherd(?) mix rescue dog who gets nervous around bigger dogs.  He's about 47 pounds, versus Bud's ~76 pounds. Bud still remember a time when a young white dog scared him and ever since hasn't liked white dogs.  So, we expected some difficulty between the two knowing that they each fit the other's trigger!

Bud is very easy going with some dogs. Dogs have stolen toys from the house and laid on his bed, taken his food etc.  Gin often goes into a submissive role and has been used to help socialize other rescue dogs.  He's great with smaller dogs, but is fearful of dogs larger than him and especially larger dogs with darker fur/hair.

Last week we finally got it right. We had them meet at the beach just by my house. Bud was busy digging and Gin was busy chasing balls. How wonderful to have these sweet dogs enjoy spending time together! I know better than to introduce these two sensitive boys without thinking it out.  The first couple meetings on each dog's respective territory reminded me of such!  We followed up the neutral territory beach meeting with a harbor trip; this helped expose the dogs to each other further.  Gin was hesitant to go in the water past his elbows, yet was fascinated by seeing bud jump in and vigorously swim for the ball.  They mostly played side by side with their own balls.  At one point they both went for the same ball in the shallow surf.  Gin came out with the ball, and Bud was okay with that.  There was no growling or posturing at all by either dog.

We are grateful to have our boys get along. Thanksgiving was spent with Michelle, her boyfriend Ryan and our dogs playing and being lazy together.  Their relationship still needs work, but they're clearly warming up to each other and feeling less threatened and more safe.  Getting them to truly get along will still be a process.  Our next hurdle will be having them side by side together peacefully in the car!  Until then, enjoy these pictures from Thanksgiving of our boy's relationship progression:

The Boys at the Harbor:

Me giving and getting loving kisses from Gin:

Gin sneaking into Bud's crate (he's crate trained and feels safest in crates):

And finally...the boys parallel playing:

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