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Lonely, antisocial dog

Bonnie is a 5 yo staffy x. She wasn’t well socialised as a puppy and now she has a weird relationship with other dogs. She shows no interest in them when we’re out in public, and at home she’s okay as long as she doesn’t feel like her space is crowded or her ‘authority’ as top dog is compromised. However, she has showed aggressive behaviour towards cohabiting dogs in the past.

Since we moved house a few months ago and Bonnie now an only dog, I’ve noticed she’s become listless and a bit depressed. I’m considering adopting an older male dog to keep each other company, and am speaking to rescue groups about available dogs who are placid and docile and won’t provoke B by being too pushy or energetic.

What’s your experience of introducing new dogs to each other who are used to being #1? Is there anything I can do to make it an easier change for both of them, or is this just a terrible idea from the start

jessica1

1 Answer

AlexHynes

Hi Jessica,

Thank you for your question!

Prior to even considering another dog I would really recommend having Bonnie assessed by a qualified professional who understands behaviour and works with reward based training.

Dogs like people all have different personalities and your girl sounds like she has a large personal ‘bubble’. She has had her routine turned upside with the move down and adding another dog into the mix can make the situation worse. Dogs are not top dogs or submissive dogs, rather behaviour is fluid and dogs react to other dogs just as people do. You may like someone at first sight or be annoyed by that person.

Bonnie’s tolerance levels for other dogs may be really low or she might be resource guarding space, you or other objects. In the meantime you could try giving Bonnie some enrichment to engage her brain throughout the day and mentally stimulate her. I have an ‘only dog’ at home too and I find Yoshi is so much more engaged when he has food puzzles to figure out or we play games where I hide his toys and he has to find them. Good luck with your girl!

-Dr. Alex Hynes

AlexHynes

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