Introducing Atticus

Submitted by Raleigh908 on Wed, 07/14/2010 - 11:40

On Monday, I decided on a whim to adopt a new puppy. A young couple, probably 18 or 19, were giving away their 12 week old pit because they were moving. I decided after looking at the puppy to bring him home!

Meet Atticus. He was originally named Bentley but we changed his name so that he wouldn't have the same name as our friend's Boxer. He's a 12 week old Blue Nose/American Staffordshire pit. He seems to be very sweet but he's very nervous about being in his new home with my other pit.

So far, they've gotten along very well. They love to play together in my bedroom but not really anywhere else. Outside, they both do their own thing but inside is a different story. Raleigh, my 1.5 year old pit, is used to being the "Queen Bee" of the household and has had a little difficulty adjusting to Atticus's presence in the house.

I've already learned to separate them when feeding and at night. Raleigh sleeps on the bed, Atticus is a crate for the time being. But, I'm having difficulty during the day. For the most part, they are civil with each other but then Raleigh will suddenly pounce on Atticus.

I don't thin she means to scare him or hurt him. In fact, I can usually just yell at her and she backs off him. But, she does scare him enough that he pees and does his glands on the floor/couch/bed/you name it. Yesterday, she must have gotten a little rough because he now has two small, but ugly gashes on his head near his right eye. Naturally, he's scared to death. She hasn't hurt him in any other way but I'm not sure what to do.

I've never been in this situation before because the last time I introduced a puppy into the house, the other dog was older and was mainly an outdoor dog so contact was limited.

I think that with time both dogs will adjust to one another but I need some helpful advice in the meantime. I don't want to have to separate them completely because I fear they will never adjust to each other. Raleigh knows that when she is in trouble she gets "Raleigh-swatted" with a fly swatter and I've used it a couple times as a threat but I don't want it to become routine.

Any help y'all can give me to make this transition smooth will be wonderful! I'm boarding them on Friday while I'm out of town for the weekend but I want to make sure that Monday when we're back together that things go smoothly.

Because she is dominate she might just be enforcing it. Is the new pup testing her place in the pack? Is she neutered? If not, get them both neutered. It might help. I'd sat give it a few more weeks and see how it goes. Best of luck =]

Raleigh is already showing signs of DA. You must never leave them unsupervised and be prepared that one day the "swatter" may not work. I suggest crate n rotate. It is hard at first but you get used to it. It's safer for everyone. I thought the same way as you did a few month's ago until I couldn't stop it. One dog was at one end of a very large yard and the other was playing with a ball at the other end and one of my dogs ended up with a hole in his shoulder, stitches and a hefty vet bill as well as a long tedious recovery. Invest in a break stick, only to be used on pibbles. Read up on crate n rotate, multi dog homes at www.pbrc.net. Get the animals spayed/neutered if not already. I hope this helps you.

Thanks for the suggestions! They definitely won't be left unattended anytime soon. Lucky for me, I don't go back to work until August 16th so I have almost 4 weeks to be with them and work on behavior and training. Once I go back to work, the puppy will either be crated or outside while Raleigh is inside.

I don't know if this means anything but yesterday I dropped Atticus off at the vet to have his cut looked at. He stayed over night because I am going out of town and already had plans to board him and Raleigh. When I returned home and let Raleigh back in the house, she seemed lost. She ran into the laundry room to see if Atticus was eating. Then when we went upstairs, she immediately went to his crate and sniffed around. When she got on the bed, she ended up laying down on the bed in the spot where Atticus tends to sleep when he lays with me. She never lays on that spot. She typically lays at the foot of the bed on my feet but last night, she curled up at the top of the bed and laid beside me.

Could it be that she possibly senses that Atticus is not around and misses him?

I had 3 Greyhounds and a Jack Russell when we brought home our 2 Pit puppies (Maybelline and Maryjane), I knew my older dogs would not be aggressive, but they all play really rough. If you have ever seen a Greyhound play, they can cause considerable damage. I have also seen them fight, and they have to be pulled apart as opposed to a pit scuffle, which can usually be stopped by yelling. We put a gate up in the hall to introduce and yet separate puppies from adults. We gradually let them be together (always supervised) and separated when we were gone. We did this until they were 1 yo; my daughter moved out and took Mary with her. I now have 1 Greyhound, 1 Jack, Maybelline and 1 foster, I still let Maybelline go in her bedroom when we are gone, but now it's so my Greyhound doesn't teach her to counter surf. I guess the point of this very long story is this, it took awhile but we didn't give up, and our cautiousness paid off by no injuries, and a happy well adjusted pack. By the way, all of the dogs Love Maybelline and love to play with her, she is the favorite of all my pack.