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Developing that bond...

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Recently I adopted a second dog, Maya. She's a lab mix, about the same size/age as my McNab, Jet (male), but with a markedly more dominant demeanor. Jet is very submissive and the whole "pack order" issue seems to have fallen into place nicely. Two months together and no fights, so in that regard we're doing good. They wrestle and chase each other but a majority of the day they spend as couch potatoes, almost always is different rooms.

Maybe it's a lost cause, but is there anything I should be doing to facilitate the dogs "bonding" to one another? Or maybe I'm reading into their behavior entirely wrong. I good portion of the reason I got the second dog was to keep Jet company. I'm thankful for no fighting (knock on wood) but I expected more playtime...My previous sets of multiple dogs (albeit different breeds) were inseparable. I guess I was just expecting something more like that.

We're still working on Maya's aggression with new dogs, so its difficult to take the two places together, but I'm working on training them together and they walk together. Maybe all it needs is more time...?

Anyway, if you all could share some experiences on adding a member to the pack and the adjustment period I'd be really interested in hearing your stories. I don't want to come off sounding like I have a problem, per say, everything is going smoothly I just wonder if there's anything I can do to help them.

I guess in all fairness, its going to take some time for me to develop the bond with Maya that I already have with Jet...

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My opinion is that you should just let the dogs be dogs and work out how they want to "bond" with one another themselves. Why get overinvolved? I just read an article about parents sending their kids to "play workshops" to teach them HOW to play. Bonding your dogs sounds about as useful to me, frankly. I think that only works in bunnies.


I have almost always had multiple dogs. Sometimes they play, mostly they don't. Sometimes they sleep together, mostly they don't. Some of them like each more than others. As long as they are not actively hating one another, fighting etc., I don't really care how bonded they are and I don't think they do either.


I frequently tell people not to get another dog for their existing dog, because while the dogs will generally cohabitate peacefully, and may even be fond of one another, it's generally not the love-fest result the owner was hoping for. Case in point.


Yesterday when I came home Mr. Woo was sleeping under the bed with the cat, Tweed was napping on the sofa and Piper was curled up on the bathmat by the tub. My dogs, who have lived together for 3 and 6 years (ratio of Piper and Woo to Tweed, who is almost 9) get along just fine, but they don't want to spend every minute together.



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Sammie was our first dog, Speedy was our second. Sammie and Speedy pretty much ignore each other. They almost always have. I would imagine they pretty much always will!


When we added Maddie, she and Speedy bonded and they played and played and played. Sammie snarked at her if she tried to engage him. Sammie and Maddie ended up ignoring each other.


Until the first summer we went to camp. I'll never forget it - I was sitting in the barn that they use as a general hang-out area and unleashed dogs were hanging about and wandering in and out. All of a sudden, Sammie and Maddie were in the middle of the floor and they started to play with each other. I was pretty surprised. Sometimes another dog would join in, but over the course of that week, they often went out to the middle of the floor and played. They seemed to enjoy doing this in front of all of the other dogs and people who were there.


After that, they were buddies. They would sniff together in the yard. Maddie will sometimes "flush out" rabbits from overgrown areas of our yard and then Sammie chases them. Now that we have a second Border Collie, the two mutts (Sammie and Maddie) seem even more friendly with each other.


I have never set out to make my dogs be friends with each other. Sammie ignores Speedy, plays with Maddie, and scorns Dean. Speedy ignores Sammie, occasionally plays with Maddie, and enjoys playing with Dean. Maddie plays with all three of the boys and will, when she can manage it, get them into a group game. Dean will play with any of them any time but since Sammie does not like him, they don't play.


I would probably just let them be since they aren't at odds with each other.

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