Use this space to discuss training issues -- brag about successes, lament setbacks or bounce a question off the group.
We've had some changes in our pack over the last few weeks that have brought on a variety of training challenges.
I've mentioned we lost Rusty, my 14-year-old Lab who was best friends with my female Yorkie, Jillie, and tolerated just about everything my two Yorkies could throw at him. He died of complications from a heart ailment and is noticeably missed by the others.
The challenge is the addition of Lucy, a 10-year-old Chessie. She's an absolute sweetheart and very well-mannered. She arrived just 10 days after Rusty departed.
But she's a girl. I had no idea that sexes of dogs played such a huge role in how they interrelate. Before now, I've owned either just one dog, all males or two males and one female.
The new dynamic of two females and one male is fascinating. Eddie, my troublemaker, is actually doing better with Lucy than Jillie. I was certain Jillie would instantly bond with the newcomer. She's been a social butterfly her whole life, while Eddie has been more standoffish.
But Jillie didn't warm up to Lucy. No open hostility from her, but no attempt at bonding either. Lucy, on the other hand, is still feeling out the situation. She'll growl if Jillie gets too close, which further throws off Jillie, who has been the queen of the house. Jillie will growl too when she's on my lap and Lucy walks by.
Fortunately, growls are as far as it has gone. My training concern is what to do about it. In the past, I always intervened when there was a disagreement among the dogs because my troublemaker, Eddie, would have hurt his opponent.
But no fighting has taken place. I'm inclined to let the growls go so all the dogs can establish their boundaries. I'm a little saddened that Jillie doesn't have her big-dog buddy, but I see some softening in the relationship. Maybe it will happen.
Has anyone had a similar situation with two females? Did it get better or escalate?