A houseful of dogs


Good morning, we had a wonderful Christmas and Boxing Day.  I hope that you all did as well.  Here, we had 5 dogs in the house.  Luke, Elsa, Penny, Snoop and Luna.  It was a juggling act as this was a first for Luna meeting Luke and Elsa.  Snoop and Luna are my daughter and her fiancé's dogs.  They have been in this house a lot but not shared a space until this weekend.  Snoop is a 13 year Pekingese who at this age is not interested in interacting with other dogs.  He is cute as a button but likes to keep to himself so they made sure that he had was able to do that.  He also suffers from a very bad back so being in the mix is not a good idea at all.  He is perfectly happy staying in bed all day; and was given lots of alone time in the yard and other areas of the house.


Luna is the newcomer; she joined their family with Snoop, back in August.  She is a rescue and an adorable one at that.  She looks to be a mix between a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and a Japanese Chin; weighing in at only 11 lb., she is small in comparison to Penny, Luke and Elsa.  It was apparent from the get go that she was going to push; she is a very dominant little female.  Snoop and Luna had their words when she first joined them but now get along wonderfully.  They have a different relationship; they are happy to simply coexist without much, if any interaction.  Knowing that Luna is very dominant and pushy; we had to take great care to introduce her to my pack.

Luke is very social and even if a dog growls, he will typically turn and walk away.  That is other than his occasional leash aggression thing.  He likes most dogs and at this age doesn't really care much about interaction.  He is happy to sit on the sidelines and watch.   Elsa is also very social but as she is maturing she is not a fan of being growled at.  She will retaliate and there in lies the problem of Luna being in our house "Elsa's house."  I knew that Elsa was not going to be okay with a strange dog coming into her home and growling at or trying to dominate her.  So we have waited for their introduction and it had to be on neutral territory.   With Luna having been in the house before, even in the backyard with Luke and Elsa watching; they were already quite use to her smell and look.  So the stage was set.

We met at a field close by.  The dogs would have lots of room to be off leash; which is very important if you think things might get weird.  Close, cramped quarters are a big no no with iffy dogs.  So Luna, Luke and Elsa were set free to run and not everything went great.  Elsa pretty much ignored her for the first while because she thought I had a ball.  After realizing that I didn't she went to finally meet Luna.  Within minutes Elsa was chasing Luna was running full speed; they were both having a blast.  We stayed quite a while and they were just fine with each other.  Luke got on his tiptoes to meet Luna as he could also tell right off that she was a bossy type.  She took Luke cue as reigning Top dog and backed off; she even seemed drawn to him.

Back home things would be different.  Penny had already met Luna several times but they didn't quite mesh.  They are pretty much complete opposites but the fact that Penny doesn't care at all if dogs growl at her is a major plus because Luna growls at Penny a lot.  Growling is as far as it goes so I know that with more time the growling will stop; although maybe not with Penny.  Watching Luke and Elsa around Luna was fascinating.  They started out in the yard; again more room to move around and away if needed.  That went well until Luna went under the patio table and claimed it.  She growled at Luke as he passed by; he only got on his toes and kept going.  He isn't much for getting into it anymore.  Elsa and Penny ignored her which was good.

As I thought, inside the house was much different; more growling and tension.  They are not ready to hang out for the whole day in the house yet.  Luna needs to learn that she cannot claim people, places or things before we can do this.  But they did spend a while in the house; that was when everyone was in the garage or moving around which went well.  As soon as she is given the chance to claim something she takes it.  So there is work to be done until all is running smoothly.