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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I’m new here so I’m still trying to figure everything out so please bear with me.
I have a 4 year old intact male black lab/bully breed mix that we rescued when he was a year and a half. He’s undersocialized partially because of the previous owners and because of us. He’s 90 pounds and I’m 99 pounds so it was hard to walk him at first. We’ve worked a lot on the leash so he’s far better now, but it’s still a battle from time to time.
My biggest issue with him is how he interacts with other dogs. He’s very wishy washy with what dogs he likes and what ones he doesn’t. He did fine with a female puppy and a male puppy before, but with a different male puppy he lost it. He doesn’t bark or growl, he just pursues the dog like crazy and either humps the dog or literally tries to crush it.
We just moved into an apartment off of a 10 acre property so he’s been adjusting to it. He was doing great until about a month in. We were on a walk and heading inside, he had been perfect the whole time and I stupidly let my guard down. We were about to go around a corner to head to the front door when this male intact doodle came right around the corner. My dog pulled the leash from my hands and went up to the doodle. Everything was fine until the doodle lunged at my dog. My dog grabbed the doodles scruff at the base of it’s neck and just held him. One of the doodle’s owners grabbed my dog and pulled him one way and the other one started yanking the doodle the opposite way. That’s when their dog yelped and went to bite mine so I took the bite for my dog. The doodle was going to bite my dog’s nose and I wasn’t gonna let him do that. I’d totally allow a correction/nip but I ended up with punctures on all fingers and my palm. It’s been almost a month since the incident and I was able to make sure the doodle was fine and didn’t actually get any injuries from the bite thankfully, but what the heck do I do?! I got a muzzle for my dog since he was labeled as a potentially dangerous dog (understandably) and I’ve been cracking down on his leash manners. The doodle sees us training from a window in their apartment and loses its mind at my dog and I so I bring pepper spray on all of our walks.
I know he needs to meet other dogs, but obviously not all dogs. I’m not sure how to do it and how to execute it safely. He doesn’t really give warning signs, it’s more of a reaction to the other dog and it’s behaviors. We have him on a waitlist to get neutered to hopefully help with some of our issues but I know a huge part is also training.
I’m going to be getting a 2 year old intact male golden retriever in the somewhat near future who will be my service dog. How should I go about introducing them to each other? Obviously my dog will be muzzled for safety reasons, but I really eventually want to be able to take the muzzle off. Thank so much for any help, I appreciate it!
Pic of my boy :) Dog Dog breed Carnivore Companion dog Grass
 

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Socialization is NOT MEETING OTHER DOGS OR PEOPLE. Socialization is a poor word as people think it means meet ups.

Socialization is getting your dog out in various environments and teaching him to focus on you. This will make an environmentally sound pet dog.

Meet ups on leash force dogs to be face to face which most dogs find RUDE. Your dog clamping onto the other dog and not letting go is a dog aggressive Pit Bull/Bully breed move... and is genetically hard wired. Some Pit Mixes have those genetics. Others do not. Yours does.

No more meeting other dogs. Ever. No more letting strangers pet your dog (I never allow this.. stranger wants to pet a dog let them get their own dog!). Never take this dog to a dog park.

Socialize your dog by getting him out in different environments and focusing on you. This can also go a long way towards eliminating pulling.

You can do a lot of obedience training out there in different places.
 

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Your dog does not sound like a good candidate for meeting other dogs, ever. That's perfectly fine. He doesn't have to meet other dogs. Since he is so large and has proven his ability to escape, wearing a muzzle when outside your property is a good idea. You can check out this thread on reactive dogs for some resources concerning counter conditioning and training. Your dog is likely never going to like other dogs, but you can teach him to ignore other dogs and focus on you.

As for the Golden, I think you need to prepare for the possibility that your dog will not tolerate him. Are you working with an organization? They can help you with introductions, and I think because your dog is dog selective you need to work with a professional if you want to do an introduction properly. It will likely be a slow process that involves crate and rotate, baby gates, and other physical barriers for some time, and even then you might not be able to trust them together.
 

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I agree with the above. Especially in regards to the new dog - get the help of a positive focus trainer. The last thing you want to do is to make a mistake and have the dogs end up hating each other.

You do need to have a back up plan. What are you going to do if the dogs don't get along? Will you return the service dog and do without? Or will you rehome your existing dog? Don't wait to figure this out - work it out now. Arrange now for a temporary place for the one dog to go until it can be returned or rehomed. Having two dogs that don't get along in an apartment is going to be a disaster.
 
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I forgot to say.. the new dog may not ever be accepted by your current dog (those Pit genetics again).

Be VERY careful and be fully prepared to NEVER let the two dogs together. EVER.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Nope, which is why I’m having such a hard time with it! He perks up when he sees a dog but not to the point he’s pulling or barking towards them. I usually put him into a sit so we can watch the dog from a distance so he gets used to seeing them and not meeting them.
 

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Well, I'm certainly no expert, but I think it's possible he could get along with a housemate. Interdog aggression outside the home is not necessarily predictive of interdog aggression inside the home, from what I understand. But like others said, there is also a very real possibility that you'll have to choose between the two dogs. :\ It all depends on the specific cause of his behavior. If he's just overexcited and has no social skills, that is one thing. If he's scared or territorial or status-seeking, that's something else. The fact that he can sit and watch other dogs without losing it is a positive sign, I think. If he's truly calm, that is more positive. If he's alerting on the other dogs without going over threshold, that is less positive. You'll have to get a behaviorist in there to observe him and help you analyze his body language. Usually when dogs do things "out of the blue" there are warning signs that are just too subtle for us to pick up.

Jean Donaldson has a book called "Fight" that might be helpful, though I would definitely enlist the help of professional trainer with experience in aggression.

I have a "Highlander" dog (there can be only one) that was rehomed with me for that reason, so I can attest to the fact that some dogs just can't coexist with other dogs. It doesn't sound like your guy is at that extreme end of the spectrum. I hope you are able to work something out. He's a handsome boy!
 
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