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Discussion Starter #1
Not really looking for advice here (though I would never turn it down.) This is more an example of how things can go horribly wrong if you make assumptions about your dog(s).

My son and his wife adopted a dog about eight months ago. He is a big, handsome, ridiculously strong cattle dog/lab mix. He's generally well-trained and very affectionate with humans. His biggest issue is that he has some serious resource guarding issues with other dogs though, thankfully, not with humans.

He lives with a miniature dachshund and they have reached a level of understanding but are never left alone together.

This weekend they are here for a visit. We did a carefully supervised meet-and-greet with Franklin, our 22-pound fluffball who loves everyone and everything (other than squirrels) and were amazed when they played together like two puppies. Monty, my son's dog, was quite deliberate in his care not to step on Franklin. When they'd run together, Monty would jump over Franklin instead of running him over and he would lie on the ground so Franklin could pretend to be top dog. My son and his wife were thrilled because Monty had never shown any interest in playing with another dog. They played outside (supervised closely) for hours.

Then we went into the house. They rested briefly and resumed playing. Toys were removed from the room, but at some point, Monty found a chew toy that is one of Franklins favorites and started chewing on it. Franklin seemed fine with that, so I didn't do the smart thing and remove it. (Monty would have let me take it away without argument because, as I said, he is generally well-trained.)

A bit later, when neither dog was chewing on the toy, Franklin happened to walk near it and Monty pounced on him. I was standing right there and was able to separate them before any real damage was done and crate Monty, but it looked to me like he would have killed Franklin, given the chance, though Franklin seemed surprisingly willing to fight back. (I've seen violent play and over-zealous corrections, and this was neither.) During the intervention, I sustained only the second dog bite I've had as an adult, but I think I'll live. It was an accident and better me than Franklin.

The point of this story is that two dogs, who seemed to be best friends only moments earlier, could really get into it over a toy (that I should have removed as soon as I saw it.) It's entirely possible that they will play together again today (with close supervision and absolutely no toys) but we can never, ever leave them alone together.

BTW, Molly, our rather cranky senior lab mix can never be face-to-face with Monty. We already know that. It's likely that these visits will be extremely rare. This might be the only one. The logistics of keeping everyone safe - even with a large house and yard and multiple crates - are bit overwhelming. This is also why I would never get a second dog without a previous meet-and-greet with the first dog. I know some multiple dog households where the dogs can NEVER be together, even with supervision, and it strikes me as incredibly sad.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Quick update: Today Monty desperately wanted to play and seemed to have forgotten about yesterday's incident. Franklin wanted to play but was suspicious and guarded and a bit feisty with Monty. It didn't go particularly well and Monty is now in his crate.

I think that ship has sailed.
 
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