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When and how to introduce blind but reactive rescue to puppy?

560 Views 1 Reply 2 Participants Last post by  Kathyy
Our older dog is a 6 year old rescue with dog reactivity problems. We've taken him to trainers and group training and trained him ourselves to try to overcome the dog reactivity, and while it got a lot better, it never really went away. He doesn't bark at other dogs aggressively; he's never gotten into a fight and is able to get along with other dogs once he gets used to them. But he went blind early this year, and we don't have a real problem with dog reactivity anymore, since he can't see the other dogs.

But we just got a new puppy (9 weeks old) to be my emotional support animal and to train to be a therapy dog (our older dog doesn't have the temperament for it), and I know he knows she's there. He'll whine and scratch at my door for a few minutes before giving up and leaving (mostly out of jealousy, I think, since he doesn't do it when I'm outside with him). For now we've just been keeping them separate. She stays in my room, and I carry her out to do her business outside, and since my dog can't see, there's no problem with that. But she'll get older and get more free reign of the house eventually, and this arrangement won't work anymore. I'd also like to be able to let her come around the house tethered to me without my older dog getting in the way. And, above all, I want to make sure they can live together peacefully. When should the proper introduction be done? And how should it be done?
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You are doing exactly what I would be doing. They are hearing and smelling one another now and definitely getting used to each other. I plan to keep dogs apart for several weeks and always end up allowing them to interact much sooner just because they get relaxed and I relax. At first new dog is kept penned most of the time then dogs are switched so old dog is penned for a bit while new dog gets a bit more freedom in the house to practice good house manners. Dogs fed out of sight for a long time separated if there are chews out. My current two 'trade' toys which is actually a bit of resource guarding and it wouldn't be a bad idea to keep all toys up as well.

Sassy was very dog reactive, before I understood how to treat it so she never really got better. She lived with other dogs just fine. Her reactivity was because she didn't know how the other dog was going to act towards her. If she had plenty of time to learn about the other dog she calmed down just fine. So taking obedience class where she was close to the same dogs week after week helped a great deal but she never learned to be calm around random dogs passed during walks.
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