Hi all! Back again and need advice!

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-10-2003
Hi all! Back again and need advice!
Thu, 12-17-2009 - 9:45am

Hi everyone,

I posted here about two years ago when I brought home Kita (my husky/retriever mix). Well she is 2.5 now and a great dog (thanks to a lot of great advice I got here about crate training and house breaking!).

So here is the situation. For the past year my exboyfriend and I lived together. He had two dogs and although it was challenging at first, we all became one family. The dogs got along great and would play together and chase each other.

Well xBF and I broke up and he moved out and took his two with him. Kita was devastated. She was depressed for two weeks, clung to me (not normal) didn't want to do anything and sat infront of the window waiting for them to come home :(

So we decided to adopt. We met a few dogs but Kita didn't click with them at all. On Monday we met Toby who could have been Kita's twin (crazy because she's a mutt and he was from the humane society) As soon as they met they started to play, chase, wrestle . . . it was unbelievable. We took him home and they played to exhaustion the first night. Toby is a sterilized one and half year old husky-retriever (though I think there is Kuvasz (sp?) in him.

The second day however, Kita's attitude changed and she got growly and even a little snappy with him. Never intent to harm, but enough to tell him to back off. She got a little better wednesday and this morning she approached him to play. When he did, she got overwhelmed (I'm guessing?) and snapped at him again.

I don't understand what is happening here. She loves to play and played with him once. He plays the same way she normally does. She has never growled or showed any dominance before (when we merged the households it was the other dogs that growled at her).

Does anyone have any ideas how I can make the transition easier?

Bex -

"Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift -thats why its called the present."

Bex -

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-14-1999
Thu, 12-17-2009 - 10:10am

Part of this is she is now the more dominant/older dog of the house and she is just letting him know it! Actually in my experience ( We raise/show Wire Fox Terriers) Females tend to be the more dominant and males just sort of "go along" ( the way it SHOULD be LOL!!) Also- although she missed the other dogs- she probably got used to being the "only" dog in the house. I would not fret/worry over this - I'd let them work it out themselves. Our dogs often- play growl/play fight and while it "looks" serious to the average person, they really don't mean anything!

You may want to allow some seperation for some periods of time- and be sure to give each dog your individual attention - esp. your girl!

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-10-2003
Tue, 12-22-2009 - 3:56pm

Welcome back and congratulations on adding Toby to your family! I agree, she's just expressing her dominance. There's bound to be some territoriality when a new dog is brought into the household and it sounds like she's just letting him know that she is in charge and also letting him know what the boundaries are for his own actions.

We have four (small) dogs who have lived together for years and they will clean each other, pile up together to sleep, etc. but every once in a while someone irritates someone else and then a warning growl, snap, etc. is issued. So long as she's not attacking him, there aren't full-blown fights and you don't fear for Toby's safety, I would let them just work it out among themselves and they'll learn the best way to live with each other.

She's probably expressing more dominance than you've see in the past with the other dogs because in this situation, she was the only dog in the household (so she sees it as her territory) and now a newcomer has come in and she needs to lay down the law with him.