I made a bad choice

By Sarah Gaziano

eddie and mo
Eddie in voluntary proximity to Mo.

I don’t make bad choices. Not because I’m better than anyone; it’s simply because I don’t take risks and I generally go with my gut instinct. That instinct usually tells me to stay at home, binge watch television and knit something. It’s a glorious life, but a few months ago something started changing in me.

Maybe it was my version of a mid-life crisis. Maybe it was just my time to make a bad decision. Either way, in February, I brought a 7-week-old puppy into my home, a home already filled with chaos.

I’m not a puppy person, so the odds weren’t ever in my favor. But to add an extra twist to the knife, I currently own a dog that doesn’t get along with other dogs. He’s not just unfriendly. He doesn’t just bark at other dogs on the street or growl a lot when they are around. He’s aggressive toward other dogs. Plain and simple.

The journey of separate living began. Insert baby gates, crates and multiple floors. For the first month or so, they barely saw each other, barely knew each other lived in the house. We started giving them more freedom here and there: walking by the crate on a leash, only keeping them apart by one baby gate instead of two. Small steps maybe every month or so.

Four months have past and honestly, it’s going better than I ever expect. They are greeting each other at a gate in the middle of my apartment. My aggressive dog is showing mild signs of interest and simply walks away when he’s done. WALKS AWAY! Never in the history of this dog has he ever decided to walk away.

I will continue to update on the progress of these shenanigans. In the meantime, remember that introducing a new dog into your house might go swimmingly, but it’s always best to do slow integration so the dogs can get comfortable with one another. They have their whole lives to get along, what’s a few months?

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3 thoughts on “I made a bad choice

  1. Great post! I really enjoyed hearing that not only pet professionals/dog-trainers make crazy decisions regarding their animals, but more seriously about the successes you’re having, and more specifically the process involved.

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  2. My sister, who has a lot of common sense, told me years ago that DOGS HAVE TO CHOOSE THEIR OWN FRIENDS. Glad it’s working out for you, but I have friends who have to either crate or keep at least 1 dog muzzled because the dogs didn’t choose each other. It’s one thing if you kennel your dogs part of the time, anyways, but quite another if you think ‘One big happy…’ This is also my issue with dog daycare businesses monitored by people who have never trained a dog to a title or understand dog behavior.

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  3. I had a similar situation and my advice, never let your guard down. All was great until the puppy became adult age, then the fighting started. No matter what I did I was never able to put them together again.

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