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Canine Behavior/2nd dog followup question


I appreciate your response to my prior question. I have pasted your response below. I do have one last question. IF I spayed the 7 year old girl do you think it would make a difference on how my 10 year old responds to her? The 7 year old is very sweet and very scared if you will. She has lived in a kennel all her life...Let me know if that would make a difference in how mine feels about her.

You wrote me the following response:
ANSWER: There is NO WAY any legitimate breeder would put an UNSPAYED bitch into a home.

My suggestion: you see there's a problem; the overbreeding of a 7 year old bitch (and the fact she's still intact) alarms me and may pose future health issues.  At five weeks, the new addition has yet to even begin to habituate to your household.  At ten years, your older dog may be quite unable to adjust to any new addition (but same sex is a big problem).

I suggest you return the new addition.  I also suggest you find a more professional breeder in this breed of your choice.  Go to the breed's AKC website.  Look at breeder referrals and, especially, "rescue" contacts.  The Rescue contacts in most purebred dogs that are part of the AKC club know the "bad" breeders.  They may not SAY they are "bad", but they WILL say "I wouldn't suggest that" or some such thing.  There are most likely some retired show dogs out there looking for good homes, but a legitimate breeder will be quite careful with whom she places them and there is most likely a waiting list.  Just let the older dog live out her life in peace as an "only child".

First: this is a "kennel dog", indefensible on the part of the "breeder" who is most likely running some sort of "puppy mill".  I understand well that you can't abide returning her to a living hell, which is what being a "kennel dog" is.  You're seeing the results of a life like this and they're not good.  AVOID THAT BREEDER LIKE THE PLAGUE from now on.

Second: she was most likely over bred; this means she may be at high risk of mammary tumors (driven by estrogen, which is plentiful in pregnancy) and possibly uterine problems.  Yes, she should be spayed; a complete blood chemistry should also be done as well as titers for vaccinations (never over vaccinate any dog, titers are worth the money as they can give a dog years of extra life).

As for how your 10 year old dog "feels" about her: ignoring her is NORMAL BEHAVIOR.  The resident dog is making a statement of social hierarchy.  They may never be "pals" but my main concern is any sort of potential aggression one toward the other (between two bitches this is not uncommon although not guaranteed to occur, either!)  So: your veterinarian must be prepared to handle this animal with great delicacy, pain medication, kindness and PATIENCE.  S/he must understand the inability of a kennel dog to behave appropriately with humans in a strange environment and proceed accordingly.  Bring a blanket with you and have it in the kennel with her prior to surgery.  Remove it and bring it home to your 10 year old dog and leave it in a prominent location (so she can SCENT it).  When you return with the younger dog (next day most likely after surgery), be certain to have pain medication available.  Have a friend or relative OUTSIDE and OFF your property with your older dog.  Let the two walk parallel at a VERY SLOW PACE (to prevent pain) and then bring them into the house (older dog first).  NO STAIRS for the younger dog for several days (ask your veterinarian).

Feed the resident dog first, greet her first, etc. so she will understand that she is higher in social hierarchy than the new addition (and so will that dog understand).  Then proceed with patience.  It will take quite a while for this younger dog to habituate to household life and it will take quite a while to see what occurs between the two dogs.  

It is now, in my opinion, NOT a humane option to return her to this breeder.  If you have any further questions as time passes, don't hesitate to post.

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Jill Connor, Ph.D.


I have spent my entire professional life rehabilitating the behavior of the domestic dog and I can answer any question regarding any behavior problem in any breed dog. I have answered more than 5,000 QUESTIONS on this site in the past (almost) eight years. If you are a caring, committed owner and need advice, I'm here for you. I am personally acquainted with my colleagues (Turid Rugaas, Ian Dunbar, etc.) who were members of an elite group in EGroups that I founded: K9Shrinks. THERE ARE NO QUICK FIXES for serious behavioral issues; not only is it unprofessional to offer same, it is also unethical. IF I ASK YOU SUBSEQUENT QUESTIONS, I NEED YOU TO INTERACT WITH ME. More information equals more credible answers and a more successful outcome. If you want ANSWERS THAT WORK, participate in any way I request. I'm quite committed to working on this site for YOUR benefit and the benefit of YOUR DOG. Help me in any way you can.


30 years of solving serious behavior problems in domestic dogs; expert in dog to human aggression; Internet columnist for for 5 years; former radio talk show host, WHPC.FM, Garden City, NY "Bite Back" (1995 through 2000). List owner, international animal behavior experts, Seminar leader: "Operant Conditioning and Learning"; "Aggression in The Domestic Dog"; "Solving Problem Behaviors" -- conducted for various training facilities on Long Island from 1993 through 2000. Former clinical director of "Behavioral Abnormalities" in conjunction with Mark Beckerman, DVM, Hempstead, New York.

Member, APDT (UK); Psychologists in Ethical Treatment with Animals

Harcourt Brace Learning Direct: "The Business of Dog Training" "The Fail Safe Dog: Brain Training, not Pain Training"

Ph.D., UC Berkeley

Past/Present Clients
Board of Directors: Northeast Dog Rescue Connection; The Dog Project; Sav-A-Dog Foundation; etc. Pro Bono counselor: Little Shelter Humane Society My practice is presently limited to forensics. I diagnose cause of dog bite, based upon testimony before the Court, for attorneys and insurance companies litigating dog bites, including fatal injuries. I also do pro bono work for bona fide rescue organizations, humane societies, et al, regarding such analysis in an effort to obtain release for dogs being held for death in municipal shelters in the US.

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