I visited a lovely family yesterday – four little girls aged between two and eight and two large gentle dogs – one a Standard Poodle, Max, and the other a Poodle Rottweiller mix called Alfie. I have never seen that mix before, and to me he looked more like a black Beardie. As you may be able to see from my not very good picture, Max is covered in tight curls.
Alfie the Rottie mix is a laid back gentleman. Max, on the other hand, is much more active and a little restless. He adores the children, and the little girls who have been taught to treat dogs with respect cuddle him, walk him around with him and play with him – and he loves it. Max can be reactive to other dogs – barking but not attacking, and Alfie may then join in.
To add to this mix, they are getting a female Dalmation puppy in a couple of weeks! Knowing that Max is not at ease around dogs he doesn’t know, they want to make sure that both dogs and the new puppy integrate OK.
So, they are putting a few more rules and boundaries in place, themselves making the decisions around food and protection duty – both of which are roles of a leader, along with teaching the dogs who decides where to go when out on a walk (and it’s not them)!
When the new puppy arrives they are going to introduce Max and Alfie to her whilst quietly keeping her safe, and with the little girls out of the way initially as they are bound to be very excited and a calm atmophere is vital. I shall be on the end of the phone or email to answer any questions or help with any problems over the first few weeks or months. They have already decided to crate train their puppy, and I advise that this crate is out of bounds to children – so the puppy has a bolt hole where she can go for peace and quiet when she is tired.