Raising A Creative Canine

The introduction of a new puppy into a reactive multi-dog household

Kayden and Austyn (Part 2)

Reactive Dog Home Management Add comments

In the beginning, Kayden and Austyn were not allowed to be together unless the activity was thoroughly planned. We kept Austyn in our baby-gated kitchen with all of his toys while the other dogs rested in the remaining parts of the house.

I purposely changed the positions of the crates in our bedroom as well as the positions of the crates in the car. I thought I would try to put Austyn and Kayden side-by-side in the bedroom as long as it was pleasing to both dogs. Luckily, it was! In the car, Austyn was kitty corner to Kayden and right next to Lizzie-Taylor. This also worked out well.

At night, when we would feed the dogs, each dog would station in front of his or her crate. Greg and I would carry Austyn down and put him in with his meal after all of the other dogs were put in their crates first. Kayden especially. When Austyn started “doing” stairs, we would again put Kayden in his crate first and then we would let Austyn slowly join the rest of the pack via the stationing behavior. Then he would wait his turn as the rest of the dogs were fed.

One particular challenge was moving the dogs past each other when they had to go out to potty. I knew that having Austyn and Kayden crunched in a doorway was going to be a potential disaster!

We have a very narrow kitchen that opens onto a narrow porch. From there, they go outside. In the beginning, Greg and I would just pick up Austyn as all of the dogs passed through the kitchen. Kayden would sometimes stop to sniff the puppy’s toes and I would click and feed him. (Here, I made a mental note that I would do more of these sessions.) As Austyn grew, holding him was no longer an option. Instead, as the dogs came in, Greg or I would hold Austyn in his bed as the pups passed. Kayden, at this time, was not allowed to sniff the puppy, and all would get treats, after they had passed through the baby gate and joined Austyn and us on the other side.

Below is a video showing what this behavior eventually looked like. As Kayden would come through the door, Austyn knew to go to his bed to wait patiently while Kayden walked through. A beautiful way to manage the situation:

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