by Chelsey Zumpano
So my little dog Lucy did not get along with my Husky Hazel. She growled, barked, and showed her teeth. Hazel just jumped around her and wanted to play. It wasnt that big of deal when my Ginger was still alive because Lucy had her Mom to hang out with, so we just kept them seperated. We did try to introduce the three of them, but Ginger would growl at her and all that stuff. I don’t blame her because if I was a Chihuahua, (who was old and not feeling well), then I wouldn’t want a puppy to be bugging me either.
Then when Ginger past away; Lucy didn’t, (and still doesn’t), want to be alone! She cries and won’t stop scratching at the door, if we put her outside to run around, (we can’t even let her out to go potty. I’m not going to lie, but it was extreamly stressful, (especially because Lucy only wanted/wants to only be with me or my Mom), so it meant that it was harder to split my time between the two dogs.
So how did I get them to get along? By using calming signals! You might be wondering what that is? Calming signals are how dogs communicate with each other and us humans can use some of them too. Dogs will use calming signals to to calm dogs down and to let them know, “Hey, it’s okay.” Dogs will also use calming signals at us if they are being yelled at and want us to calm down. Some examples are licking their lips, yawning , sighing, and slow blinking. You can learn more about calming signals by reading the book, “On Talking Terms with Dogs,” linked at the bottom of this post.
The other thing that helped was to be relaxed and not panic when the dogs were together because they can sense that and sometimes feed off it. Now Lucy and Hazel can be in the same room together. Lucy will still get agitated by Hazel, but it’s getting better. I think the reason why it worked for my dogs is because Hazel just wants to play and wasn’t trying to fight Lucy. So please talk to a trainer if your dogs are full on fighting. It’s one of thoughs things that will take time and won’t work for all dogs, but I’m extreamly thankful it has helped my dogs.
Let me know what things have helped your dogs have a better relationship in the comments!
If you have any suggestions for what you’d like to see next for Nanowrimo, please let me know in the comments or send me an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org