View Full Version : Advice needed from owners of large packs !

23rd April 2007, 09:49 PM
I have 2 girls at the moment, Ruby & Sasha, they are 2 and a half years old. I got them from the same litter (wow, did i have my work cut out or what !)

They are settled now and have a good routine at last.......but we have decided that it is time to add another one to the pack. (my husband wants a full set of cavis) We went to see the litter that we have been waiting for last weekend and will be picking our new blen. boy up in four weeks time.

I need advice about introducing him to my 2 girls. I am sure that ruby will be fine with the new pup as she loves other dogs, she loves to play and has no fear. But i think Sasha will be a different story, she is wary of other dogs and doesn't take to puppies, they are too wild for her.

My sister-in-law came up with her 16 week old shitzu a couple of weeks ago. Ruby was having a great time running round the garden with him. But Sasha, if she could talk (which i am sure she will do one day, she is almost human), would have said, 'what are you doing playing ball with that fluffy thing - he is out of control, i hope he isn't staying'.

it took her ages for her to come out in the garden to see what was going on.....

My other concern is.......my two girls have been spayed, so no seasons to drive the boy dogs mad, but how will our new pup react to them as he matures. Am i going to encounter mounting problems within the pack ! ?

My husband was thinking of having another bitch, but i think although these little dogs are cute and adorable, they are domesticated wolves arn't they? You dont get wild packs of wolves that are all girls roaming round the place, it is not natural.

I would appreciate any advice from multiple dog families...........

I am quite in tune with my pack, i think dog psychology is fascinating, i am sure we will be fine in the end and I know it all takes time, but i just want to get it right from the begining, from the introductions.

thanks in advance for your advice. You all seem like a helpful lot !

23rd April 2007, 11:24 PM
Well, I have two cavaliers...and take care of a third. My two are male, one in tact and one fixed. The third cavalier I watch is Female....Now the male in tact is hogan, and he will mount anything from a stuffed animal to the cat walking by , when we care for the Female FIXED Daisy she gives him about as much as she gets....meaning shes not taking any crap from him and actually swats him down with her paws...and then tries to dominate him

As far as introductions go~ Id have them meet thru a gate first, ( Im no dog trainer, but others here are...This is JMO) that way you can guage if there will be any aggression. Always feed seperate ....as dinner time is when ~ from what Ive read~ that most aggression takes place. Your gal may be bent out of shape for a bit, but Im sure she will get over it in time.

When we brought Hogan home, we were sure to give Maxwell plenty of attention, almost not paying attention to Hogan....its hard~ but it makes the transition easier for the older dog in my opinion.....Im sure you'll get tons more responses....again, Im no expert...Just my humble 2 cents

24th April 2007, 12:25 AM
Domestic dogs aren't really little packs of wolves... :lol:... they split from wolves millions of years ago and have very different social structures, brain size, sense development, etc. Dogs are far more social, more adept at reading human body language (even domesticated wolves or wolves used to human contact do not 'get' this the way dogs do, even feral dogs). All of this is just to make the side point that it is never wise to follow the school of thought/training that extrapolates directly from the wolf behaviour world to the dog behaviour world. This would be similar to making assumptions about human behaviour from watching chimps. ;)

But yes, it is true that as you add in more dogs you will begin to get pack (dog pack!) behaviour. :) So it's good to consider in advance the best way to do this and to know what you might begin to encounter. I'd strongly advise against adding a third female to two existing females -- that is setting up confrontations from the start as those two females already know where they stand; adding a third means as soon as she matures there will likely be scuffles and challenges. Adding in a male is far less likely to cause any major issues -- generally males have their social rankings and females have theirs and everyone has an idea of an overall structure, but there's far less conflict between sexes than within sexes. A male will go thru amounting stage as all puppies do but if you have him neutered this is unlikely to be an issue. But be aware females can show mounting behaviour too and the addition of a third dog could even trigger something along those lines. Mounting doesn't tend to be an only-sexual behaviour but is generally more complex.

Yours may well be put out a bit at having a third join the pack but this generally wears off before too long. A lot of dogs are not too thrilled with discovering the new dog isn;t going away in the way a visiting dog in the past has, as well, so it is hard to judge whether dogs will initially enjoy a third addition based on how they react to visitors. You will likely get some jealousy, at least initially. But also keep in mind that puppies are generally readily accepted. The point when there may be challenges is as that puppy matures, as that is the point a pack structure has to be revised. There can be fights.

Also be aware that while cavaliers tend to get along really well, there's always the risk that adding a new dog may change the social dynamic you enjoy with two right now -- this is perhaps something many people don;t consider and then find is not really what they wanted or expected. A third definitely alters how they all interact. It can also bring out new aspects of the other dogs' personalities or supress them. Much will depend on the personality of the new arrival. Hence it is wise to take the advice of an experienced breeder about personalities and the type of personality likely to fit best with your existing two. For example if you have one very outgoing, dominant dog you definitely do not want an outgoing, dominant puppy as you are more likely to have clashes when that puppy matures.

That's a bit of a cautionary tale and a warts and all view. It took me a while to adjust to three to be honest... and that was with a very adaptable third dog who was very deferential to the existing two boys. All that said, many people really enjoy the addition of another dog and enjoy the chance to train in a new baby, and feel the more the merrier! I feel I could manage additional dogs now with more comfort because I have more experience but going from two to three was a bit of a leap.

To read:



Somewhere in the Library section is a link to a bunch of articles on introducing a new dog, which would be helpful.

24th April 2007, 12:27 AM
I've got 2 Cavaliers & 2 Boxers and they all get on just fine. Some years ago we had 7 Boxers & a Great Dane & they also got on just fine. I think that if all the dogs see you as the ultimate Alpha, there is less chance of problems.

Mixed gender is no problem. You can get probs if you have more than 1 intact male & an intact female as they will scrap over the girl. Also 2 intact females can get a bit scrappy among themselves too if one comes into season. These problems don't usually present themselves early in the piece anyway, and for most people who are having their dogs spayed & neutered with the first 12 months, probably not a problem.

To keep order in the pack, we make sure that the alpha (of the dogs) remains the alpha. It so happens that this is our oldest Boxer girl. So she gets fed first, petted first, goes through the door first etc. Then everything goes on who is the next oldest, with puppy being last.

Lots of dogs are fun, but there can be some drawbacks. If you have a partner that isn't into walking the dogs, then it falls upon you to do it all yourself & that at times can be a handful. Taking them away on holiday can be a little more tricky, as to can be taking them to other people's places. It is just that the more dogs you have, the bit more complicated it can be.

Having said all of that.... I love having loads of dogs around. Go get em! :rah:

Bruce H
24th April 2007, 01:47 AM
Well, let's see. We have for the time being 12 adults and 4: 5 month old puppies; does that constitute a large pack? :shock: :eek:

I really don't see a problem if you're getting a boy. Even if it were another girl, I wouldn't be overly concerned. We have brought girls (and boys) into our pack from other breeders with no serious issues. I don't think I can ever remember a puppy taking more than a week to become part of the pack.

What we do with a new puppy (or when we are dogsitting) is bring the newcomer in the house in a crate and let our dogs get used to the new dog in the crate for an hour or so. Then everyone gets put in their crate and the newcomer comes out and has a chance to explore. After that our dogs are let out a couple at a time and allowed to interact under very close supervision. Whenever the newcomer is with the established dogs, we keep a VERY close eye on things.

The only issue you may have is that the puppy may be a bit more "pesky" than the established girls are used to. That's just the way puppies are. When the girls have decided he is getting too pesky, they may "discipline" him. Usually it sounds WAY worse than it actually is, but you do need to keep a close eye on everyone in case it gets a little too rough.

I really believe having a house broken adult helps with house breaking a new puppy also. The puppies tend to learn by watching the adults. Once our litters are about 10 weeks old or so, we start teaching them "All dogs out", where everyone, including the puppies, go out the door to the back yard as a pack. It's amazing how quick they learn to follow the pack and do their business. Usually! But not always :rolleyes:

Good luck on introducing your new puppy. It's going to be more work and the noise level may go up a bit, but I really think you'll love being buried in Cavaliers. I know I do!

24th April 2007, 01:55 AM
I began in quite the opposite position, but I believe that it still applies to yours. I began with 3 males (2 cavies and a shih tzu; all neutered). We never had any scuffles or fights, EVER. Mommy is the boss, but Stewie is second in line. He has always set the tone and let the boys know when he thought they were too rowdy during play and he still takes this stance when Zoey is wrestling with the crew.

We still never have fights now that we have added Zoey, but she did change the entire dynamic of the group (for the better though!!) She balanced every one out because she and Cody are so close in age. Wesley and Stewie finally get a break from the wild play.

My advice would be to maintain the order of your crew. Make sure that Sasha can keep her space and can get away from the crazy puppy antics if she so desires. Making sure that you can give each of your babies their special one on one time, but also instigate group play, that way, no one feels left out

24th April 2007, 02:14 AM
I really believe having a house broken adult helps with house breaking a new puppy also. The puppies tend to learn by watching the adults. Once our litters are about 10 weeks old or so, we start teaching them "All dogs out", where everyone, including the puppies, go out the door to the back yard as a pack. It's amazing how quick they learn to follow the pack and do their business. Usually! But not always :rolleyes:

Hehe ain't that the truth. The puppies soooo badly want to be part of the pack & do what the grown-ups do. I've always found subsequent puppies far easier to train than the first one.

24th April 2007, 08:04 PM
Thank you so much everyone for your advice. I will have another read through what you have all said......i may be needing more of your advice when the new boy gets here, 4 weeks and counting.

Thanks again, I am so glad i have stumbled upon this website, its great!

24th April 2007, 09:30 PM
Dogs and wolves aren't that distantly related, even today their DNA is almost identical. Here is a rather interesting article on wolf / dog evolution.
I agree with what others have stated.
Dogs teach other dogs and puppies A LOT easier than humans teach dogs and puppies. I had a group of rescues here last summer and none were housetrained at all. Being with my pack helped calm and teach them how to behave in a home.

24th April 2007, 11:02 PM
It's about the same degree of separation as chimps and humans -- we also have only a tiny degree of separation, but there's a lot of scope in that level of separation for behavioural differences. Indeed just given the level of behavioural difference amongst breeds, and the different types of handling different breeds respond to, it seems odd to approach dogs as a behavioural subset of an animal that zoologists sepcialising in wolves say is quite removed from dogs but more importantly, very far removed from the way wolf behaviour was analyzed ins ome of the early studies on which a lot of dog training has been based in the past. :)

There's a lot of interesting work on how different their brains are after that divergence -- and their ability to accommodate humans.

I spent several days with a tame wolf that belonged to an elderly woman of 80. I hasten to add she was not your normal everyday woman but one of the feistiest, toughest women I have ever met; well known behind the scenes in US politics for decades and tough as nails. A good friend of presidents. And tiny -- only about 5 ft tall and used a fly swatter as a kind of tool to direct the wolf, believe it or not. She had owned several wolves over several decades from the 60s onwards when she was given a pup by JFK, from the litter of a Siberian wolf given to the US by Kruschev. Illegal of course to keep them -- but she had the land to accommodate them, a huge compound of many acres, and I suppose no one is going to look too closely at the odd breed of 'dog' (her vet agreed it was a 'mixed breed') if it came from a president! It was an extraordinary animal, and very much not a dog outside of the superficial resemblance in build. It was very special to see a wolf so close up and interact with her, if a bit eerie. She watched people in a way a dog wouldn't; she could clearly see and hear things a dog would not sense (we were hundreds of yards from her and she was outside but sensed us the minute we came near the door of the house). The woman preferred wolves to dogs and told me numerous stories about her wolves. She has passed away now though; perhaps her kids took the wolf as two of her sons lived within the compound of land. I don't know how long they live, but the one she had in around 1996 was fairly young then.

24th April 2007, 11:09 PM
She had owned several wolves over several decades from the 60s onwards when she was given a pup by JFK, from the litter of a Siberian wolf given to the US by Kruschev.

I just read about this yesterday in a book Im reading....Im going to find the quote by Jackie O. and add it here....there is quite a story about this.

Edit: Sorry, I was mistaken. Mikhail Menshikov also brought the Kennedys a dog~ Jackie had inquired about the soviet space dogs and he brought her one as a gift...When Jack Kennedy inquired about how that topic had come up she mentioned that she had asked for one in Vienna becouse she had run out of things to talk about with him and the Dogs had come up...He thought she wanted one and brought it to her.

25th April 2007, 02:02 AM
Wolves and dogs can interbreed making hybrids--- ahh I don't know about chimps and humans (and I am not going there). These hybrids can have offspring that can breed (aren't sterile).
The horse/donkey hybrid is a mule -- they are born sterile due to the inequity of chromosomes.
Actually this discussion is rather thought provoking.

11th July 2007, 11:13 PM
Hi, thought i'd post an update about the new addition......Wow, what a lot of hard work. We picked up Hobson our blen boy, on 20th May & this is probably the first time i have been able to sit down and type a reply.

The first couple of weeks were a nightmare, i felt like an octopus, it was literally like looking after two households of dogs at the same time. My b & t, Sasha (queen of the house) gave us some problems at first - as i thought she would do. She spent nearly two weeks on the sofa's, sunloungers, anywhere that she could escape the mad little bundle that we had brought into the house. Hobson spent a good few weeks sleeping in a crate on his own at night as Sasha was just scared stiff of him (she even had to go out in the garden on her own to have a pee in peace & had her dinners on her own - not even chicken on the floor would tempt her off the sofa). Then she just started barking at him, then she braved jumping down on the floor to have a go at him, then she finally accepted him (oh well, looks like he's here to stay......better just get on with it).

My Ruby was fine with him in a couple of days. It just shows you, you just have to let them get on with it, not interfere, they will find their place in their own time.

They are all fine now, lots of playing, barking, growling - its like living in a noisy dog zoo, but great fun.

matties mum
12th July 2007, 07:48 AM
We want photos please
Aileen and the gang (Jazzie---Barney---Sam)

Rj Mac
12th July 2007, 10:08 AM
Congrats on your new addittion......lots of :snap: please :thmbsup: