Tips on how to introduce second (smaller) dog to our rather energetic dog

(21 Posts)
Oreosforbreakfast Tue 08-Jan-19 17:34:05


So we've been thinking about getting a second dog for a while now, but ideally a smaller dog than our lab X cocker, mainly for space tbh, as our house isn't massive.

Our dog is 2 and is FULL of energy, but has calmed down a bit in the past couple of months. She's lovely with other dogs and very playful. Never aggressive, although does sometimes need to know when to back off confused

Anyway, someone I know has a one year old Frenchie that they can't afford to keep anymore, due to unforeseen (pressumably financial) circumstances. Apparently she doesn't have any health issues, which I know is notorious with this breed. Actually, before I go on, I understand the controversy of this breed, but I wouldn't have been interested in a puppy, as I don't necessarily agree with continued breeding of them, but this is essentially a rehoming. I wouldn't be interested in breeding her, but anyway, I'd rather not get into a debate about that.

All that aside, after researching their temperament, she could actually be a good fit for us from the sounds of it.

So, if we did go ahead, does anyone have any tips or advice on how to make the transition/introduction run as smoothly as possible?

They'd need to sleep in the same room (kitchen/diner)but the plan was, at different ends of the room.

Do dogs normally just accept a new addition or are there usually teething problems? I know this can vary so much, but just wanted to hear your experiences.

My main concern are the sleeping arrangements tbh. Our dog just goes to bed and sleeps through til morning, so am concerned they'll disturb each other in the night.

I should also say, we honestly think a buddy for our dog would be really good for her, as I think she can get a bit bored and as I say, she's great around other dogs.

Thanks for reading smile

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Whoseranium Tue 08-Jan-19 18:31:07

Would you have the opportunity to introduce them gradually over a period of time? Ideally you'd want them to meet somewhere neutral (preferably somewhere new for them both) and have some walks together then gradually work up to her visiting your house and staying for longer and longer periods until she moves in full time.

Are either dog crate trained? Having one or both crated at night would be a good idea, at least until you're confident they get on well enough with each other to be left loose all night. It'll be a big change for both dogs (yours getting used to a new dog in the house and her getting used to a new home as well as suddenly having to share with another dog) so it may take a while for them both to settle into a routine at night. Do you know how the Frenchie currently sleeps? If she's used to sleeping in her owner's bedroom then she'll need to get used to sleeping separately from people gradually.

It would also be a good idea to initially feed them separately to make sure they're not uncomfortable eating around another dogs, especially as it'll be something neither are used to as only dogs. The same goes for toys/chews/etc., no free access until you know they're happy sharing.

Apparently she doesn't have any health issues...

She may not have any issues now (though do bear in mind that breathing problems in short faced dogs are very much under-reported by their owners) but many of the issues Frenchies are prone to are progressive and having clear breathing at a year old doesn't mean it will stay that way. Make sure you know exactly what you're getting into in terms of potential health issues. Good insurance (which will be expensive, and it's expensive for a very good reason) is an absolute must.

Because of their extremely short faces Frenchies can't cool themselves anything like as efficiently as a normal dog can. This means they're very prone to heat stroke, even in temperatures that don't seem particularly high. This is something to be particularly careful with if they're trying to keep up with a dog who isn't at so much risk in warmer weather.

Oreosforbreakfast Tue 08-Jan-19 18:57:43

Thanks very much for all that, Whose.

Yes, ideally that's what I want to do- introduce them gradually. Apparently she has all her health check certificates etc.

I would be very mindful of all potential issues in the future and have done a lot of research, so I'm aware about poor temperature regulation etc (poor little things sad )

Apparently she's never slept with her current owner and sleeps in their kitchen with their other dog, so hopefully that's a good start.

OP’s posts: |
Oreosforbreakfast Wed 09-Jan-19 15:30:45

Anyone else around?

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sulee Wed 09-Jan-19 17:03:18

Hi Oreos
We’ve been in this situation several times and have usually gone to a rescue centre who can help assess and match the dogs, the bonus being if it hadn’t worked out we could return the newbie- can’t imagine us doing that though tbh !
However we have twice rehomed directly and it worked out ok. They weren’t best buddies ever, but no major issues even though the little JRT we took on in similar situation to yours was a feisty character!
We introduced gradually on walks on neutral territory and made sure we were around to keep an eye.
One thing does occur. Is your existing DD ok with short snouted breeds? Some of mine take a real dislike to them!
Re the sleeping situation, this was never an issue. We just let the dogs choose a sleeping area, put a bed down and let them get on with it. Food has sometimes been a problem. One of our current rescues is nasty around food, so we feed in separate rooms. I guess each situation varies.

Oreosforbreakfast Wed 09-Jan-19 17:21:05

sulee, thanks so much.

Actually they met today and they basically ignored each other confused which is odd because my dog is usually all over all dogs! They just walked side by side on their leads and then had a run in their garden. Well my dog did, but theirs just sat there. There was one play bow from mine, but the other dog did an eye roll and then sat down. My dog did back off though. I just don't know what to make of it tbh. She's never behaved like this around another dog. Is this a good sign? Bad sign?

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Dumpyandabdabs Wed 09-Jan-19 18:31:02

Won't there exercise needs differ hugely? I have a springer x lab and she needs a lot of exercise so am imagining yours is similar? The frenchie on the other hand won't be able to cover anywhere near as far.


sulee Wed 09-Jan-19 18:51:39

We have some of these issues at the moment. Our newest is full on and needs lots of exercise whereas our older dog has slowed right down, partly due to arthritis. He tends to ignore all the play bowing messages and the newer dog gives up 😕
We have a system of taking our hyper dog on two good walks including off lead, with a joint stroll and a quick evening walk for the oldie. It’s a bit of a commitment so something else’s to consider, but I need the exercise too!

WatcherOfTheNight Wed 09-Jan-19 19:13:25

Don't worry about exercise difference Op,Frenchies love their walks ,my youngest doesn't stop running & can almost keep up with our Lab !

Make sure you get history so that you know that the parents were screened & healthy as well as usual health checks.

Keep in mind that they do smell a lot better on a more natural diet ,something like Millies Wolfheart which is high meat content,grain free & doesn't have additives.

I hope you are ready for the craziness that comes with this adorable breed,they are quite the characters grin

WatcherOfTheNight Wed 09-Jan-19 19:15:26

If you ever need any advice,feel free to ask ,we've had them in our family for nearly 30 years now.

Oreosforbreakfast Wed 09-Jan-19 20:54:42

Dumpy, yes, but the Frenchie is quite happy on her extendable lead apparently, so my dog could still run around like a loon, whilst Frenchie could walk at her own pace.

Watcher, that would be great, if you don't mind. Is it ok if I pm you?

OP’s posts: |
cowfacemonkey Wed 09-Jan-19 20:58:00

There’s a couple of frenchies local to us that give my lurcher a great run for his money! He is full of beans and much bigger than them but they love to chase him and seem to tolerate his boisterous behaviour.

WatcherOfTheNight Thu 10-Jan-19 08:29:34

@Oreosforbreakfast yes that's fine .
I forgot to say in my pp that My sister rehomed an 18 month old Frenchie last year ,she is an absolute darling & has fitted in really well with her other dog .

@cowfacemonkey one of mine used to tear around the field with a greyhound when he was younger ,they were hilarious together .
My boy used to fall over his front legs trying to keep up !

AvocadosBeforeMortgages Thu 10-Jan-19 08:40:59

I would ensure you get a vet check done before agreeing. When I adopted I dog I knew very well from a friend there were some things that turned out to be untrue - including vaccination status, who he was microchipped to and that his possible luxating patella really had been looked at by a vet (thankfully there was nothing wrong but it hadn't been checked out). It could have been very, very expensive.

Also check out the cost of insurance for this frenchie - I ran a quote once out of curiosity as I'd heard it was expensive. Put in all the same details for my dog as for a frenchie. PetPlan was charging me £48 for DDog but would have charged £250 per month for a frenchie.

Oreosforbreakfast Thu 10-Jan-19 09:02:17

cow, good to know! smile

Watcher, thank you. I'm glad to hear to hear it.

Avacados I was wondering how to go about all that actually. I know she was last seen by a vet 5 months ago, because that's when she had her pups. Would I request she had a general check up and we pay? What???!!!! shock £250pm?! That can't be right. I did a quick quote and it certainly wasn't as much as that!

OP’s posts: |
AvocadosBeforeMortgages Thu 10-Jan-19 09:30:00

Yes, a general check up and you pay would be my suggestion. I'd also want full copies of past vet records as she's had treatment and pups in the past (how old was she when she gave birth?!). This will also show you what's a pre-existing condition and hence not covered by your new insurance policy.

£250 was inner London where insurance is more, and PetPlan Lifetime which is known for being pricey but actually paying out. If you can afford the quotes on a good quality lifetime policy that's fine, but it's good to go in with eyes open.

Oreosforbreakfast Thu 10-Jan-19 09:42:47

Avacado, she's 2 now, so I guess 18 months.

Yeah, I wouldn't act now, think later. I'm not really impulsive, although it's difficult to look into her enormous goofy eyes and not just take her home.

OP’s posts: |
AvocadosBeforeMortgages Thu 10-Jan-19 09:46:07

You said the frenchie was 1 not 2, and said she gave birth 5 months ago so it sounded like it could have been a dangerously early pregnancy!

Oreosforbreakfast Thu 10-Jan-19 10:12:10

Oh, so I did. Ooops. No, she's 2.

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Oreosforbreakfast Thu 10-Jan-19 13:15:35

So we've agreed to do a trial and have been given access to vet records. All looks ok, but we'll get her checked over during the trial.

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WatcherOfTheNight Tue 15-Jan-19 07:30:13

Hi @Oreosforbreakfast ,sounds good !

My inbox has been invaded with adverts ,I can't read part of your pm & I can't reply .

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