Questions about introducing a second dog/puppy
March 12, 2010 7:38 AM   Subscribe

Advise me on how to best incorporate a second pug puppy into our lives!

We have a playful 1.5 year old male Pug, and we just recently rescued a 5 month old female Pug.
They get along well (though the puppy is actually tiring out the older one!), but there are a few complications I wonder if I could get some feedback on.
First a bit of background. Puppy is "sort of" housebroken, but not all that well. She is "sort of" crate trained, but not all that well. She doesn't have her basic obedience training (yet).

So here's the confusions for me.
1) For housebreaking, we confine puppy pug to the kitchen area (with a baby gate) while we are not there, and older pug is allowed free roam of the rest of the house. This means they can see each other, but not play together while we are gone - at least until we are confident of her bladder control. Does this sound like a valid arrangement - or does letting them see each other actually discourage them from settling down when we are gone?

2) For training, we're going to be using a lure-reward method (probably with a clicker). I'm assuming that the only way this would realistically work is for us to separate the dogs again during training periods... and I don't want the older dog to be hearing all these clicks and praise, and know that the puppy is getting treats galore, especially since we've been reducing the older dogs treats lately since he gained some weight during our last vacation.

3) For general feeding and treats, we've been separating them (again) with a baby gate, feeding the older one first (so he doesn't get too jealous of this new arrival), then feeding the puppy. For chew treats, we make sure they both get one at the same time and watch to make sure one doesn't finish early and try to steal the other treat. (they have fiendishly clever pug minds! they both have learned this "bark like someone is at the door" trick to distract the other one, then swoop in and grab the unguarded treat). Anyhow, I'm wondering how to work our way towards being able to train them to respect one another's food dishes - if that's even possible. I'm sure most multi-dog households don't have to feed separately, so I'm wondering how to get to that point eventually.

Another long question for you guys. I'm looking forward to your input!
posted by Tbola to Pets & Animals (3 answers total)
Best answer: 5 months old may still have physical issues with bladder control, just be sure she knows where her pee wee pads are in the kitchen and don't give her too much space to get creative with where to go.

I'm in a multi-pug house and did pretty much what you outline above, but didn't stick with it enough, so I'm basically I'm owned by two pugs. Do better than I did.

Re: The feeding - I feed them both at the same time, from separte and separted (by a few feet) bowls. Routine is key: One always gets feed right before the other - they have it timed so that they generally finish at the same time, otherwise one will go try to take the other's food and a fight breaks out (when this happended I took the food away from both of them). My best guess is that pugs would have to be super overfed to ever be good at sharing - they're known to be motivated by food.

Oh, and for treats, try healthy things: Mine like carrots (I buy the baby ones for them) and cheerios. These items come from where people food is kept, which makes them extra tasty!

Good luck!
posted by cestmoi15 at 8:34 AM on March 12, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Training--you will thank yourself later if you start early teaching each of them to stay in a down while you're working with the other. So you put the older one in a down, and treat him periodically for doing nothing more than lying there quietly while you're working with the puppy, and gradually build up duration and level of distraction. It's much less frustrating to the one who's not actively working because they have a job to do and are involved, and it's a great way to build up their ability to stay despite a pretty exciting distraction.

Meanwhile, when you're not up to doing this, don't worry about jealousy--just put one behind the baby gate while you're working with the other, then switch them so they each get equal time.

You can use low-cal treats for the older one--bits of apple, cracker, carrots, cheerios, etc., and if you mix them in a baggie with a few bits of hot dog, it will all be infused with hot-doggy yumminess.
posted by HotToddy at 9:29 AM on March 12, 2010 [1 favorite]

OH! And pics, please. Pug porn is a favorite!
posted by cestmoi15 at 8:09 PM on March 14, 2010 [1 favorite]

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