My husband and I will be going to pick up a two year old Lab pup on Saturday. She is coming from a breeder who planned to breed her, but has now decided he is downsizing his kennel and would like for her to go home. I had a few questions and was hoping someone here could help. First of all, we have two other dogs, two four year old chihuahua's. They've been around large breed dogs before as we had a chocolate lab before, however he was not full grown (long story, I posted on the intro tab as well). He was about 40 pounds last they were around her, and they had been around him since he was a six week old pup. This beautiful girl is 55 pounds. I am not sure what would be the best way to help them adjust? My male chihuahua has a bad back and because of this is unsure of other dogs until he's been around them for a while. I want to make the adjustment as easy as possible for all dogs involved, and humans too (we have two little boys as well). The breeder said she has been a kennel dog. He said she has been up in the house a few times, but spent most of these two years in the kennel. He said she never messes inside her kennel, she will only go to the outside to go to the bathroom, though I am expecting there will be some accidents until she gets used to living in a house, instead of a kennel. He said she is crate trained and basic obedience trained. We plan to register her at the training center near our house. I have a crate for her already, but I am wondering if keeping her in a crate overnight is the best way to go? I am not sure since she is older now if she will do well in a crate? I'm also wondering if there are any behavior issues I should be on the lookout for? She has a very sweet disposition. Also, he says she hasn't been on a leash, any suggestions on how to introduce her to that in a way that she will not have such a hard time getting used to it? I've never adopted a dog older than eight weeks, I've always had mine from "puppyhood". Any suggestions are welcome and would be appreciated! Also, We are getting her on a spay contract...I am wondering the risks of spaying a dog that is two and has already gone through heat cycles? I know the risks of breast cancer etc. go up in dogs after each heat that they haven't been spayed. I am just hoping there will be no issues with the surgery. We don't even have her yet and I am already attached! She is so beautiful! Look forward to your responses! Thank you!
Should be no issues with spay - I would get it done asap - no reason to wait. Many people wait until their bitch has had a heat or 2 to spay - there are benefits to doing so.
On her interactions with the other dogs, I would play this by ear. I would have them meet outdoors if possible - bringing a strange dog into the house (particularly a dog who will be stressed due to new people and surroundings) is not ideal. I would be very casual about it. Be sure that the other dogs continue to get attention and treats - don't allow the new dog to be the focus. She may be mellow and not inclined to roughhouse - so your concern about the Chi's back issue may not be a problem after all - but be prepared to separate her from this Chi until she is under voice command and you can verbally intervene on his behalf.
I'd crate train her - not too late. She will probably be fine particularly since she will be new to being indoors anyway.
Good luck with her!
Sharon, Blaise and Diesel.
If she is already crate and basic obedience trained, you should not have a problem. Definitely use the crate at night and any time you are not there to supervise, at least until you know for sure how they all interact. Watch her carefully, she may not have been around tiny dogs before and will need to learn "easy" or "gentle."
The training will be a very good bonding experience for all of you; I suggest the entire family goes so you all learn the same commands.
As for spaying her now, there should not be any problems. Older dogs are neutered all the time (every stray picked up by a rescue or shelter is neutered before being re-homed).
Jackie, Champ, and Buddy
Congrats! That is so exciting!
Good luck with your new girl and congratulations. Try to introduce the dogs on neutral ground, with our GSD rescue dogs we meet down the street from the new owners home with the dogs on leash and go for a short walk together. Then we just stop and chat, allowing the dogs some time to sniff, interact, etc. After every one seems comfortable then we head to the house.
I think it is interesting that the dog has basic obedience but has never been on a leash. What obedience have they done with her. Not that it would be a big deal, some Labs can learn at the speed of light at times. Others not so much.
We have had rescues that have never been off a chain and segue into a household flawlessly. Once again, congrats on your new family member.
Congratulations on your new addition! I'll bet she will be so happy getting to live in the house and be loved by a family. We have a 15 yr old toy poodle that bosses Sophie around. She has Sophie's number, and Sophie will back off when Honeybunn has had enough. Since you have 2 chihuahuas, they may provide a united front and really boss your new girl around! I'd just watch them, they will possibly be territorial at first.
Sophie DOB 04/13/2011 6 mo
Sophie 15 months, with Skye
Thanks for the advice everyone! I am so glad I found this forum! We are so excited to get her! She already has a new collar, leash, crate, bed, name tag etc. waiting for her haha. I may have gone a little overboard.
Dogmom, the breeder said she was on a leash when she was obedience trained, but that she was obedience trained at around 6 months and hasn't been on a leash since. He told me he would start working with her on the leash this week to try to get her used to it. I have faith that since she's a lab she will catch on rather quickly, though I know some can be stubborn (my Percy was). I will love her whether she's difficult or not