23 March 2019

Social issues

How are Aschiuta and Nightmare getting along? Oh, just fine. Aschiuta is Nightmare's best friend, only Aschiuta doesn't know it.

Introducing Nightmare to Aschiuta

Aschiuta had always been an only pet and she was also somewhat spoiled (yes, our fault). She had also started to fight easily with other dogs, which is why she hasn't been able to socialise much.

When Nightmare first came in our home, she was kept in the kitchen and Aschiuta in the living room. We knew that if they got to meet, all hell might break loose. We worked from home as much as we could those days, to help them accommodate.

My husband made a sort of barrier in the living room doorway out of a chair, boxes and a clothes dryer so the dogs could see each other, but not make actual contact. Things were ok so we moved to the next step. Nightmare's first visit to the living room.

We were of course both there, with treats for everyone. Aschiuta was the queen of the bed, so she would need to understand that Nightmare was welcome there as well. Little by little, they eventually both ended up on the bed, getting pets and treats from us.

It took quite a few visits like this until they could both get along without supervision. Aschiuta also visited the kitchen where Nightmare was living. She even tried to steal her food, which we discouraged. I will admit, I sometimes gave them different kibble and that might have sparked some fights, but they eventually understood that each has her own bowls and they would get the same food and the same treats.

The dog fights

There have been fights unfortunately. Some just because Aschiuta was angry about Nightmare for some reason, some for territory dominance and some for treats. Something we hadn't noticed at first was that Nightmare would try to store her treats away somewhere instead of eating them on the spot. Aschiuta would then find the treats and fight Nightmare for them.

The fights never left any serious damage. I think they mostly barked and tried to lightly nick each other's faces. We were always there to break off the fights, holding them both at arm's length by the nape until they calmed down. I think their fights hurt me more than it hurt them. Lately, the fights have been very rare and we are happy for that. We also always make sure Nightmare eats her treats, rather than trying to hide them in my potted plants.

Getting along

We are happy to say that they now get along quite well, Nightmare still gets Aschiuta annoyed when she is too jumpy and Aschiuta doesn't like to play with Nightmare much, but they are definitely on the right track.

Sharing the couch