TIP #1: AND THEN THERE WERE TWO (OR THREE, OR FOUR...)
Living with multiple dogs brings a whole new set of challenges. Adding a second (or third, or fourth) dog means more fun, more love, more joy and more wonderful doggy companionship. But it also means much more from you: more time, more money, more energy, and more working through problems.
Here are a few tips to help make the addition as smooth as possible:
1. When choosing a new dog, if possible, have the dogs meet each other in a neutral location before making a decision. Pay attention to how they respond to each other. If your instincts tell you it isn't a good match - no matter how much you adore the potential new dog - keep looking.
2. If the introductions go well and you bring your new dog home, you can continue to help the dogs get along by providing strong leadership. If you are clearly in charge from the start, then your dogs won't have to compete for leadership. By simply controlling resources (such as food, access to the outdoors, toys, and attention from people), you can establish yourself as the leader. Insist that the dogs are polite - with you and with each other - in order to gain access to those resources.
3. Set your dogs up for success. Respect their differences and their individual needs and make sure you spend time with each separately where they can have your undivided attention.
- The Whole Dog Journal
TIP #2: WHY IS A SHY DOG SHY?
Some dogs are genetically predisposed to be shy. Mom was shy, grandpa was shy, shyness runs in the family. In some dogs, shyness is a result of a bad experience in the past. But in the majority of cases, the culprit is under-socialization, which means not having seen enough of the world early in life. If a dog, for example, grew up in a quiet small-town neighborhood, he might find lots to be startled by should he move to the big city.
What does a shy dog look like? Shy and fearful dogs might show their feelings by cowering, rolling onto their back, shaking, urinating, hiding, ducking, backing away, or going still. Other shy dogs have learned that growling, snarling, or barking will make the scary thing or person move farther away. Many people mistake these behaviors for aggression or protectiveness.
Jeff Dentler, CPDT-KA, FFCP, CTDI