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Wednesday, April 5, 2017

STEP 1 of INTEGRATING THE TWO PACKS-Diffuse the Tension!

Please forgive my silence as I have been grieving again.  Two years ago in the spring we saw the first signs of Brut's tumor on his spleen.  Now that can only be seen in retrospect and I am remembering my dear boy and Silver.   I miss them so much.  Some days are harder than others.

With that said, their spirits haven't left me and Silver in particular guided me through this next experience.  The beginning of the integration of our two packs starts with:
  
Diffusing the tension!

Two packs of dogs, each with their own side of the house and a door that separates them. The boys, Zappa and Chance only fight/talk with each other, while the girls, Fiona and Blaze keep to each other as well. Most of the time Zappa is the instigator, but Chance has gotten many digs in as well. 

This door is the focal point for the two packs.  Most of the time they "talk" to each other, but there are other times when there are "fights."  Growling, snarling and just being nasty to each other at the door.   And mealtime was the worst!  I used to have their dinners prepared so there was no time but to bark and be happy about food.  As they've aged I've added to their menus, which takes more time which in turn has grown into an all out riot while preparing their food!

I have never known how to stop this behavior.   I could never figure out how to be on both sides of the door.  

The light bulb.... I put Chance and Blaze in their room and Zappa and Fiona in theirs and then I got their food ready.  Cutting the tension in half, theirs and mine.  They ate a little slower and I notice a huge differences in their demeanor.  All that pent up anxiety, fear and anger was diffused.  Finally!

I finally had made a breakthrough.

It was a step in the right direction.

I hadn't realize until that first time of putting them in their rooms, just how much tension there really was and the impact it was having them.  This is a sort a new thing with the food since Brut and Silver died, with each death it increased.  It's not like I am oblivious to the strain and tension between them, their behavior at the door has been going on since Chance and Blaze first moved back with us, I just hadn't found a solution.  It's not in any book I know of, so we just keep plugging along until the next light bulb goes off.

I'll tell you more about the next step of diffusing the situation in my next post and I will try to have some video too!  


4 comments:

Pamela said...

Isn't it wonderful when you have a mental breakthrough. Sounds like you're really stumbled on something important.

Food is so risky. Honey is extremely tolerant and gentle with other dogs. But I ALWAYS fed foster dogs in an entirely different room (or even floor) from her.

I also found that doors and thresholds are incredibly stressful places for dogs in any circumstance. I don't understand it. But I know that when my first dogs, Agatha and Christie fought, it was almost always on a threshold of some sort.

I hope you continue making progress to uniting the packs.

KB Bear said...

I'm so glad that you figured out a way to reduce the tension. Even with my two dogs who get along well, there are some tensions at thresholds (doors, the top of the steps) so I understand, at least a little, what you're talking about. I hope that the progress continues!

Susan Sehi-Smith said...

Reducing tension is a wonderful step toward integration. It is important to always allow spaces for each member to be able to go off and be alone in a safe space and also encourage complete family time. It will take experimentation and trial and LOTS of repetition. But you will ALL feel better for the change.

2 Punk Dogs said...

Glad you found something that helps! Relic crates himself at mealtimes, we only latch the door if Duke is eating slowly.