Life wasn’t always sweetness and light with Ari. I remember when I got him as a 12 week old puppy that occasionally he would fire up at other dogs….big dogs….and always male dogs. Easy to control as a puppy but then he got bigger. He isn’t a large German Shepherd and he weight is best at about 70 pounds…. yep he’s been up to 75 and down to 65 but 70 seemed to be about right.
When Ari was almost 2 years old I thought it would be a cool thing to have a playmate for him since Josephine was 10 and, obviously, wouldn’t be around forever. Teddy’s arrival on the scene is well documented in his story and since the two of them were 6 months apart in age, I thought it would be perfect! We introduced them in a neutral place and it didn’t go well as Ari immediately went after him. I should have walked away at the time but Teddy was meant to live with me as much as Ari was meant to.
We worked on it and in a few months the guys were playing together until one day I home and they fired up at each other like they were fighting over a bone. That was the beginning and I decided to make a long term decision and manage the situation which I did for 8 years until Teddy left us in February 2009. Over the years I can probably count on 2 hands the times the altercations happened but the only time there was blood was when I got involved to try to break it up. If I left the picture, they stopped. Once I was in the yard with Teddy and Ari came under the fence that was being installed….not in an “attack mode” but just a “watcha doing” mode. Teddy immediately went into “defend mom” mode and went after Ari. Olivia and I took off out of the yard and by the time we reached the gate, they were following us because, oh my gosh, there was nothing to fight over!
So to begin with it was a challenge to keep them separated and was was interesting is that it was obvious they didn’t dislike each other because if one was in a crate, the other might be laying on the floor right by the crate. So, my commitment to them to provide a home was not thwarted by them not getting along. It was quite a learning experience for me and one that I would have rather not gone through and don’t plan to do so again.
When Teddy left, my house needed 3 less crates because I had one in 3 rooms for one of the guys and then Ari had the freedom of the house with his girls.
So they came together and left together. Teddy was waiting for Ari who stayed longer that he expected he would. Read this post about Teddy observed by a young man who was visiting my house. Click here.