Q: After two weeks with us, my foster girl had a fight with my male dog. Both huskies. They now walk circles around each other and have low growls. How do I get them comfortable around each other again? I would love to take them to the park in my car but I am scared I will have a fight break out in the car. -R.
A: Thank you for the question, R.! My first suggestion would be to reach out to a Pet Professional Guild (PPG) Dog Trainer in your area and get on their schedule for a home visit.
Time to Decompress
In the meantime, I would keep them separated via a baby gate and rotate them in and out to have time with the family. The foster dog hasn’t had enough time to decompress yet; she needs plenty of quiet time to rest and just get used to being in a new home environment.
Positive Reinforcement and Management
I would use positive reinforcement with both dogs, giving them each a yummy frozen and stuffed peanut butter Kong to lick, on each side of the gate. That way they can see each other and they will both have a positive association with seeing each other since that makes peanut butter magically appear!
Continue rewarding them with good things when they can see each other through the gate, but keep them separated for now until the trainer can visit. Definitely hold off on the car ride until after you are able to work through this issue with a qualified force-free trainer or behavior consultant.
About the Trainer
Claire Clark is the owner of Soul Dog Training in the St. Louis Metropolitan area. She has been a trainer for five years and is the only accredited trainer in the Trust Centered Training method in the state of Illinois. Thinking outside the box to problem solve when dealing with behavior cases and rescue dogs is her specialty. She offers customized, in home private lessons so she can best help you with your specific needs.
What’s your pet peeve? Have a pet training or management question that you would like to see answered in Pets and Their People? Submit it here!