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Our vet called my husband and I today, and a lady had a brother and sister basset hound duo, but had to get rid of one of them. The vet called us immediately knowing what good care we take of Merlin, our 8 year old basset.

With much happiness, I went to the vet and picked up Arthur, a beautiful 5 month old neutered basset. He is so sweet and we fell in love immediately.

The problems began when we brought Arthur into the home, and Merlin immediately became very hostile (he's neutered as well). He's snapping, growling and head butting baby Arthur, and all Arthur tries to do is play. We've tried everything we can think of this evening, from reassuring Merlin, to telling him firmly 'no' when he snaps at the puppy, and not devoting any more time to the puppy than Merlin.

I am wondering if you kind experts could give me some advice for easing the tension/hostility in Merlin? We desperately want to keep the puppy - but not at the expense of making Merlin's life miserable. Does it just take some time?

Thank you in advance!
 

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I don't know now that he's already come into your home. I know I was told when I have a dog visiting to bring my hounds outside to meet the visitors. Then after they seem okay with each other, move into the backyard for a bit then finally into the house. We have 2 Bassets we're going to dogsit for 3 weeks. My kids know these hounds and have spent time with them before but I will still go through this process. Maybe someone can offer some advice. Good Luck and keep us posted!
 

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Like Maggie's Mom said, intros are best made on neutral ground. In fact, bringing Merlin with you when you picked up the puppy, introducing them in the parking lot at the vet's office with someone from the vet's holding the puppy's lead while you held Merlin's, would probably have been the best approach.

At this stage, the only thing I can suggest is keeping the two separate unless you can keep a close eye on them. My three get along just fine, but if an opening doesn't have a door in our house, it has a baby gate 'cause you never know when you're going to have to separate the dogs from each other or just to keep them safely in a room. Any chance you could gate off a room? Let the two sniff each other through the gate, become familiar with each other that way, allow them limited, supervised play time together. Could be, too, that the puppy will drive Merlin nuts, and Merlin will let him know to back off. Grumbling, even the occasional 'snap', is an older dog's way of disciplining youngsters. I've had some of that between Charlie, who's six and a half, and Eloise, who's one. Sometimes, she deserves it, but I make sure things don't get out of hand....
 

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When I first brought Dixie home Dutchess was the same way (except she was not snappy). She was eight at the time and everytime Dixie would get close to her she would growl. After time it got less and less and now they are great together and don't leave each others side. They are always going outside to chase each other and play. The only time there is a problem is when bones are down and one finishes before the other.

I would say just give it time and keep an eye on them. It took a while for mine to get along and they are great together now. I know how you feel though cause I felt bad when Dutchess was taking it hard but everyone said to give it time.

Good luck with them and I hope it works itself out in time.
 

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Could be, too, that the puppy will drive Merlin nuts, and Merlin will let him know to back off. Grumbling, even the occasional 'snap', is an older dog's way of disciplining youngsters. I've had some of that between Charlie, who's six and a half, and Eloise, who's one. Sometimes, she deserves it, but I make sure things don't get out of hand....[/b]

I agree with this. Just supervise them and you can tell the difference between annoyed and really angry for Merlin towards the new pup. With some dogs the bond doesn't form overnight, especially when one of them has ruled the home for a while.
 

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Also, you need to give them time to get used to each other and for Arthur to get used to his new surroundings. Our trainer told us it takes generally about three months for both those things to happen and, in our situation, it proved to be true. It DID take Moe almost three months to adapt to our family and to learn what was expected of him in our household.

A more dramatic example of the three month adjustment happened when we brought Tally home. Meeting on nuetral ground had no visible affect with her. Moe was very happy to have a new companion but Tally was less than happy to be sharing her new home with him. It seemed like she hated him and Moe seemed confused by her negative behaviour. Many times she backed him into a corner or caused him to flee to me for safety or comfort. Eventually they came to terms with thier relationship (Tally was Queen and Moe was her loyal subject) and it took three months almost to the day! Now the two are the best of friends... neither wanting to go out without the other. In fact they are so close that if one is absent the other will mope about and whine till the missing partner returns home. (Like when Moe had his surgery or when Tally accompanies my daughter on pet-sitting jobs for the neighbor's dogs - who Tally actually likes) Keep them separated when you can't supervise them and don't be alarmed when 'fights' break out (the type where they go at each other snarling and snapping but no real biting or injury occurs). Sometimes an older dog will reprimand a younger dog this way. My friend's elderly female Basset, Cleo (passed away years ago), used to do this to my Moe in his younger days - she liked him fine until Moe, in his youthful enthusiastic way, began to irritate poor Cleo and get on her nerves. Then she'd decide enough was enough and put him in his place. This was terrifying to watch until you realized that it was all bluster and noise and she didn't physically harm him. She just let him know in no uncertain terms that he had better behave himself. And he did! It made me wish Cleo was around more often to settle Moe down! ;)

Supervise and give them time. Eventually they WILL learn to be best buddies...

Terry
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you all so much for your VERY helpful advise! I didn't think about gating off a room, that is a great idea. So far it seems that Merlin is just "disciplining" Arthur - he hasn't hurt him, but he is growling and snapping.

I will run out now and get the gate - again, excellent idea! I will keep everyone updated, and will post some pics soon!

Thanks you again!!
 
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