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Maya, Wy, Woo, Wei and Wyn
Perhaps slowing down the introductions would help Nala
Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:32am

and Merlin.

No dog is perfect when they first come home and especially not a dog who has been through so many transitions and stressors as Nala. She is a lovely dog and from how you describe her, she sounds very promising with caveats. Considering she has just arrived and from the circumstances she came (limited or no training, high kill shelter which is a fear factory, travel, many changes) for her to be as calm as she has been is a good sign.

While I think it is natural for Merlin (at heart always a wild animal who will defend “his” territory from what he views as a predator) to try to scare off Nala, I also think it is natural for Nala to respond the way she did. Separating them is the only correct reaction. Discipline is not because it creates a negative correlation in the dog’s mind and the dog is adjusting to so many stimuli in a short time and trying to process it all.

It is not a true test of Nala to introduce her to other dogs so quickly after she has just been introduced to her new home. She doesn’t know what “home” is yet and here she is faced with a possible competitor. Again, she doesn’t know what the right behavior is in the situation because she hasn’t had the opportunity to adjust and learn that she is safe in her new home.

I would suggest taking things more slowly and letting Nala have time to learn she is safe in her new home before introducing new stimuli such as the birds and other dogs and people outside the family. Give her time to adjust and then do these things slowly and gradually, setting her up for success rather than failure.

Karen Park Overall has a really great training protocol for working with helping dogs learn self control and this might be really helpful to you and would be fun for you to do with Nala. This protocol is nationally recognized as groundbreaking in behavior training particularly with shelter dogs or dogs who are reactive. It is very simple and anyone without any particular training beyond basic obedience skills can do it. This is a good practice protocol for anyone working with a companion dog whether they have any issues to solve or not.

I would love to see you make a success of this relationship with Nala. She is a lovely dog and looks intelligent. Her eyes are indeed very hypnotizing but she also has a lovely build.

When it comes to working with either wild parrots or dogs patience and praise are always key. I wish you all good luck and hope for a successful outcome.

  • No offenseKit, Sun Mar 11 6:11pm
    I appreciate your point of view. I have introduced three grown dogs to these birds now, and so far, it's always worked out well. Always with the same procedure of tethering the dog, and only allowing ... more
    • Perhaps slowing down the introductions would help Nala — Maya, Wy, Woo, Wei and Wyn, Mon Mar 12 10:32am
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