Introducing pups & mum to their father..

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    We have a male Lancashire Heeler, and a female mostly Heeler – she is the proud mum of 2 4 week old pups (the father is our male). She has been a great mum, and will socialise quite happily by herself with ‘dad’, our problem is bringing the pups into the pack.

    We were recommended to put the pen in the sitting room, with mum and pups safely inside, then to let Dad in. We did this, mum immediately snarled and flew at him (the pen held!), which set him off, hackles up, growling. We moved mum out of the room (took her up the garden) to let Dad meet his pups – he did calm down eventually, and lay sniffing them, tail starting to wag – but still not entirely relaxed – I wouldn’t have trusted him.

    When mum came back, all was initially ok, then Dad took one step too close to the pen and we had a major fight on our hands – totally my fault, they’d been fine away from the pen and they drifted closer whilst I had my guard down.

    Now I’m anxious about repeating the introduction – how do I best go about it? It’s especially important since we are keeping one of the pups – so they all have to accept each other soon or later.

    Update: We just took it slowly until Dad got used to having the pups in the pen, and mum slowly got used to him watching them. Then we took mum out and muzzled Dad, and let the pups out to meet him once they were six weeks old, and big enough to run away fast! Within a couple of minutes it was clear that we had nothing to worry about, and the muzzle was removed. He is brilliant with the pups, and they have benefitted from a quick lesson in dog manners, and how to approach an adult without getting a hostile reaction. Mum is still protective, so she needs lots of reassurance when Dad is playing with her girls, but each time is getting easier and more relaxed. Phew!!

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