How to Make it Work
Pearls of Wisdom from other dog owners. This is for those who wish to manage incompatible dogs in their homes with a rotation routine to keep everyone safe while still enjoying quality time with the family.
Please note that wire crates are not escape proof and need to be reinforced with zip ties as well as set behind a barrier that prevents access from the other dog(s). If you have room, a dog kennel can be a great way to provide more comfort as well as security. We find good used kennels on Craigslist for our Barn Dogs. You can modify to fit spaces as small as 3x3 and up. (Photo below)
We had to crate rotate for years because our female boxer would go after our youngest male boxer after several months of living together with no issues. All 3 of our dogs were spayed/neutered. I was severely bitten breaking up a fight but there was no way I would get rid of either dog. My female would “correct” my youngest male & he would not back down from her. My husband & I spent years watching tv in separate rooms but we did what we had to, to make it work. My female was our first boxer & I loved her too much. We were already her 2nd home. Our 2 males got along great & our female got along with our older male. The boys were both rescues. I would rather have cut off my arm than return my youngest male to the rescue. My old girl is gone now & I miss her terribly. I’d give anything for the days of crate rotation just to have her back. - Karen Williams Griffith
In my pack of 4, my Corgi boy is the one who picks fights with my Staffy girl (I see your comment about the "drivey" herding breeds! YES) I've worked with a behaviorist and am part of a small "support group" of friends who have similar disequilibrium in their pack. Each dog has a crate or kennel in the den and we rotate dogs so everyone gets safe play time with us, play time with cordial siblings, individual or paired outings, and of course, couch time! When I want my Corgi boy and Staffy out together, they are leashed. It's been a hands-on journey in canine behavior and totally worth it! Like Kathleen, what we do works and everyone is safe and happy, and if we need to <adjust> the routine down the line, we'll do that, too! - Tomi Vensel
We crate and rotate to accommodate our crabby 12yo lab. He spends his days lounging on the bed until we get home and he is supervised and can join his "sister." During that time our other two are in a separate area of the house until it's time to switch humans. It's not ideal, and my fiance and I often spend time in different rooms, but we made a commitment to all 4 of our rescues. - Lori Ann
After 10 months in our home, 3yo Dexter started picking fights with 5yo Jake. I believe it was because Dexter was feeling so much better. (He came to us very sick and emaciated.) It was very traumatic for humans and dogs as I'd never had dogs that didn't get along. They had one fight, then it was three months before the next fight. When it escalated to three fights in one week, we separated them. That was Sep 2014. So many people said, why don't you just get rid of one? Obviously they don't know me very well. I don't give up on my animals. We changed our routine and started crating Dexter for meals and at night. During the day, they are tethered so they can't reach each other. Jake won't start a fight, but he also won't walk away from one. So for everyone's safety, they aren't allowed to get too close to each other. They can be on either side of me on the couch, but are tethered to opposite ends. No, it's not the situation we wanted, but it's the situation that is, so we deal with it. They are both wonderful dogs, as well as therapy dogs. I could never part with one because they can't be together. If they were chewing tethers to get to one another, that'd be a different story, but what we're doing has worked, so we'll just keep doing it. - Kathleen Hubbard