My name is Johanna and I have a question regarding introducing a dog to…

My name is Johanna and I have a question regarding introducing a dog to a new home but it is kind of a special situation.

So here is the background story:
I moved away from my parents house about two years ago leaving our family dog with them. He is a medium sized shepherd mix (named Buster) and he is about 8 years old at this point. He is an extremely skiddish dog who gets worked up easily but he as NEVER been aggressive in anyway what so ever and craves love and affection.
My parents are getting a bit too old to care for him and I fear he doesn’t get enough attention so I have hopes of moving him to my home in the city (Columbus Ohio)

His greatest fear has always been wooden floors, because he slips on them when his nails get too long.
This has always been an easy fix thanks to buying inexpensive rugs. But I don’t know what to do about his fear of other animals.

When I moved away from home I moved into a new home with my boyfriend who brought with him a fairly aggressive cat. Since living with him we have taken in another cat who is very sweet and gentle but does not get along with the existing cat. (Both are young females)

Unfortunately my boyfriend was not very responsible with his pets so neither of them have been fixed yet. I am not a fan of these cats but I have arranged an appointment for both cats to be fixed after the holiday. I have HIGH hopes that getting them fixed will help them get along better. My father is a long time retired veterinarian so I know the importance of getting them fixed however he is from a much older generation of veterinarians, who don’t have much advice concerning animal behavior. He was primarily trained and focused on the purely medical/science aspect. As a result I know when an animal is sick but I don’t know how to care to their emotional care. (I hope that makes sense)

My greatest concern however is my dog. I will not move him until the environment is perfect for him and both cats are fixed. I would like to get a professional opinion on a few things:

Will fixing the cats calm them down?
Should I consider having them de-clawed? (They are indoor cats after all)
How should I handle bringing an older nervous dog to a new home?

I have searched online for months about this but every site concerning introducing dogs and cats together assumes that the dog will be the main aggressor but my dog is very skiddish and fearful of other animals. He gets along fine with my parents’ cat because their cat is sweet and not aggressive. Plus my dog has known my parents’ cat for his whole life.

Please help me. I know this is a long and complicated question but I fear my dog is getting depressed living with my parents since he has always been primarily my dog. I want very much to take him back under my care. I am looking everywhere for answers at this point

My E-Mail is JoBreiding@gmail.com
or my FaceBook Johanna Breiding (Columbus Ohio)

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Krista Magnifico
6 years ago

Hello Johanna, Thanks for your question. I think that the biggest obstacle is going to be keeping your dog calm as he transitions into the new home. For this to be successful you are going to have to be slow and patient with him. Try to get to know him and understand his fears and triggers. If he is comfortable around you try to get him comfortable around your boyfriend and then try to understand what other fears or anxieties he has. All of behavior modification is understanding what and why your pet responds the way that they do, and… Read more »