Need some suggestions on getting EL D acclimated to a boarding situation coming up next spring/summer. He's a retired showdog so he's been around others but he gets somewhat aggressive towards other dogs when we go for walks (not unusual). My previous beastie used to stay at my brother's when I had to go out of town (he had a decent sized kennel in the yard). But EL D doesn't like the lab puppy my brother has and has attacked her (no blood and guts thank goodness), especially when she exhibits typical puppy bonker behavior. So I've found a boarding kennel that offers lots of outside time for all the dogs to play together instead of just being cramped in the cage all day. I'm just a little concerned about EL D not getting along (perhaps unnecessarily so). ANy suggestions on getting him more socialized ahead of time?
Well, if you are concerned that he is attacking a puppy…it is pretty unlikely that he would want to play with a bunch of unknown, adult dogs. But I suppose it is possible. Hopefully the kennel would do some screening of the dogs before they put them together, and maybe would have an idea of which dogs would go well together.
On the other hand, his behavior with the puppy sounds pretty normal. And I don't know if I would rule out his opportunity to stay with her. It is normal and expected for adult dogs to put puppies in their place when they get out of hand. If it is occuring with no injury, I would encourage letting them work it out. Dogs have to be able to sort out their status with each other, and ideally they do it without hurting each other. But sometimes it is noisy and scary.
Personally...there is NO WAY I would let a kennel run my adult Basenjis with other dogs, particularly if it was the first time my dog had had exposure like this. I don't trust other people enough to know when a serious fight is about to erupt. I don't trust other people enough to have any kind of control over my dogs.
The kind of prep you might be thinking about is akin to training a reactive dog not to react when being surrounded by other dogs...and while that IS possible, probably not in the time frame you are thinking, and it is rarely 100%effective, as every situation where a dog meets another dog is different, and you can't control the behavior of the other dogs.
So, to actually answer your question if you wanted to know for sure if it might work, I would try to find a rarely used dog park, and/or have a few friends who have nice dogs come over. Try to talk to the people first, and make sure that if El D reacts badly to their dog it won't totally traumatize the dog. Just to see how El D reacts to being off lead with unknown adult dogs. Be prepared that it won't be pretty though..and then be pleased if he does fine!