Ok, so I've had buddy for 3 weeks, he's a 10 month old Basenji/Lab mix with a great personality: no food aggression, no toy aggression, and seemingly little or no aggression for my VERY alpha cat, Cody. I think he believes cats are just smaller dogs!
He's very laid back inside, and goes 9000 mph outside (we are working on recall–-eeeesssshhhh).
I followed a lot of rules about introducing Buddy to Cody and kept B crated at all times until C stopped being a sphere of fur at his sight, then kept him on his leash at all times until C was comfortable walking up to B to sniff his tail. B has stayed pretty laid back, but is very curious about C--he does not seem at all aggressive, he seems like he just wants to play; C however is not so sure--while C is MUCH better now and never really puffs up, he will do the normal 'boxing' thing if B gets too eager or surprises C.
Cody is now confident enough (or it could be pissed enough?) to hide behind things and run at Buddy--he's not puffed up at all, and he stops short and just sniffs noses. Sometimes, B will stand his ground a bit, and just stand up and sniff back (no hackles up, no growling, etc), but usually he just backs away and finds something else to play with.
I have had both of them in the same room most of the time with no trouble (other than B whimpering/vocalizing when it seems like he'd like to play with Cody -- he'll even get the rump-up/head down play pose)
Anyway, is it normal for an alpha cat to 'charge' like this? And how much should I allow it to happen before squirting Cody the cat with the water/vinegar solution? If they are just finding their pecking order, I'm cool to let em sort it out as long as I'm close; but if this is an unhealthy dynamic that's about to explode, I want to catch it soon.
Jon, Buddy and Cody
PS Buddy is lying down on my left, and Cody is currently laying down on my right. This is not uncommon. I think they may actually like each other--but don't want to let my guard down and find a hurt kitty (or an injured eye on the pup).