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Foster dog - need help with introductions UPDATE: Dog has found home!

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  • Foster dog - need help with introductions UPDATE: Dog has found home!

    Okay, so there's a guy at work who had to move his mom into assisted living, and she was not allowed to take her dog with her. Long story (no, his wife won't allow them to keep the dog), but the end result is that I have softheartedly agreed to foster this dog. The plan is to work with a rescue so that they can handle the screenings and Petfinder listings, etc., and so that there is someone backing me up should, god forbid, there be an expensive veterinary situation. It hasn't been finalized with the rescue yet, but I'm hoping that the fact that she comes with a foster family in place will make them more agreeable. (Yes, I am willing to take the dog to adoption events). The problem is that she's 8, and I cannot let this dog go to the pound. No way.

    I'm taking custody this Thursday, which is fine, because I have Friday off and we are not going anywhere for the holiday. I do need some recommendations on bringing her into a house that already has two permanent canine residents. They get along fine with smaller dogs (well, one gets along with everyone. The other dog likes to try to show his butt with larger dogs, especially if it's a so called "bully" breed type that could kick his butt. The fool. Go figure). And the foster dog is also very social, so I don't worry unduly about aggression from her. I'm not freaking out, but I also know it's not ideal to just come bounding in the door with a new dog in tow. STRESS for everyone, especially foster dog. Unfortunately, my husband will not be home until LATE, and I haven't been able to line up a helper. What I would like to do is walk everyone together, with helper holding new dog, so there's at least a basic intro of about 30 minutes. (No, we do not have a fenced yard).

    Does ANYONE have a good plan for this? I'm going to ask the guy at work to bring me a few things with her scent on them, like a towel or blanket she's slept on, so my dogs will at least have the odor for some familiarity.

    (And of course, if anyone wants a very cute Bassett/Sheltie mix, spayed and all, no issues, PM me! ) Why this particular dog has touched me so much, I do not know, but she has.
    **********************Good news!**********************

    The former owner's son has found a "forever home" for Shelby (the dog). She will be going to her new digs tonight, and her new parents are a retired couple with lots of dog time and a yard!

    Thanks for all the suggestions. I was truly worried that I would fail as a foster mom (i.e., that she'd become a permanent resident)!
    Last edited by Mara; Jul. 1, 2009, 03:33 PM.

  • #2
    We adopted and older ( 8-12???) dog a few months ago. She came from a shelter and before we took her home I brought our dog to see her. Ideally, neutral territory is preferred, but they had noone to do that, so we went to the shelter and just took the girls for a walk. They sniffed and the oldie curled her lip a bit, but all in all they did fine. Two days later I went and picked her up. She walked into our house as if she'd always been there. The two of them roll around like two pups and at times it sounds like a pack of wolves! We think she lived with another dog and possibly a cat, since she if OK with ours. We were advised to remove all toys and playthings, anything that might cause a "discussion". If possible have the meeting outside with plenty of room for everyone to go to their own corner if need be. They will have to work it out , but they should be fine. My worry was my son's dog who comes to visit a few times a week. The first visit was a bit hairy and "space" in the house is still an issue, but they try their best to be civil to each other. Everyone must "sit" to get treats, we leave no food dishes down and just make sure nobody is closed in . It might take a bit, but you just have to let them work it out. I'm suer it will be fine. Good for you for taking the old dog.

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    • #3
      I've asked the vet I work with about this since I'm about to move in with a roommate that has a dog.

      Her suggestion is to first introduce the dogs in a neutral place--outside the home. Then, take the dogs on a walk together, preferably ending in a location where the dogs can play (a dog park). As long as everything is going well after that, you should be fine to take them back into the home with supervision. I think the key is the introduction in a neutral place, so that neither dog gets territorial. If you can't be at home, it might be a good idea to keep them in separate rooms for a bit. I think the idea about the towels (prior to the initial meet and greet) is a good idea too.

      Good luck--and thank you for giving this dog a new (temporary) home!

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      • #4
        Don't forget the reason for the holiday this weekend...

        The 4th of July is always very noisy and dogs HATE it. If you live anywhere near where they shoot off fireworks, try to get some tranquilzers. Good luck with the new dog. I have a recent adoptee, and there are still bumps in the road, but they seem to be working things out. good luck
        Another killer of threads

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        • Original Poster

          #5
          Thanks for the input so far. Yes, when we got dog #2, we introduced him to dog #1 at the dog park. Trouble is, dog #1 can no longer be trusted to not be a jerk at the dog park - if he sees a dog who he thinks just doesn't look right (Boxer, Amstaff, Great Dane, pretty much any dog that could turn him into lunchmeat), he tries to start something. But there is an elementary school with a fenced field not too far from home that might work. . . we take them there to run sometimes (and always pick up after them). That might do nicely.

          I hadn't thought about picking up all the toys - will definitely do that. And the dog is a bit nervous about thunder and fireworks, so she comes complete with a couple of tablets of Ace; I'll give a half tablet well in advance of fireworks.

          Right now I'm having trouble rustling up a helper; I really do need a second person.

          She is the funniest-looking little dog! Big, thick, stumpy Bassett legs, long bod, Sheltie head. Not too hard to figure out which breed was mom and which was dad!

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          • #6
            That makes me so mad that someone is put into an assisted living home & not allowed to take their pets with them. They lose enough control & normality from their lives without having to loose the one thing they can curl up with for comfort & companionship. I know that in my area several homes allow pets & all of the people living there benefit from having them there.
            Thank you for helping this poor dog. I hope it finds a great home.
            Producing horses with gentle minds & brilliant movement!
            www.whitfieldfarm.shutterfly.com

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            • #7
              I agree with the introductions in a neutral place. When I picked up my new adopted dog, I took my older 2 with me to the rescuer's home. They were introduced outside when we took all 3 for a walk. He rode the 4 hours back to our home in the car with the other 2 dogs, but I had my daughters helping me keep them all separated. By the time we got home, all 3 were "acquainted" with each other, and walked into our house together. Had I just brought him into the house with my other 2 dogs waiting there, I know they would have barked and snarled at him. I kept toys and bones out of reach too and didn't leave them alone in the same room until a few days later when I knew they could be trusted with each other. There were still many instances in which the dominant dog got into a fight with him (he doesn't back down easily, although he defers to her most of the time), but luckily they are all of similar size and no one has gotten hurt.

              I think it took a month until they figured out the pecking order and are now a happy pack.

              Good luck with your new dog!
              ___________________________________________
              "Another member of the Barefoot Eventers Clique"

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Mara View Post
                I'm not freaking out, but I also know it's not ideal to just come bounding in the door with a new dog in tow. STRESS for everyone, especially foster dog.
                It may not be ideal, but it's worked for me several times, even when I had Shar-pei (that weren't particularly social) in the house. The original dogs get a little jealous, and the new dogs are nervous about new surroundings, but "it's all good" when I start handing out "cookies".

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                • #9
                  Actually I generally just bring the new dog in the house and turn them loose. That being said my one dog doesn't care about other dogs and the other one is really social. My previous lab also never met a dog he didn't like.
                  My dogs also all respect a raised voice from me or my husband. All either one of has to do is raise the voice and say "Enough" and it is over from their end.
                  Generally I would recommend the neutral place meeting if possible.
                  Can the son help you with the walking as the extra person? You are doing him and his mother a big favor. I would think the least he could do for his mother's peace of mind is help you introduce her dog to your pack instead of here's my mom's dog- goodbye. Or can somebody from the rescue help you?
                  Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community. (Tidy Rabbit)

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