Fostering Question? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-09-2012, 10:25 AM Thread Starter
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Fostering Question?

Hi all.
We have just been asked to foster a 1 year old Rottweiler for a few months. The owner has just been told by the landlord to get rid of it. They are in the process of buying a home and the dog would be with us for 2-3 months. She is bringing him over today for a test run with our dogs. None of her friends could take him and they didnt want to send him to the pound if they could find a foster family. Here are my questions...
  • I know all dogs are different, but breedwise, do shepherds and rotts get along usually?
  • How do I prevent any fights that may arise?
  • (I am not expecting fights, but I have never seen Thor interact with another male dog.)
  • I just need tips and advice.
Thanks everyone.
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-09-2012, 10:47 AM Thread Starter
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Does any one have ideas for introducing two male dogs to eachother around the same age?
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-09-2012, 10:51 AM
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Do not take them head to head to meet. Have someone else walk one of the dogs. Dogs do not naturally meet nose to nose. If you watch them, they approach from the side and do their sniffing. I would go for a walk down the road where there wont' be "territorial" issues.

If you decide to take him, ask MSVETTE about that 2 week shut down. Many people seem to have success with it.




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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-09-2012, 10:53 AM
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Introductions will be best done on neutral ground. Take a walk with them a good distance apart and slowly get closer as you move along as long as they are being calm. New dog goes into the yard and house first then resident dog comes in to prevent getting territorial.

No toys or high value items for a while until you know you can trust them. I would leave a drag line on both for quick grabbing. Lots of structure and set up clear expectations from the beginning.

Jamie

Raven (GSD) - December 8, 2007
Kaiser (GSD) - November 2009
Holly (GSD) - March 24, 2011

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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-09-2012, 10:54 AM
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Introduce them on completely neutral territory, away from the home. It takes two people. Allow them plenty of time to sniff each other- butt sniffs are important too. Also walking beside each other on leash.

Good luck.

Debbi-
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-09-2012, 10:57 AM
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I know this isn't what you want to hear....but since you have been having issues with Thor bonding more to Rogue than the family, it probably isn't in his best interest to have another dog added for him to bond with. It might in my opinion set back his bonding with your family. However, it looks like there aren't a lot of other options.

I agree with Michelle...2 week shut down would be a MUST if I were in your situation. You do not want 3 large powerful dogs getting off on the wrong foot and you or your children being involved in that scuffle. I would PM msvette2 about the 2 week shutdown and follow it to the T and make sure EVERY one in your house does the same.

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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-09-2012, 11:01 AM
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I've had a rottie before and he was nasty to the other dogs. It was just his personality. We had to rehome him to a family with no children or dogs.

Not placing any judgment on you, but is it a wise idea to take in another puppy right now? Again, I don't know you or your situation, but I would think very carefully about adding another right now.

How long have you had Thor for? How is his training progressing? If he is not reliable yet, I would restrict interactions between the males right now. They are right at the age where they start clawing for leadership. I would do msvette's 2 week shutdown and limit interaction with the new dog. 2-3 months is not very long. I would keep it separate and not invite any trouble by trying to get them to be friends. if I were you, I would just wait out the 3 months. 3 months is not long at all and no reason to have long term issues over this short stay. You are going above and beyond for this family. They should also help you by giving the dog daily walks, trips to the park, hiking, socialization etc. I would recommend them to take an obedience class during this time to keep up with training and to give you a break.

Is this dog intact? Does he have any aggression against dogs/children/etc? That will invite further issues if he is...

Take them on a low stress walk with a separate handler for each dog. Don't force any interaction. Let be casual and on neutral ground. Do not let them meet in your house or yard. Take them to a park, take a quiet walk and don't allow any off-leash interaction yet. No toys, treats or anything of value till you can trust them 100%. Even seemingly stupid things can cause fights. Puddi and Whiskey once got into a snarling match over who gets a piece of a chewed up dish towel that one of them found under the couch

Ash
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Last edited by qbchottu; 04-09-2012 at 11:03 AM.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-09-2012, 11:16 AM Thread Starter
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I do not know much about this other dog and that is the reason for the meeting today. And the reason we decided to try it is because of how short the stay is. I was kind of thinking about having these dogs completely separated most of the time. I will look into the two week shutdown. I am not trying to "take on" another puppy, this is strictly temporary and was a hard decision to make. but this family would have to give up their dog otherwise.
story is...they got the dog and have had it for about a year (since it was 8 weeks) under the landlords blessing. he decided to do a homecheck a few weeks ago and saw holes in the yard that the rott had dug and told them the dog needed to go immediately. they are a family with small children like us. they are also in the process of buying a home. we were the last resort and i just want to be as successful as possible with this.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-09-2012, 11:19 AM
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A two week shut down would certainly not hurt.
Marine - I'm with the others - I don't think it's a good idea for you to do this.
Don't you have some youngsters, too? I really think you're biting off more than you can chew.

That said, here is the two week shut down advice. If you get him, do implement it. I did not write this but have it on hand for adopters who may find it helpful. We've always used this method of integrating fosters into our home and it works without fail.

If I could stress one of the biggest errors people make with new dogs and foster dogs it is rushing the dog into the new world so fast . This shut down gives the dog a chance to say “ahhh” take a breath and restart into its new world.

From people I have helped I hear;
"I introduced her to 15 people the first day I had her!" ;" he was a bit leery but seems to like my other 3 dogs" ; "she went everywhere with me "
All in the first few days of the new home..... (!!!)

two weeks later we hear;
" I think we will have to rehome the new dog" "the new dog barked and nipped at my kid" - "we had a dog fight" ; “the new dog barked at me for moving him off the couch”

Ok, folks, here it comes, some feel this is extreme, why? I really do not know.
But when bringing in a new dog, post finding, adoption, buying, etc, Give it time to adjust to you and your family and the dogs in the new environment.
Just as if it were a new baby or puppy, we wouldn’t think of rushing out with a baby or puppy, yet with older pups and dogs we just expect them to take our lives in all at once!

TWO WEEKS - "shut down"
For the first two weeks, (sometimes even longer) a dog takes in the new environment, who is the top person, or animal, who ARE these people!? By pushing a dog too fast, and throwing too much at the dog we look like we are not the leaders,and the dog can feel it MUST defend itself , as the leader is surely no one he has met so far!

We coo , coodle, drag the dog to home to home to person to person, and the dog has NO idea who we are. We correct for things it doesn’t understand, we talk in a new human language using words he does not know.

A key thing to remember is "this is the dating period NOT the honeymoon"
When you first met your "spouse or significant other”, you were on your best behavior, you were not relaxed enough to be all of yourself, were you?
Just think of the things you do physically once you get to KNOW a person,
you wouldn’t run up to a stranger and hug them and squeeze them!
Imagine, if on the first date, this new person, was all over you touching you and having their friends hug you and pat you on the head, and jostle your shoulders, looked in your mouth then he whisked you off to another strangers home and they did the same thing.

Would you think this person normal and SAFE? Wouldn’t you feel invaded and begin to get a bit snarky or defensive yourself? Wouldn’t you think to push these people away for obviously your date is out of their mind, as they aren’t going to save you from these weirdoes!!
Yet we do this very thing to our dogs, and then get upset or worried that they aren’t relaxed and accepting of EVERYTHING instantly!

By shutting down the dog, it gives the dog TIME to see you , meet YOU, hear and take in the new sounds and smells of your home and all the people in it. In the 1st two weeks;
.
Crate the dog in a room by itself if possible.(Believe me, dogs are sensory animals, they know more than you think without seeing it).
Leash the dog (so I don’t have to correct it ..you don’t have that right yet!), give it exercise time in the yard on lunge line or in fenced yard..but other than that.. LEASH , (yes..leash in the house too.)
Do no training at all, just fun exercise and maybe throw some toys for fun, leash the dog if you don’t have a fence outside. But DO NOT leave the yard, AT ALL.

No car rides, no other dogs, (unless crated beside them), no pet stores, no WALKS even, nothing but you and household family, your home, your yard. (Unless of course the dog needs to go to the veterinarian)
Believe me dogs can live two weeks without walks. Walks are stressful for there is so much coming at you and your dog! And the dog has no clue who you are yet. The dog may react to something and we start correcting it with the leash and we just installed a VERY STRESSFUL moment to the dog in what should be a fun and learning walk.

TEACH the dog by doing the shut down, that YOU are the one to look to, that you are now here for the dog! He can trust in you and look to you for guidance. Then you can venture out into new situations one at a time, the dog knows he can trust in his new humans and can relax under the fair guidance of his new leaders!

In the house take the dog out only for about 20-30 minute intervals, post exercise/yard times., and ALWAYS on a leash when in the house or in an unfenced yard. Exercise is important! Running and free time are stress relievers, but don’t set your dog up for failure, make exercise and yard time fun and relaxing and tiring!

Then PUT THE DOG AWAY. let it absorb and think and relax. Ignore crying or barking, just like a new born baby, he must find security when you are not right there, and if you run to him each time he will think barking and crying will get your attention.

I do not introduce resident dogs for these two weeks, they can be side by side in the crates, (not nose to nose for they can feel defensive) . Some dogs will bond instantly with the other dogs if we don’t bond FIRST with the dog, and this can lead to some other issues, as the dog will look to the other dog(s) for guidance and not YOU!

Literally in two weeks you will see a change in the dog and begin to see its honest and true personality. Just like a house guest, they are well behaved and literally shut down and “polite” themselves these first few weeks, then post this time, they relax and the true personality begins to shine thru.

So, please,, if nothing else for your new dog, give it the time to LEARN YOU as you are learning who they are! This method works on shy dogs,confident dogs, abuse cases, chained dogs that come in, rowdy dogs, all temperaments!



Quote:
this is strictly temporary and was a hard decision to make. but this family would have to give up their dog otherwise.
Be aware also that these situations often become permanent one way or another (I see posts on craigslist like this) If their house falls through, etc.
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-09-2012, 11:25 AM
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This what I would do:
Crate overnight
Morning: Supervised alone time in the yard. Play with him and let him do his business. Crate for breakfast and quiet time afterwards.
Afternoon: Yard time or a walk by himself. Spend time with him playing or having him follow you around while you do chores. Let him do this alone.
Evening: Work out an arrangement with the other family where they can take him during the evenings. They need to be a part of this process and shouldn't just be you shouldering all the burden. Let them take him on walks, hikes, whatever. Have them wear him out for the night.
Night: Dinner in the crate. Crated for bed.

Keep the crate around the kitchen or family room so he feels a part of the scene, but does not have to be overly involved. You can try an x-pen, but not sure if that will work on a dog this old unless he has been trained with it from an early age.

Ash
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