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Discussion Starter #1
This may be a little long, but please do bare with me, if you can..

In 1997 my Grnadmother was diagnosed with Ahlzimers, and from 1997-2002 (I was 17 yrs old in '97), I stayed with her and took care of her the best I could, until it just became too much for me, because of school, and life in general, so my Aunt took her in and cared for her and holding down 2 jobs, her DH would care for Grandmother while my aunt worked. Recently (2 weeks ago) my grandmother fell very ill and was hospitalized for a week, and had already became very combative and my aunt just couldn't care for her anymore since grandmother had tried setting the house on fire (3 times)....So, they had to put her in a nursing facility, near my aunt's home.

The ADVICE I need is my Grandmother has a female (spade) around 7 yrs old white chahuahua, and I have known the dog from a pup, and I made the promise long ago, that if anything happened I would take her in and care for her (sweet dog, really is)...So, now i'm backing my promise on that. So, she's supposed to be brought here sometime this week! How am I supposed to bring her into my home with Elle & Emma, and them not hurt her? Am I doing the right thing taking in the dog, or not? I can't stand the thought of her going to the humane society at all! Thanks! Sorry so long!
 

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http://www.bluemoonmeadows.com just in case it doesn't work-if your Grandma's dog has a good temperament they are really good with helping people place pets in these kind of situations (if they have foster space open).

I am sorry about your grandmother and hope that it all works out with everything in her new home.

As far as introductions, unless it is an unusual situation, most foster homes transition new dogs very slowly-I recommend two weeks of crating and rotating just to start-no contact with each other in that time. I control everything in that way so that no one gets hurt. Then I do leashing-depending on who is best behaved! But if you just start out with the idea that you are going to take this slow, that everyone is going to be on stricter NILIF until the newness wears off, and that no one is going to be together until everyone settles in, you don't have a lot to do for this initial period.

I bet pupresq can help a lot more. She has big and littles.
 

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First, relax.
If your uptight about it, the dogs will be too.
Second, if you are the other two's pack leader, then you set the rules,
and they follow them. If you aren't, then I understand your concern. If you know they won't play nice, don't expose her to danger.

But if you are, and they listen to you, then don't worry, expect them to behave. Big dogs and small dogs can get along without issues, and if knarling does arise, they will can it when you say to.

Sorry about Grandma, it's very hard to go through.
 

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What a great grandaughter you have been. Most 17 yr. olds are into their own lives and a little selfish. Sorry Grandma is going thru this, it sucks to get old!
I would introduce grandma's dog in a neutral place to see how your dogs react/interact with her. If it goes ok, then bring her to your home and one on one let them intereact. Remember the chi. is going thru stressful changes, so her attitude may be snarky.
My dogs like to doubleteam dogs that come over to play, so it would be hard on a little chi-chi with two big girls sniffing her all over. Whatever decision you make, it is from your heart, as you seem to be a very loving petowner! Good luck~what is the chi-chi's name?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Her name is Tina, she is unusually very gentle for her breed, she has lived the last few years with my Aunts GSD, so she is not afraid of GSD's. I know she is a very fineky eater (delt with that when I had to care for them both), she has always slept in the bed with Grandmother, so I'm not sure how that's going to work out, I'm thinking of buying her a small bed and a new crate, all for her with new toys and a blanket.

Elle as big as she is is frightened of Chi-chi's, she runs and cries from my neighbor's chi-chi(s), but I think it's just because that he and she is just MEAN, and has bitten and pulled Elle's tail before. Emma just thinks they are cats, and just barks, never shown really any kind of big aggression toward them, but then again they are not in her yard or in her home, so...I'm not sure how that will go down...Elle has had my Moms terrior mix here and did great, except for she thought she was a pup, and kept trying to carry her off and was trying to do what we think was nurse her.
 

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I agree with the previous 2 posts. I would add, though, that when you introduce her to your 2 big dogs, first, do it one at a time, and ON LEASH! If you can, have someone else hold one of the dogs, and you hold the other. If you can't get help, then make sure one dog is tied securely to something that they can't break free/lunge away from, and hold the other dog on leash. I would do this for a while - if one dog is loose, even if you're holding the other one, there could still be a fight.

I'm sorry about your Grandma - I am in my 30's and went through something similar w/my Grampa last year, and it was hard. I can't imagine trying to do that when I was 17. You're a good granddaughter.


Good luck, Hon!
 

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Hi Jennifer,

I'm really sorry to hear about your grandmother. I have a friend who just went through something similar and it has been heartbreaking for her on many levels. You have my sympathy.

I foster a lot of Chihuahuas and, in my experience, some do just fine with big dogs (always supervised of course) and others do not. Two big factors that make a difference are the attitude of the Chi and the physical size/condition of the Chi.

A lot of Chihuahuas are very fragile and some have an opening in the skull on the tops of their heads. A lot of Chihuahuas are also terrified of larger dogs and will provoke altercations without meaning to by being snippy and snarly. That said, some are quite tough and get along great with their big buddies.

When I foster a Chi who I feel is either too physically frail to risk being stepped on or has an attitude that will get her/him in trouble, I keep them separated and on a different rotation from my large dogs until they are placed. I just don't think it's worth the risk and being with the big dogs is very stressful for them in any case.

My suggestion would be to have a vet look over your new pup and check for an open molera. If the dog has one and/or is under 5lbs, I'd strongly reconsider your decision to keep her. Similarly, if she seems terribly stressed by the big dogs, it just may not be meant to be. I know you're here in KY also and I work closely with Chihuahua Rescue USA (CRU) all the time and they are a good group. If you need help placing her in a home that's a better match, please let me know and I'm sure I can put you in touch with people who can help.

Now... if she's bigger than 5lbs, doesn't have a hole in her skull, and seems like she will get used to big dogs, then I definitely think big dogs and small dogs can work just fine as long as you supervise everyone and make sure they are never left unattended (never - even if everything seems great; something about them being so tiny, things can go wrong quickly). I'm not familiar with your two bigger dogs. Are they very rambunctious? How do they feel about other dogs snarling at them? Most little dogs will tell the big ones when they don't appreciate something. As long as the big dog doesn't retaliate, that can work out fine. A lot of the information on introducing cats to large dogs will be useful here. I realize it can add to some behavioral issues, but I'd recommend introducing them with you sitting on the sofa or chair with the Chi on your lap. That way she is higher up and you can sheild her with your body if you need to. Being on the ground and having large dogs hulking over them can be very intimidating for little dogs and create a defensive response where they might otherwise be okay. Watch the little one, if she starts getting stressed, tell your Shepherds to "leave it" or "easy" or whatever seems most appropriate to what they are doing. Allow the Chi a chance to feel comfortable with their presence when she's not getting poked by long pointy GSD noses.


Good luck! Let me know if I can help.
 

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Okay, just saw your post. If the Chi has lived with large dogs previously, that's half the battle right there.

I would try it and see how it goes. I'm not sure if I think the on leash thing is a good idea as that can jack up the prey drive on some dogs. I guess I'd play that by ear based on what you know about your dogs. It would be good to have someone else there to help though.

The other thing is that the adoption prospects for a Chihuahua are considerably better than those for a larger dog so if you feel like it's just not working out or that your dogs are endangering Tina (which can happen - I regularly hear of little dogs being killed by being stepped on or knocked off of something) then I feel pretty sure we can help you find a foster-based rescue that will find a good home, rather than feeling like you let your grandmother down by taking her to a shelter.
 

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Dixie and Riga get along fine with other dogs. Riga's best friend right now is a 4 month old kitten who hides and runs out and attacks her. This kitten doesn't weigh even two pounds. Riga chases her, and "attacks" her with her nose.

Always be fair, always be equal. Everybody gets a treat, or nobody gets a treat. Everyone gets attention. No favorites.

It will work out just fine.
 

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I think it will work fine. (I'm not an intro on leash fan either. My intros always take place in my home and work out fine. Yes, I know absolutely against all advise but that's just the way its always been.) I'm going to add that you might want to consider taking your grandmother's dog to visit her. Patients often respond very well to visits from pets.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I will certainly do that, as she slept in the bed with her for all those years, and loved her so very much. I'm not sure on the pet visit policy, but i'm sure if nothing else on a nice day we can atleast bring her to the porch and they can visit in the garden there, but i will call and see what their policies on visiting pets are.
 

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Originally Posted By: middleofnowhereI think it will work fine. (I'm not an intro on leash fan either. My intros always take place in my home and work out fine. Yes, I know absolutely against all advise but that's just the way its always been.) I'm going to add that you might want to consider taking your grandmother's dog to visit her. Patients often respond very well to visits from pets.
As far as leashes are concerned, Me too - I usually have any intro's take place one dog at a time (usually Roxie first- she's the more-"in yer face" pup )) in the garage.......... then the second dog added....... no leashes....just me and the fuzzy ones.

On occasion, I foster or bbsit all different breeds - I cannot say it works for every dog, but it has never failed here........ I sometimes take all of MY numnuts out for a good run prior to the meeting.....
get's some of the nervous energy out. then let them calm - then the meet and greet.

EDIT- Oh and good luck to you- like it was said earlier- try and envision that everything will be awesome- because it WILL!!!!

Wishing you all the best- I took care of my Mom for 24+ years with Multiple Sclerosis...up until the day she passed 19 months ago- It can be a hard time, but you will be fine and you'll succeed.
Let us know please how your meet and greet goes.
Be well!!!!!
 

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I have a five pound dog that does GREAT with my boxer and shepherd fan. I think you should honor your promise and give it a go. If it doesn't work if I were your grandmother I think it would honor the promise if you found a good home for the dog.

I asked my sister to take my dogs if anything happened to me. In my mind this means take care of their well being, whatever this maybe.

Personally dumping at the humane society would not be it.
 

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Originally Posted By: mjb03I have a five pound dog that does GREAT with my boxer and shepherd fan. I think you should honor your promise and give it a go. If it doesn't work if I were your grandmother I think it would honor the promise if you found a good home for the dog.

I asked my sister to take my dogs if anything happened to me. In my mind this means take care of their well being, whatever this maybe.

Personally dumping at the humane society would not be it.
I will honor my promise and the dog will not go to the humane society by me, that was what my aunt was going to do as she is just so swamped with everything, but I will make sure she is safe and cared for and happy.
 

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Wow, it is a big responsibility. But I think you can manage it. I would definitely set up a place for the small dog for when you cannot supervise. A four foot x-pen with a doggy bed in it set away from the other dogs should do the trick. I think it is probably good that she is spayed, she will not be adding another set of hormones in the mix.

Good luck and do take the little dog to the nursing home. I am really sorry about your grandmother, but she is somewhere now where they will have people there to monitor around the clock. One person on their own has to sleep sometime.
 
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