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Introducing a new foster dog
December 18, 2013 1:07 PM   Subscribe

Due to an emergency rescue, my plans for introducing a new foster dog have been pushed up significantly to tonight. There is one problem, I'm the only one around tonight and by the time, I pick her up - it will be super dark so introducing dogs in a neutral location is out. Help me make this as smooth as possible.

First time fostering a dog since getting a permanent dog as a pet. I was contacted by the shelter today asking if I could take an emergency rescue late tonight. I said yes, since I have no big holiday plans and my dog could use the socialization. Everything I've read says to introduce in a neutral location but it's winter, it's going to be late, and I'm the only one around tonight. My dog is generally friendly to other dogs but does take a while to warm up to them, so separation is key at least for a bit.

What tips, tricks or other things should I be aware of when I introduce a new dog to my existing dog and don't have the time to do it properly? I was thinking of picking up a baby gate and placing the new dog in the spare bedroom.
posted by lpcxa0 to Pets & Animals (8 answers total)
 
you are underestimating dogs. go ahead.
posted by parmanparman at 1:25 PM on December 18, 2013


I think it will be OK. I'd just let them meet up. If you have a yard that would be ideal.
posted by bearwife at 1:33 PM on December 18, 2013


You know your own dog, but the rescue is an unknown and you may not be able to anticipate its reaction. I would suggest initially screening them from each other, so they can smell each other and are aware of each other's presence. The rescue organization may be able to lend you gates or barriers if you don't have any. One of our dogs is, let's just say, "cool" to new foster dogs, and we gradually introduce them in this way. Initially, they are double gated, so they can't see each other or meet over a gate. Then we allow them to meet at the gate, but not interact freely. They go on walks together, but one person takes the foster dog and the other takes our two.

Another good reason to separate them is that the rescue dog may have health issues that should be evaluated before it hangs out in direct contact with your dog.
posted by itstheclamsname at 1:40 PM on December 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


I asked a similar question a few years ago, although we had a little longer lead time (FWIW we ended up keeping the dog!). A couple things that were key

- Feed them separately.
- Don't leave them alone together. If you sense any aggression from your dog, you may not be able to leave them alone for a second, even when you go to the bathroom.
- Make sure they each have their own space. Give them plenty of time in completely separate rooms, and they should have separate kennels.
- Your dog is the "alpha" above the other, but don't let him be too much of a bully. My Corgi is pretty bossy, and I mostly let her push my new dog around, but I drew the line when she tried to go into his kennel.
posted by radioamy at 1:53 PM on December 18, 2013


What about sleeping arrangements, the main dog sleeps in our bed in her crate but I'm not sure what to do about the other one.
posted by lpcxa0 at 4:22 PM on December 18, 2013


I have fostered for years - ask the shelter to get you a crate for the foster. Have the foster sleep (in crate) where ever you feel comfortable but probably he/she will want to sleep within vision of your own dog. I have found that foster dogs tend to be insecure - they like to see where other members of their dog pack are. However, if it's a young dog who cries feel free to place it in another room. Not sure which breed you are fostering but I have the most experience with labs and chihuahuas. Both tend to be very social and have a deep desire to be nearby.
posted by lasamana at 4:36 PM on December 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


Feel free to memail on this (I literally have fostered dogs for at least 12 years) - one thing is make sure you are with both dogs at all times at least for a week or so - keep a leash on your foster even in the house, it helps you to grab him/her when they are about to do some dumb thing (that dogs always do) and keeps your hands clear. Also your new foster might stink - bathing may be a necessity. Hopefully the shelter you are working with has the vet records and a health record. Remember, the foster is not your dog (as much as you may love him), your dog always comes first. Another thing, because it's so close to Xmas, there is a good chance you will have this dog for at least a week or more. Take cute pictures for their website, they will help with a possible adoption.
posted by lasamana at 4:41 PM on December 18, 2013


When I got my rescue pug back in April I just brought him into the bedroom where my other dog, Binky was crated. Of course, both of these assholes were immediately in love with each other and happy to have a friend. YMMV. Binky is the happiest dog alive - his previous companion dog had died a month earlier and Bink was just not the same happy dog until I got him a new friend.

Dogs are amaze-balls and are often better at these things than humans.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 5:22 PM on December 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


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