Where's MY costume?
Tips on Introducing a New Dog to Your “Pack” (Part 1)
This summer, I’ve had a lot of in-home lessons with families who have recently adopted a new dog. When they call me, they have already had some trouble. So, I'm writing this article to help future dog adopters with bringing home a new pet.
Bringing a new dog into the family is an exciting time for the human family members, but can create stress for the dog family members. Understanding how to manage dog introductions can help ensure a lifetime of harmony for everyone.
Dog to Dog
In addition, be sure both your resident dog and the new dog are up to date on their vaccinations to avoid any risk of infection.
Introduce in a Neutral Location
Next, allow the dogs to sniff each other for just a few seconds, with the handlers offering high-pitched, happy praise if there are positive signs from the dogs. Then lead the dogs away from each other. Do several more sets of brief introductions, which prevent the dogs from focusing too hard and escalating to an aggressive response. Refocus each dog's attention with obedience commands or short walks.
There are two goals with this exercise: 1. To allow the dogs to meet and be tolerant of one another without exhibiting any bad behavior. 2. To keep the meetings pleasant and friendly so the dogs learn to associate good, relaxed things with being together Watch the dogs’ body language. Things are going well and you can proceed to the next step if you see:
However, take caution if you see:
(Read Part 2 of this article in the November issue of The Ratbone Barker.)
Submitted by Terry Nickerson, Canine Behavior Therapist and owner of Bark Busters of Brevard. You can reach Terry at 1-977-500-BARK or visit her company's website at www.Barkbusters.com.
Freeze warning for tonight! Time to throw another dog under the covers.
GOOD NEWS! YOU could be the Ratbone supporter who will be spending cold nights this winter sleeping under the beautiful 2011 Ratbone Rescues Holiday Quilt. Just don't dally, the new owner will be selected before long so this quilt and the two pillows which will come with it will arrive at it's new home well before Christmas.
The pillows can be displayed either way, they have a holiday applique on one side and a pieced star on the other. The quilt even has a label on the back so you will always remember where it came from. Look at our little gallery here, then follow the link to learn more about the quilt and how you could make it yours.
HAPPY TAILS INTERNATIONAL!
Harriett and Crackers first came to Ratbone's attention when they were dumped in a Boise Idaho animal shelter by their puppy mill breeder. The animal shelter had never seen anything like these two American Hairless Rat Terriers and they called in a Xolo rescuer to help them. The Xolo rescuer took one look at these two little waifs and called Ratbone Rescues. Susan Cadell in Oregon was the closest person to these little dogs. They needed out of the shelter as they were cold and had gotten pneumonia. The Xolo rescuer pulled them and the two rescuers met halfway to transfer the little dogs.
It was apparent that Harriett and Crackers had never been out of a cage before. Harriet's toenails were an inch long and she had been bred repeatedly. Even though she was only about three years old, her skin was all stretched out. Crackers didn't like people much and felt compelled to let them know that! Both dogs were fearful and shy and grass confused them. Initially, the two dogs would huddle under a blanket in the kitchen with just their little faces peeking out. Being separated sent them into a panic.
Their foster mom immediately began treatment to get them healthy, started taking them on walks to build up their flabby muscles and worked on house breaking. It did not go well at first, Harriett would not go potty in the big bad outdoors and Crackers had to defend against every new smell and sound. Cars were terrible, big dogs were bad and a cat absolutely amazed him. He had no idea what to think about that! Then, all of a sudden, they seemed to get with the program. These two naked little guys started following the rest of the pack around the back yard. They learned how to sneak food off the dining room table, how to dig holes in the backyard and how to bump another dog off of a lap. They were slowly becoming dogs.
It was time to get them out in the world! Susan took them to work with her where everyone in the company was enchanted by them. Harriett and Crackers were shy at first, especially with the burly maintenance men, (Crackers bit one's pant leg) but soon the dogs and the maintenance men were playing together on the floor of Susan's office. The guys started eating their lunches in the office and feeding tiny bits to the dogs, who LOVED it.
The day Harriett and Crackers hit the website, Ratbones got an application from a very nice woman who was living in Guam. She had allergies and had wanted hairless dogs for years and this cute pair seemed perfect for her. Jessica wrote long letters to Ratbones all about her and her boyfriend and how she had tested herself with a friend's Hairless. She is an animal trainer at the aquarium on Guam and figured if she could train sharks, she ought to be able to handle two little dogs. Nervous about sending dogs so far from the United States, Ratbones very carefully scrutinized the applicant's qualifications, but Jessica looked like a wonderful adopter. Jessica was approved but for a dog to enter the country of Guam requires a 7 month quarentine. Luckily, the quarentine could be done at the foster mom's house, so Harriett and Crackers never had to be caged again. That 210 days was filled with lots of vet visits, tests and more time to go to the office with their foster mom. By now, almost everyone at the offic was coming over on breaks to visit the "naked dogs". They made many friends and got very spoiled. Eventually the day arrived when Harriett and Crackers went on the plane for their trip to their new home in Guam. The foster mom worried, Jessica worried, but the dogs landed safely.
Although Jessica and Jason were thrilled with how pretty and sweet their new dogs were, leaving their first real "home" set Harriett and Crackers back. Jessica and Jason had to woo them over. Gentle Harriett seemed to be attracted to quiet Jason and little outrageous Crackers soon won Jessica over with his outgoing, sassy nature. Jessica called Crackers her "tiny joy". Harriett, who had long since learned to pee on grass in Oregon, took exception to grass in Guam. Crackers immediately decided to be a guard dog and guard his new family from chiropractors and all other hazards, totally terrorized a well meaning house guest. Jessica and Susan wrote back and forth, working together to get these two settled in with their new family. Jessica became more of an alpha, Jason sewed little fleece leggings for Crackers, time went by and the dogs did better. Jessica and Jason never gave up on their spoiled little brats.
In the last letter from Jessica, she said: "Harriett is a gem. She finds whoever is sad and pins them down and licks them until they cheer up. She's figured out that I'll intervene with kids if they get too rough so she's very tolerant of them. We've been doing so well with our allergies that we've let them into the bed to sleep with us most nights. Crackers will curl up in a tiny ball wherever he won't be disturbed and go to sleep. Harriett travels around, goes for water, licks everyone, plays with toys, riles up Crackers for play fighting, burrows under blankets, scratches to get out, scratches to come back, checks the corners for monsters, etc etc. We did try to loan her to a lonely divorcing houseguest one night (so we could get some sleep too) and she did have hurt feelings---she spent all night outside our door and then moped ALL the next day. Won't be doing that again!
She has become super chill about everything except sudden loud noises and very new stuff. She went through a phase where she'd ask to go out and then not come over to get the harness on, but Justin and I colluded and I spritzed her until she went back to her normal patient self. We have worked on some tricks. Crackers came with a perfect "Dance" so we do that a lot in anxious situations. He's solid on sit now, but only on rugs, carpet, or other soft things--any time there is a risk of his naked little butt hitting cold tile floor he just looks incredulously at me when I ask for a sit. Harriett doesn't have sit yet but she does "Bow" for Justin."
Anytime an adopter takes on extreme cases like Harriett and Crackers, there is bound to be an adjustment period for all but this family is working it out and Harriett and Crackers have a wonderful new life with Jessica and Jason. I think Jessica said it best when she said "All in all they are making good progress and the real problem behavior has stopped, so I think we're good. Justin and I are both enjoying them a great deal and everyone that sees them loves them. I'm so glad I got these two!!"
Not bad for two little puppy mill dogs!
Ratbone Rescues is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
Ratbone Rescues, Inc.
P.O. Box 3237
Seminole, FL 33775-3237
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