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Advice on new guy's intro to my pack

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I've been contemplating ways to introduce my new dog to my current pack, when the time comes. He's scheduled for neutering Thursday, and I'm told he can come home that day. I could use your sage advice. Here's what I've got so far.


Today I rubbed a bandana on both my girls and plan to take it with me to the pound when I go visit him. I also have a clean one to rub on him and take home to the girls, although they've already been busy sniffing me when I come back from our visits, and he's been in my car,so his scent isn't altogether new to them. Luckily, I do have a nice shady area that is fenced off from the rest of my fenced yard so I can keep them separated as needed. I also have a dog gate in the house to keep him in the non-carpeted kitchen/dining area while I'm occupied at home. Of course I'll be buying him a crate before he comes home too. Ideally, I'd like them all to meet face to face first in a neutral, large fenced area (that is, after he is sufficiently recovered from the surgery). I have the perfect place in mind, but logistics will be difficult, i.e. getting all 3 dogs over there. It's not walking distance (I'm trying to think of someone to conscript into helping me with this that lives nearby and isn't already on the DL) What other suggestions do you all have to make this transition as smooth as possible?


Oh, and I think I've settled on a name...Boo (It's those eyes, you know) Actually on fleshing out an idea first suggested by my sister's 11 year old step-daughter, his full name will be Kaboodle. I'll see how he likes it before deciding if it sticks.



and the menagerie:



Kaboodle "Boo"- the new Aussie

Pumpkin-Quarter Horse mare

Otis-QH gelding

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No one else has any advice for you yet? That's rare.


A few suggestions, besides what you've already said (and based on my own very recent experience ):


1. Have him meet one dog at a time at first, rather than your two potentially overwhelming him.


2. The crate is VERY useful for giving the new guy a place to call his in your home that no one else claims as theirs.


3. Have him spend some quality time with you, learning that you're his new benevolent leader, before introducing him to the rest of the pack. The two days my new guy spent with me before he came home noticably increased his confidence that he understood what was happening in his life (rather than all the newness occuring at once).

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I spent some time with him at the pound yesterday, but I wasn't planning on going today until I read your suggestion about spending time with him alone to help him understand the transition. My schedule here at the office has been pretty frenetic the last few days, but this is important enough that I will make the time. Thanks for you help, Alaska. And all the best to you and your pack.

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Im getting a puppy on Monday, and I've been goin to the shelter as well spending time with her. I've been bringing Riven like every other day. She's used to her smell and stuff. Now my one concern is my dang cat lol. :rolleyes: I hope you can figure out how to do everything perfect so there are no problems. I really admire you rescing that dog, and its so beautiful. Good luck.

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When I was contemplating adding dog #2, I read everything I could find about how a second dog might change my life. You already have two, so maybe this doesn't apply, but here it is anyway. Somewhere on a shelter site I found a very honest list of things that might change that a person wouldn't necessarily anticipate (as opposed to having to buy more dog food, which is obvious) or even desire. In particular, the site mentioned that the pack structure might shift in ways you aren't necessarily prepared for. For example:


I was sure my current dog would assert her primacy in the pack structure, and so I consciously chose a dog who would be unlikely to challenge that. It's too early to know for sure, but that doesn't seem to be how it's turning out. Instead of guarding me as a resource, Biko has drifted away from me a bit rather than challenge Kepler's access to me. At first, her aloofness saddened me a little. When I wasn't enjoying watching the two of them play together, I spent a little time mourning the apparent demise of the special bond that the two of us had when it was just the two of us.


But, as I say, things are still evolving. Biko and I now seem to be reconnecting that bond but with subtle changes in the rituals that express it. The point is to be prepared for unexpected changes in how each of you relate to each other, and just go with the flow rather than trying to make the pack work the way you think it should.


"Go with the flow" does not mean abdicating your role as pack leader, of course. I don't allow either dog to hog any resource, including me. Attempts to do so are met with a dispassionate but unequivocal, brief timeout. But I have been learning to carefully observe the signals both dogs are giving off and try to create new rituals that support whatever pack structure they seem to be most comfortable with.


One thing that has been useful to keep in mind is that the new dog KNOWS his life is changing, so he's much more open to change. After all, he's been bounced through three homes in little more than a month. His brain is actively trying to figure out how to fit into the new situation.


The existing dog still isn't sure whether this is just someone else's pup we are taking care of for a few days or whether he's here to stay. She needs a lot more cues to help her puzzle the situation out. As much as possible I'm trying to provide stability for her. She still gets to ride in the same place in the truck, sleep in the same place, eat in the same place at the same times, etc. The message I'm trying to convey is that nothing has changed, something has merely been added.


I started by following the standard advice to support dog #1's role in the pack structure by feeding her first, etc., but as you can see my job has already morphed into something more subtle, and of course, more interesting and rewarding. In the end, that's exactly why I wanted a second dog. What a remarkable opportunity dogs give us to step away from our human thought patterns and gain a window into how another species perceives and acts.


Hmmmm, perhaps I got a bit carried away with "advice" here. Obviously, I just felt like telling my story to an interested audience. Hope it's of some use, but mainly I wish you well with your new pup.

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Originally posted by Alaska:

I read Hmmmm, perhaps I got a bit carried away with "advice" here. Obviously, I just felt like telling my story to an interested audience. Hope it's of some use, but mainly I wish you well with your new pup.

Not at all, Alaska! You've raised some very significant points. Please keep us updated.


Right now I am so angry and frustrated with the latest development, I'm fit to be tied. It makes me wonder, is it a requirement to be a half-wit in order to work for the city?!


I went to the pound today to spend some time with Boo, then purchased all the supplies he'll need in anticipation of bringing him home tomorrow. When I got back to my office there was a message from my vet's office. It seems they have already treated three dogs from the pound for kennel cough this week. The neuter surgery sceduled for tomorrow has been postponed until a week from Fri. because my vet doesn't want to put a possbily infected dog under anesthesia. Boo was vaccinated and is currently being treated for it at the pound, but the vaccine doesn't become effective for 5 days, and even if by some miracle he doesn't get it, he's still a carrier. So all the effort I've gone to, to introduce his scent to my dogs has now exposed them to kennel cough. I just ran them over to the vet to get vaccinated, but there's still a decent chance they could get it since they have had repeated exposure through me since last Fri. Don't forget, I rubbed a bandana over Boo and brought it home to let them sniff it repeatedly :rolleyes: No one at the pound disclosed that there was kennel cough running through there (although on further consideration, I suppose that should be a given)or that my dog was exposed to and being treated for kennel cough. No one suggested that I need to protect my dogs at home from contamination :mad: .


And not only that, I was supposed to go out of town for one night a week from Sat for the 50th birthday party of one of my best friends. But now, since that's the day after Boo's rescheduled surgery,I'll have to miss it. I asked my vet if we could schedule the surgery for Monday, but since that's Memorial Day, and he won't be there until Wed, Boo would be stuck at the pound for almost an extra week if we did that. As it is, my vet normally doesn't do surgeries on Fridays, but he kindly made an exception just for me.


And coincidently, I found out that one of the three dogs that was brought in to my vet this week for treatment of kennel cough happened to have been the other one I picked up along with Boo. He was adopted out last Tuesday.


Boy, do I regret that I didn't just take both dogs home with me in the first place when I found them, instead of handing them over to the forest rangers to take to the pound. Just had to vent! :mad:

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That is SUPER frustrating. I know all about Kennel Cough. Riven had it when we got her. The pound INSISTED she didnt have it from there. She was there 2 weeks, we took her to the vet the day after we got her so I dont know where else she could have gotten it in 1 day to be coughing and needing 2 antibiotic rounds and cough syrup. :mad: I know ALL about that. Infuriating!!


I hope none of your dogs get it. Its just a pain, but if taken care of properly I think its just like a cold? At least Rivens was.


Good luck.

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Ugh. Zeeke had Kennel Cough when we brought him home from the shelter as well. Luckily it's not a huge deal, and it did clear up.


I really hope everything goes smoothly from now on. I know how horrible waiting is.

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