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Question from New-At-Fostering

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Well the new foster dog seems to be doing ok. He's very confused, and will take some time, but I think he has potential to be a really good dog.

One thing, though.....Jester has his nose seriously out of joint. The minute he saw me get out of the truck with this dog he had the scene figured out, and the look on his face was something else. Within 5 minutes he'd gone for the new boy, and I have never before seen him attack another dog like that without serious provocation. No harm was done; he quit as soon as I yelled NO, and the foster dog did not reciprocate.


But now Jester isn't eating. Not a bite since thursday (I brought home the foster dog on Friday). I make sure Jes goes through the door and gate first, gets fed first, gets preferential treatment, gets the treat first, the water first when we were hiking yesterday. But he's still very put out. I don't blame him, but should I worry if he doesn't start eating soon? I wish I could just explain to him that the red dog is *temporary*.!

- D'Elle, a somewhat worried brand new Foster Mom

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I've never had any of my dogs go off their food because a new foster dog came into the house but I can't really think he would starve himself just because he's feeling put out.


One thing I do though with fosters, is contain them to either a kennel, or a part of the yard, specific part of the house, so that my dogs do not have their own space violated right from the get go. It's also helpful for the new dog as he's not immediately either attacked, or played with til he drops. I pull my dogs from the local shelter so they come to me pretty stressed out and appreciate some quiet time.


As they all settle in, then the foster dogs can get more and more space but it's quite gradual and actually very natural. Within a couple weeks, they're generally all playing and have established their own boundaries.


So, maybe you could try establishing some boundaries for Jester that the new foster dog cannot violate until Jester is ready. And of course alone time with Jester. If he doesn't begin to eat soon, I'd see a vet.


They don't know temporary, though it would be nice. :rolleyes:



Good luck with both of them.


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As bonded as I know Jes is to you I can imagine he is wigged out. Rob was the same way when Briar first came into the house and moving into the new place with Buddy. Lot's of special attention and his own space respected should help. It did for Robbers.


We need to see a picture of the Red Man. Give Jester a hug for me and tell him what a wonderful dog he is! I miss watching him play frisbee at the rescue days!



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You mentioned that your pup stopped eating before the foster dog came into the picture - that concerns me more than after would've since how could he have predicted the newcomer coming?? If it were my dog, I'd be watching him closely for signs of illness.

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Jester stopped eating on the day that the Red Dog arrived, not before. Finally last night he ate some, but not all, of his dinner. That was not eating for almost a week! I think that he is just very put out although he is so good natured that he is not taking it out on the foster dog. Still, I worry. I got him to eat by coddling him and holding the dish for him and coaxing, but of course do not want to make a habit of that. He has inside-the-house time in the evening with me and without the foster dog, but all day is in the yard with the other dog. No way to make a segregation without building a fence across the yard which I cannot do. I am trying to give Jes lots of attention but have limited time, and the foster dog needs attention as well. I am just not sure what to do for Jes. He's such a great dog and I hate to see him upset, but I want to be a foster home and so this probably will not be the only time I bring one home. Jes thinks that now he has to share me forever, and I feel bad about that.


Thanks for the comments, and if anyone has anything further that might help please feel free.

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My older dog will actually growl at me and avoid me if I do not spend specific play time and training time with her every single day.


I know you are spending time with Jes each day, but my advice would be to make sure you are totally focused on him for his time. You probably are, but make a big deal out of it. Teach him something new, maybe.


My older dog seems to do better if, when I am doing individual things with the dogs, for her to go second instead of first. Then she does not get my attention and then sit in her crate. I put her in her crate first, go out with Kipp, and, then come in with Kipp and put him in his crate so I can have time with Tess.


You might experiment a bit and see if maybe 3 times of 5 minutes each works better, or the timing of who goes first, or if Jes needs a solid block of time each day with you, at the exact same time... ?? My dogs I can vary it a bit but once we have a routine, everyone expects it to be the same, and if I don't stick with the routine, Tess (the older one) gets all huffy about it.


The priority, I think, is to make sure you do right by Jes. He will likely adjust to having dogs come in and out as long as he can count on having his same time or times with you every single day so he knows when to expect it.


I incorporated Kipp into my life and Tess's life by making space for him in the routine before he arrived. A little late for you to do that now, but perhaps in the future you could prepare Jes for other foster dogs with a little prep of routine change beforehand.


Allie + Tess & Kipp

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Thanks so much for this suggestion, Allie. I think it's a good idea to set a routine that Jes can count on, and will do my best to do that. I do want to take in foster dogs regularly, so I want him to get to where it is just old hat with him and he feels comfortable knowing that HE is my dog forever and nothing could change that bond. I have been spending time loving on him (which normally he isn't much interested in) and he is eating again (with canned food added, to spoil him a bit), so I think things will be OK. And I have a good prospect of a home for our Red boy, too!

Thanks again


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