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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-03-2012, 09:14 PM Thread Starter
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Helping Rescue adjust to New Forever Home

Hi Y'all! I'm planning to bring Fonzi home on Saturday morning and would love any and all suggestions about helping him adjust to his new home and also helping Lila (my somewhat ornery 12.5 year old Bichon) adjust to Fonzi "invading" her turf. Lila has lived with a cat, until he died 2 years ago, but never another dog.

Also, any ideas about specific products or "stuff" I should have for him and/or Lila, would be great. I already have leash/harness/tag/food/treats/Natures Miracle/Crate/brushes and combs/shampoo and a new bed is on order.

Fonzi is around 2 and prior to being in foster care with rescue was left at a 98% kill shelter, so his early history is unknown. When picked up he was dirty but not a total mess, has a calm personality, and does not appear to have been abused. He is reported to get along well with other dogs in his foster home and is partially crate trained. He was neutered about 2 weeks ago. He lifted his leg 2x while we were in PetSmart on Sunday, so I've already got a belly band ready for him until we get the potty thing under control.

Tuesday Fonzi and I meet with a trainer to start working on beginning stuff before starting a basic obedience class. I also have a "well check" scheduled with the vet.

Thanks so much for your feedback!



Laura from Georgia


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& Fonzi, the Havanese/Tibetan Terrier Rescue
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-04-2012, 03:14 AM
Camellia Camelo and Carol
 
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At this hour, I can only make the briefest remarks; back much later, I hope, maybe with more detail.

You're asking a lot of a 12.5-year-old Bichon to accept a new dog in the hous, especially since she's never lived with another dog before. I"d keep that in mind. How is Lila's health; is it good? If so, that will help.

Do you have another person (or more) in the household? Sorry I don't remember if you've said so.

I'd make every effort to have the dogs meet away from inside your house, and to introduce them at a distance from each other to begin with; then to close the distance gradually, as the dogs (both) seem to accept that easily. Might be best away from the house; for instance, take Lila with you when you go to pick up Fonzi. Which then puts you in the position of having both dogs in the car! Best, then, if you have another human in the car as well, unless you have individual crates, one for each dog, in the car.

I'm not doing so well here; sorry. It's possible, or maybe even likely, that Fonzi would be interested in Lila; I'm not sure the reverse would be true.

I'd see to it that Lila has her safe area where you wouldn't encourage Fonzi to use Lila's stuff, but give him his similar stuff at a distance from Lila.

Let's call Lila Senior Resident, and Fonzi, Junior Resident. Things will be easier, I believe, because they are of opposite sex.

In principle, both dogs should get the same needs met about the same time, but Senior Resident gets hers met first, then Junior Resident, right after that. The idea is, similar, but separated from each other to some extent.

You could even confine Fonzi to some area of his own in the house; don't, then, let it be one Lila particularly likes and uses. Things will be easier, I trust, outdoors.

I'd at least make sure the dogs meet outdoors before you take them both into the house.

Have lots and lots of tiny, tiny, high-value (to the dogs) treats handy, and use them judiciously at the crucial times.

I like to feed both dogs at once to begin with; if you have two people, great; if not, you presumably have two hands.

Later, as the dogs gain confidence (especially, Lila, learning Fonzi isn't going to take over her place), you can say, "One for Lila"; (feed); then, "One for Fonzi"; (feed). I like to have the dogs sit for this ritual.

If they're not too distracted (and they may be), you could do that outside first, before bringing the dogs into the house.

Outside, it's good to have a handler for each dog, and walk parallel; you can go back and forth to gain walking distance. When you allow them closer to each other, move in arcs, not directly at the other dog.

See the works of Turid Rugaas; you might still have time to order the book and DVD, say, from Amazon, on calming signals before you go to get Fonzi.

http://www.coherentdog.org/vek/stressdown.php

Hope I can be more coherent after more sleep!

Wed, 4 Apr 2012 01:13:36 (PDT)

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-04-2012, 07:47 AM
Michele and Sergio
 
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I would purchase a wooden pin brush and a metal fine tooth comb for grooming. Many Havanese owners like to use Chris Christensen grooming tools. And a spray bottle for 1/4 conditioner and water to spray in his coat before brushing or combing.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-04-2012, 11:31 AM
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I introduced all of my new residents into the mix right in my own home, though most people tell you this won't work. I did have a safe area for the new dog (crate and ex-pen) and except for supervised moments, had them in the same area, but with the ability to retreat to their own space.

Just give it a little time for them to acclimate to each other. My older ones were much older and set in their ways when Milo joined the pack. Annoying though a puppy can be, my older girls, especially Cagney, were wonderful surrogate mothers as time went by.

I always expect the new one to be accepted into the group and after a period of adjustment (usually under two weeks), it has worked out that way.

You must be so excited awaiting Fonzi's arrival. I look forward to it right along with you.

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-04-2012, 12:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pjewel View Post
I introduced all of my new residents into the mix right in my own home, though most people tell you this won't work. I did have a safe area for the new dog (crate and ex-pen) and except for supervised moments, had them in the same area, but with the ability to retreat to their own space.

Just give it a little time for them to acclimate to each other. My older ones were much older and set in their ways when Milo joined the pack. Annoying though a puppy can be, my older girls, especially Cagney, were wonderful surrogate mothers as time went by.

I always expect the new one to be accepted into the group and after a period of adjustment (usually under two weeks), it has worked out that way.

You must be so excited awaiting Fonzi's arrival. I look forward to it right along with you.
I wish people wouldn't say it won't work! It CAN work as obviously, you have proven! I think how well it works depends on the Human-Parent's experience in observing their dogs, and on available space, and preparation with dogs having their own areas to retreat to. In some ways, I think it may be easier if you already have more than one dog, when you bring a new one in; that is, your current dogs are already accustomed to having others around.

Certainly I'm hoping Lila can accept Fonzi without too much difficulty.

Oh, let's see; some other tips. If Lila likes toys, and has some around, I'd pick them up, and perhaps have a few NEW toys (new to Lila, of course), you can put down after Fonzi has arrived. And if you have areas where you can keep Lila and Fonzi confined apart from each other, Lila could have HER toys in HER area, and Fonzi could have a couple of new ones in his.

If you can give Lila MORE attention than she is used to having after Fonzi arrives, and give Fonzi any needed attention, that should help too.

You won't know ahead, I think, if Fonzi guards food, so I'd plan to feed the two dogs apart from each other, feeding at the same time, and putting Lila's food down first; then Fonzi's right away after that. And reverse that when picking up empty (we hope!) food dishes. And have two water bowls, just-in-case. (It's probably a good idea to do that anyway, but dogs can often share water-bowls. I always had two for my two dogs, but they would sometimes share.

The most useful thing to do is to base your decisions and handling on what the dogs do!

Wed, 4 Apr 2012 10:16:35 (PDT)

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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-05-2012, 08:09 AM
Michele and Sergio
 
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Fonzi is more an adult age dog, not a puppy, so he won't have those "annoying" but cute puppy antics with your more senior dog. I don't think that senior dogs enjoy being around puppies because of mis-matched energy levels. Let Fonzi be his playful Havanese self and burn off that energy during play, if their energy levels are different.

Also, my dog, and I've read other Havanese, tend to prefer stuffed fabric squeaky toys, not the latex kind. I tried the Skineez without stuffing. He really likes stuffed toys. And the squeakier the stuffed toy, the better!! Don't be surprised when Fonzi "kills" a toy and shakes it around with his head like a wild thing!! And he will like to show you his RLH skills.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-06-2012, 09:18 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks, everyone, for all of your suggestions. I'm going out today to get another baby gate to help confine Fonzi some during the transition period.

Carol, your ideas about "senior" and "junior" resident are awesome and much appreciated. I will definitely be mindful, especially during feeding time, since we don't know how they'll react yet.

I already have Chris Christianson shampoo and a brush for my Bichon and wonder if that will work for havanese hair too? I have one of the "oblong pin brushes" for Lila.

As for questions, I live in an apt, so it's not superroomy, but I have enough space and baby gates to separate the two as needed. Fonzi will go into the less desirable space while Lila continues to have free roam of all other areas.

I am the only human at home right now, so walking separately will be a challenge, but we'll figure it out. (Hoping to move into a house with my significant other in the next 6 months, but that is another story.)

Thanks again, to all. I will be sure to keep you updated and share photos of how it all goes tomorrow. Y'all are great and very helpful folks, so glad I found you.



Laura from Georgia


DogMom to Lila, the Bichon Frise Rescue
& Fonzi, the Havanese/Tibetan Terrier Rescue
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-06-2012, 09:51 AM
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I'll be watching and cheering you on! The baby gates should help a lot!

I guess tomorrow is the big day! I'll be thinking of you and both your dogs!

Fri, 6 Apr 2012 07:51:19 (PDT)

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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-06-2012, 12:49 PM
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Great advice so far. Good for you for getting the trainer and planned classes in line. First impressions are important for when they meet. Discuss this with your trainer. Always benefitial with wide age discrepancy to have their own separate private areas. Here's three articles on this ... Adding a second dog Pat Miller http://www.thebark.com/content/bringing-home-second-dog

http://blogs.dogster.com/dog-trainin...d-dog/2010/12/

http://www.dogstardaily.com/blogs/bringing-home-bella

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Member of IAABC ,International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants , Member of Pet Professional Guild
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-06-2012, 03:26 PM
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Good articles, Dave. I read them all. Very well-done - and very accurate, if you ask me!

Fri, 6 Apr 2012 13:26:16 (PDT)

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