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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This may not be the right place to be asking this question, but here goes. We may be taking in an 8 year old red girl and we're wondering what advice does anyone have to help make the integration go smoothly? We really don't want a 4th dog, but we don't want to see the dog spend any more time in a kennel at the vets office. She needs to go to a forever home. Our canine kids are: 1-10 year old Border Collie, 1-5 year old Anatolian Shepherd and 1-6 year old Dobie. All spayed females. The dog in need is also a spayed female.

Thank you for your help.
 

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Do very slow introductions. Keep the new girl in an ex-pen or gated away from your existing dogs for up to 2 weeks if needed. This allows everyone to get used to each other without overwhelming the new dog. After I see how a foster is with my guys through the gate, I start with very supervised meetings with one or 2 of mine starting with the oldest and most tolerant until the foster can be mingled with the whole crew.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you for your replies.
EmilyB, what was your experience?
Wish us luck. I'm going to see if we can get the girl out of "jail" tomorrow.
 

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We brought in another rescue girl when Stormy was around six. Stormy had been a rescue as well. I should add that we are not a foster home, so dogs are not coming and going.

We totally fell in love with Priscilla, and unfortunately she had health problems that involved spending a lot of time with her at vets etc. Stormy's behavior went downhill over the three years we had P. We took her to the vet constantly to assess behavior problems.

Priscilla was the matriarch I guess, being just slightly older than Stormy.

Now, that Priscilla has gone to the bridge, Stormy has become a happy, puppy girl again.

Now this is probably just these two particular dogs, but I'd never do it to my Storm girl again.

Had a GSD at the time, so it wasn't just the girls.

I know many people whose dobes just bond up, but it didn't work out that way for us.
 

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I'll think you'll get better response in this forum, so I've moved your thread.

I would keep everyone separate and take it really slow. After a few days, separate with just a baby gate so they can see each other. If no one has resource guarding issues and there's enough space between them, everyone can get really yummy, high value treats when the new dog is visible and everyone can see each other. Build positive associations to each other before they ever interact.
 

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I think what helps also for your dogs at home is taking a handkerchief or something and getting some of the smell of the dog your bringing.g home on the materiel and then bring it home so the dogs at home can get familiar with her smell. And maybe vise versa for the for the rescue girl. Just a thought, I Used to put something of mine in my dogs crates whenever they were going away for a few days so that they have a little comfort.
 
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I agree with everyone saying take it slow. When we bring a new foster in I usually don't introduce them to Rowan for at least a week if not 2. I like to give the new dog a chance to settle in and start to get to know them. I start by letting one be out and sniff the other in the crate, and vice versa. Then move to baby gates, then we do walks together, so they are on neutral territory. Once I trust them and have seen them interact without a barrier I will let them be free in a controlled environment (I always make sure SO is home and am watching carefully, redirecting any behavior that starts to escalate).

You just have to kind of play it by ear depending on the reactions you get. I only have one dog, so introducing to the whole group may take more time and caution. I also try to make sure that everything we do in our routine Rowan goes first--first to go out, first to be fed, etc. He is used to having dogs come and go but I want to make sure everyone is clear that he was here first and our routine is not going to change....too much. ;)

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you, MeadowCat, for moving the thread.

I guess an update is in order.

This is a first for us. We've never "rescued" a dog before. Yesterday,I took a friend with me to help with the dog and I took our Dobie so they could meet each other and we could judge the reaction. This is a vet we've used for 30 years and have a very relaxed relationship with the office. We walked into the back room and they brought "Brie" out to meet our "Quincy". They immediately wanted to play. After a visit with the vets and the vet techs, we packed up and drove home. Quincy in front with me, my friend and Brie in the back.

We don't live in the city. We're farmers and the working dogs are always free to come up and see what is going on. They greeted us with tails wagging. Brie was not intimidated at all. We know this is not the right way to do things , but we had no issues. What a relief. We are keeping them somewhat separate by putting Brie in a fenced yard by herself and we supervise her activity. She's having a great time, but she gets sore and wants back inside after a while. This morning my husband opened the gate and she ran right past him to the house to be let in. She has her blanket we gave her and she's already claimed it and lays on it at our feet. She acts like she's arrived.

Brie is recovering from a badly broken leg and is on 3 legs. Very, very thin. She couldn't possibly weigh 40 pounds. No sheen to her hair. Unless there is some kind of terrible behavior change, it looks like gaining weight and healing from the broken leg are the challenges we face. We're going to continue to turn her out in the fenced yard by herself for quite a while, but she gets to interact with the others on her way to and from the yard and with the other Dobie in the house.

We're going to enjoy the journey.
 
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