There is a 9 month old lab here at the local APS that my wife and I are trying to adopt. He was not allowed visitors for a couple weeks since we first saw him on their web site but was finally allowed yesterday. He is a very very sweet dog and great lookin guy too. There is a problem and something I have never had to deal with. He is very scared and nervous there at the shelter (the reason he was not allowed visitors). I get the feeling he was not treated well at his last home and never been around other dogs. The APS believes that he was never allowed inside the house and being in the shelter he is confused and scared.
I have an almost 2yr old lab and a 10yr old mutt. Our lab is very well trained and is SO good with other dogs and the 10yr old could care less if other dogs are there or not. What is the best was to bring this dog into our home? I don't want him to be scared of our home or dogs. Should I keep them separate for a couple days? Should I let them meet away from our home? I just want everything to go smooth and him to feel comfortable here.
I'd first have him (the new dog) meet your dogs, one at a time, on a neutral ground - a good shelter will require this, actually. (Do you know a local trainer? It would be worth paying them for an hour of their time to watch the interaction and give you their opinion). Was the dog in quarantine because it had bitten someone or another dog? If so, I'd recommend you give him a pass - although he could probably be rehabbed, it will take lots of time and work with a trainer.
If he gets along well with your guys, I'd bring him home and allow him to interact - if your two are too rambunctious and overwhelm him, then seperate them except for controlled, supervised visits.- otherwise, let them interact freely. Let him tell you what he can handle and what he can't - never, ever force a scared dog to do something he's unwilling to do.
Our first rescue, Buster, came from a home where he spent 90% of his day in the yard or garage according to his surrender papers. He didn't seem to have much experience with other dogs either. His foster mom had a pack of 13" beagles and she kept them in a separate run. We were asked to bring our dog with us when we met Buster and they sniffed each other and then explored the yard together.
I would say introduce everybody on neutral ground and see how they interact. I have a friend who fosters a lot of dogs who swears by taking everybody for a walk first thing. We have always introduced new dogs to the pack in the backyard but nobody is possessive or protective of that area. Watch and see how the new dog reacts and don't force anything. He could react out of just being scared. Give him time to adjust.
Rusty, Blaze & Buster Brown
BJ - 3/9/2007 - 2/6/12 - miss you everyday
Boomer - ? - 3/15/12 - always in my heart
His owners had dropped him off deciding they did not want him. The lady working with him says its almost as if he is scared of the floor at the shelter. Finds it hard to walk on? Not too sure whats going on there. They say that he is friendly and has never bitten anyone but just has some issues with getting out to the play area on his own (they don't want to force/carry him out there) He becomes very nervous about half way there. I plan on taking him to the trainer I used with Davis soon as I get him or once he feels like he can trust me.
Edit: Ahh, A walk first thing sounds like a great Idea.
The shelter is a scary place for a lot of dogs. Could be he will have no problems at all once he is out of that environment...I've seen dogs that are terrified in the shelter and a totally different dog outside ...... good luck and keep us all posted. Thank you for giving a rescue a second chance!
Quick story here...
We have had our Mutt for 10 years and I have always been a dog person. My wife also. But... Since we got our lab my wife has turned so emotional about dogs and so have I. I have no idea why but someone said on this forum somewhere "Labs change your heart" (sorry I don't know who it was) This statement has never been so true. True enough that when My wife is finished with her masters I plan on changing my career geared to animals. Except cats (is that bad? lol)
So neutral grounds and a good walk seem to be a great start.
Good luck with everything. I volenteered at our HS for a while walking the dogs a few times a week. There were several that were just so scared there but were so friendley. Most of the time if you could get them outside away from all the noise there were much better. Hopefully he will be the same way.
I think a neutral meeting and just watch them when you do get them home if he seems overwhelmed seperate them and give him a break.
When I first brought Duke home, he had many phobias, though he wasn't from a shelter. Mitzi and Judy had a calming effect on him. He had no trouble adjusting to the house or a new dog family. It took some time before he overcame most of his fears. I'm guessing that you will have no trouble at all.
I completely agree with the "go on a walk immediately" concept.
I've been doing this each time we introduce a new dog to the crew. Luckily, we have lots of open space around the house, so nobody needs to be on a leash. After the initial introduction, and the inevitable butt sniffing/ruffled hair dance, we herd everyone up the road for a nice long walk.
That enables lots of off-leash freedom, and non-threatening activity. That ice-breaker activity has become the standard at our home, and we do the same thing when friends bring their dogs over for a visit. Seems like a walk is a great opportunity to work out the sassies and for everyone to have fun on neutral territory.
That is wonderful of you to give that dog a home. Could be he is just terrified of the shelter environmet. A meeting on neutral ground would probably be best. Once away from the shelter...his attitude may change.
Oh & my 5 year old Molly still does not like walking on a tile floor. She is very skittish about that & nothing else....go figure. So maybe the floor is scary to him also. Good luck. Please keep us posted.