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Thread: Need advice about anxious foster dog

  1. #1
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    Default Need advice about anxious foster dog

    We were meant to be fostering a 1yo JRT that is as round as a ball next. But the people who adopted our first foster dog (Fletcher) picked up his sister (Dana) last Sunday with the view of fostering her. Yesterday the young woman sent a distressed message to the local coordinator about Dana bullying her brother and having tried to escape twice (apparently tried to climb up the washing line?) and she was worried that she would hurt Fletcher or herself. So I've been asked to take her.

    I'll try to talk to her previous foster carer, who apparently had seen reactions like that from her. It sounds like she panics when she's in an unfamiliar situation? I kind of recognise that from my old stag x. There's a big chance that the reported bullying is more fear aggression. Her previous foster carer described her as submissive.

    So I think I will need to crate train her for starters. Which I've never done before. But maybe - if she's that freaked out by new environments - I should be cruel to be kind and just lock her in the crate straight after she arrives so she doesn't get a stimulus overload? Will that set me back with the crate training lateron?

    Any advice?

  2. #2
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    No advice Beloz, but that was my first thought too. I will be interested to see what advice you get. Good luck with her

  3. #3
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    The joys of communicating via FB messages. The coordinator made a typo when she wrote "this is the behaviour the previous foster carer reported". She meant to write "isn't"! The carer found the pup really laid back and a big sook. So I've no idea what triggered this behaviour at her new family. But it has made me think about the benefits of letting a new addition adapt slowly. I just feel less nervous about taking on this dog now I know the behaviour seems out of character.

  4. #4
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    So I'll be picking her up at 5 today. I haven't prepared enough. Just struggled through the busiest week of the year. So the house is a bomb site and I haven't even found the time to put away all the dog toys or set up the crate. I asked a friend if she could come over to help me introduce Banjo and Dana properly, but she didn't respond, so I'm somehow going to have to do it on my own. Might tether the pup outside and walk Banjo around and up to her on lead? Don't know if I have an appropriate tether point out the front... This is one of those times when I could've needed a bit of help, but we'll manage.

    I was half hoping that the current carers were going to tell me today that she had calmed down, but they didn't. I'm a little bit miffed that they didn't give it more time before they asked us to take her away again. They'd only had her for 2 days when they gave up! I'm not sure what they expected, but as a foster carer, and especially with pets of your own, you have to expect some hurdles. A baby gate and/or crate can already solve lots of issues. But I'd better not talk before I've assessed this dog's behaviour myself!

  5. #5
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    I'm having a bit of a conversation with myself here. Lol

    I went to pick her up. I walked in to find both siblings lying together in the couch. There was lots of tail wagging. Then the "carer" tells me that their pup just wants to play and his sister reacted to that because she wanted to rest lots. And he adds that that was probably because she was still recovering from an infection after being desexed. In their initial report they told us that this pup "attacked" their pup! So I'm quite annoyed that they gave up on her so quickly. If you only want love at first sight for your own dog, don't foster...

    She had completely stolen my heart by the time we got home.

    Timing was a bit off because the heavy rain spoiled my initial plan to introduce the dogs outside. I messed up a bit there. I put the pup in the crate, but let her out too soon when I saw my dog wagging her tail when she greeted her. But that quickly turned into her usual territorial bitchiness. We'll manage somehow...

    Oh and the pup's collar was way too tight and she was skinny and starving.
    Last edited by Beloz; 11-08-2013 at 05:42 PM.

  6. #6
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    I'm listening Beloz

    I don't have much of value to say, but I'm following the thread with interest. Poor pup has been moved around a bit, but hopefully now she'll settle in your capable hands - even thrive. I hope Banjo ends up loving her too

    How did she go in the crate? Even if it was for a short time...

  7. #7
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    She's such a happy little thing. But extremely hungry. Now I've looked at her more closely, she's not overly skinny. I'd better check when she was last wormed, but they usually keep their worming up to date. So not sure where this ravenous appetite comes from.

    Her and Banjo just had a very wild play for half an hour. It started with wrestling on the bed and went to zoomies through the house, around the yard and back. Until Banjo told her she had had enough and now they're both resting.

    And there has been an enquiry about her already. It will be best if I don't keep this one too long or I won't be able to let go, I reckon.

  8. #8
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    How's the foster pup going Beloz? Did you end up starting with crate-training her?

    You gonna keep her?

  9. #9
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    No, haven't got round to create training. Again. I just don't feel very confident about it because I haven't done it before. And my dog gets to lie on furniture and the bed, so we do same rules for all.

    The foster pup went missing today. Came home from work to find my dog sitting at the front door. No sign of the pup inside or out. After calling the rspca and the pound someone let me know that she had been dropped off at the nearest vet. Someone had found her in the street behind ours, sheltering from the rain under the eves of am unfinished house, looking scared and miserable. I have brand new 6 foot fences, no gaps under them (I double checked today) and I fixed the latch on the gate a few weeks ago and it locks very securely. The only way those dogs could have gotten out is if someone opened the gate or front door for them. So time to buy a padlock, methinks.

    She is very likeable. I will be very sad when she gets adopted but am not ready for a foster failure because that would mean the end of fostering. She is also very annoying in a way that only pups can be. Lol

  10. #10

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    Oh ‘Beloz’ – I would have absolutely flipped out if I had come home to what you did today.

    Is this foster pup micro-chipped ? If not – then why not ? You were very lucky that someone knew where the pup was and told you !

    Crate training can wait until you are comfortable with it. It is really only good for - in your house – not when the pups are outside.

    I don’t know what sort of fencing you have – you said 6 foot - but at a guess – new house, new estate, covenants = wooden fencing.

    Wooden fencing in this situation is the pits. It is normally cheaply done – and if you have just recently had to fix the latch – then yes- a padlock on the gate is a necessity.

    I would also put a latch about a quarter of the way up the gate from the ground level. That really is the only way to make sure the gate is totally secure.

    As far as someone letting the dogs out - don't dismiss the fact of how smart pups can be with opening gate latches. If it is something like this:

    gate latch.jpg

    Then it is very easy for pups to work it out ! GSPs can do it without even thinking about it ! I don't know why you mentioned your front door – I would hope that it would have been locked with a key !

    So tomorrow morning – I would be tying up the gate with everything that I had to make sure it was totally pup proof !

    Good Luck !

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