I'm hoping someone can give me some suggestions/advice. Due to family circumstances my nephew is moving in with us next weekend at very short notice. We have two dogs - Ruby 2 years old, and Fink our 10 month old pup. Nephew has not been brought up with any animals at all (not even goldfish!) so it will be a new experience for him.
My question lies with Ruby, our rescue dog. Nephew has only met Ruby twice in 18 months. She was 8 months old when we rescued her from the PAA animal shelter. She has security and trust issues with people and places she is unfamiliar with. Our attempts to socialize her were thwarted by her extreme fear of being any place she doesn't know (and we don't have a wide circle of friends to have plenty of people come and visit us) - and yes, I know socialization is uber important and this was not ideal for her. However as a result, we have a 2 year old dog who is the most loving, docile, nutty dog in our home.. until someone walks in that she doesn't know. Then she will back off barking with hackles up. If they ignore her, she will sit with me after a while and watch them, however any sudden movement sets off a growling hackles up fit. The growling concerns me more than the barking - it comes across as more menacing.
When we have had my older son (lives overseas, LOVES animals and has always been brought up with them) to stay before, I woke up on the third morning to find Ruby snuggled in bed with him and I have every confidence Ruby will accept Nephew in time. What I would like help with is suggestions on the best way to ease the transition from our home as Ruby knows it (me, my youngest son, Fink - who loves EVERYone, numerous birds and gold fish) to a home that has another adult male full time.
So far ( and please tell me if I'm misguided!) my thoughts are that:
1) Nephew should ignore Ruby completely initially
2) No eye contact with her at all for the first few days
3) Do not back her into a corner where she feels she can't get away
4) Nephew can feed dogs morning and night if it would help (??)
The first two days are weekend days so they will not be left alone together at any point in time, however on the Monday I will be at work and I'm unsure (due to the nature of his job) whether youngest son will be home that day. Nephew has two weeks off work after the move-in weekend so will be around Ruby constantly. All of it is the less than ideal situation!!!
If anyone can give any thoughts, suggestions, etc to how best to ease the situation I would hugely appreciate your help. I apologize for the long post, but wanted to give as much info as I could.