One Couple + Two Dogs = Our Waldo Bungie

Turk and Ginger: Two Best Friends

July 25th, 2011 | Posted by Emily in Doggies! | Fostering. | Ginger Rogers

A big concern I had about fostering was how Turk and Rufus would react to having another dog in the house…especially a big dog like Ginger.

Before we brought Ginger home, I consulted with a trainer and some of the volunteers at HAHS about the best way to introduce the dogs to each other. After considering their advice, we decided to try the “neutral ground” method. Basically, when you’re going to introduce your dogs to a foster (or any other dogs), always have them meet on neutral ground (like a park or a closed-in tennis court). If possible, take the dogs on a walk together with your dogs walking in front and the new dog walking a few steps behind.

After taking the dogs on a walk together and tiring them out, we brought them into the house and used a baby gate to keep Ginger in the kitchen and away from Turk and Rufus. This way, our dogs could see and smell Ginger – getting used to her presence – without any threat of a fight.

After about 24 hours, we removed the baby gate and allowed the dogs to be around each other – but we kept their leashes on in case things got heated. Rufus seemed completely uninterested in Ginger and went about his business as if nothing had changed. Pretty quickly, Rufus realized Ginger made a perfect nap time buddy…

Turk, on the other hand, he had a tougher time adjusting. He didn’t like it if Ginger tried to go near “his” bed, “his” chair, “his” rug, “his” humans…you get the picture. We had a few heated moments, but eventually, Turk got to the point where he just ignored Ginger – which was fine with me.

Then, before we knew it, Turk realized that Ginger is a perfect partner-in-crime and now there’s no going back…

It is a relief to have them all get along so well – even if I do have to hide all the valuables when Turk and Ginger start rough housing!

If Ginger looks like your kind of girl, please contact HAHS about arranging a meeting.


You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 Both comments and pings are currently closed.

4 Responses

  • avatar Aleksandra says:

    Yay!! I have been checking your blog semi-obsessively for an update, and I’m so thrilled to see how well things are going. We made huge integration strides over the weekend with Chick and Stevie, and can now have them free-range about 80% of the time as long as we walk them first. I still separate them when I’m preparing their food, unavailable to pay attention, or when one of them is feeling extra spunky — better safe than sorry. It’s always such a relief when dogs can sort out the pecking order among themselves without much drama.

    • avatar Emily says:

      Yay for Chick and Stevie! We definitely have to keep Ginger separate from Turk & Rufus when preparing food but it’s been nice to not have to be so worried that a fight will break out at any minute. Honestly, the biggest helper has been a squirt bottle – if we sense things are getting tense, we shoot the squirt bottle at them to break their focus. That is typically all it takes to calm things down again!

  • avatar Kate says:

    Yay! That’s so great they’re getting along!

  • Ah, so glad the intro went well! Also, love Rufus and his awesome name ;o)