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Ouch (the not-so-fun side of fostering)

December 20th, 2011 | Posted by Emily in Blog Love | Bumming Out | Doggies! | Fostering. | Ginger Rogers | Goal Setting | Overly dramatic | Super serious. | Turk's Takeover

I contemplated whether or not I even wanted to do this post.  I don’t want to reinforce any negative stereotypes about pit bulls and I’m certainly not keen to share something that makes me seem like the kind of dog owner who doesn’t have complete control over my pets. But after much consideration, I decided to share because I know that other people have experienced this and I made a commitment to share both the ups and the downs of fostering. So, here it goes…


Our best friends Nate & Deanna came over for cookie decorating and a Christmas movie (Elf…my favorite) on Saturday night. Around 10:30, the evening was winding down and Daniel was showing them some of Ginger’s tricks. Turk had been sitting nearby. Suddenly, Turk jumped on Ginger and started biting…hard. Daniel pulled them apart quickly, but it was apparent something was wrong. I checked Ginger for wounds (she didn’t fight back), and noticed she was bleeding pretty badly from her ear. Turk had bitten a hole in the thin flap of her ear. Immediately, we got Ginger into the car and rushed her to the nearest emergency vet clinic. 2 hours and $300 later, Ginger emerged with six stitches in her ear and a staple in her neck from a wound I didn’t notice until we got in the car.

The next day, Turk seemed desperate to be sweet with us and to inspect Ginger in the new contraption surrounding her head (e-collar). It seemed as if he knew we were mad at him because of what he did to Ginger. Honestly, I was mad at him, but more angry at myself because I know that Turk didn’t just jump on Ginger for no reason. There is a reason, and it is probably our fault. Daniel knew better than to have treats out when having Ginger perform tricks. We have known that is a trigger and have been very careful to eliminate treats and toys when both dogs are out, just as a precaution. So the only thing I can figure is that Turk’s trigger is….us. I don’t think he likes it when Ginger is the recipient of our attention instead of him. This is strange because Turk doesn’t seem to have issues with our friend’s dogs or Rufus (although they did get into it a couple times when we first brought Turk home). I guess what I am trying to say is, Turk isn’t an inherently aggressive dog…he’s just aggressive with Ginger when it comes to us. This is bad because I want Ginger to live in a safe environment and I want to continue fostering, so aggressiveness on Turk’s part just isn’t going to fly. Kate from Twenty-Six to Life mentioned checking out Nothing in Life is Free, so we’re going to try that for awhile to see how it works. I also think it might be a good idea to try the tiedown method that Aleks mentioned awhile back – maybe Turk’s issue is that Ginger has free reign of the house? I don’t know. Does anyone else have any suggestions of things to try to work on Turk’s aggression towards Ginger?

I guess the upside to this incident is that we are finally going to address Turk’s issues so he can be a better foster brother in the future…and…Ginger’s antics with her e-collar have been pretty funny. We bought her a Comfy Cone on Sunday because her staple is right along her collar line, so the plastic e-collar was irritating it.


Very quickly, she figured out how to use her cone to her advantage…she figured out how to slam doors with it, how to use it as a built-in pillow, and most interestingly, she figured out that she could scare the crap out of her foster mama. She used the cone to completely envelop my face while I was napping, so I woke up to total darkness except for Ginger’s wet nose and piercing eyes. She’s done it to me twice now, both times were equally terrifying! And I swear, I saw her smile after!

So, Ginger is fine. Her stitches will be out in a week and she doesn’t seem emotionally scarred from the whole thing (that’s more Daniel and I who are), and we’re taking it as a wake-up call to be more careful and to really address Turk’s issues with Ginger. Am I the only one who has a dog who doesn’t want to a good foster brother/sister? Suggestions? I’m all ears!

 

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53 Responses

  • avatar Corbin says:

    I know what a terrifying exerience this can be -we had a close call 2 weeks ago with Brookie, thankfully leashes were on. Corbin has learned more and more with each foster we bring home. He used to be crazy hyper and try to play 24/7, he’s a little calmer now and will actually lay down and nap with a foster, but that took about 6 foster sisters. However, he does have a “2 week limit” for fosters. He’s great with them, then like a light switch, decides he needs to sit inbetween the foster and his parents, or he’ll sit in our foster crate and refuse to come out. We’ve noticed the longer we’ve kept fosters, the more irritated he gets with having another dog in the house. Thankfully it hasn’t come to an aggressive trait, but you can definitely see his change in personality. Wishing you guys the best of luck with Turk. And don’t beat yourselves up over it… mistakes happen and at least no one was seriously hurt!
    -Corbin’s momma Jenn

    • avatar Emily says:

      Jen, I think you’re right. Turk seemed okay with Ginger for a long time, but it seems like after the second time her adoption fell through, that was when the switch flipped and he started being really protective of us. So strange. Glad to hear Corbin is better – that gives me hope for Turkey.

  • avatar Corbin says:

    I know what a terrifying exerience this can be -we had a close call 2 weeks ago with Brookie, thankfully leashes were on. Corbin has learned more and more with each foster we bring home. He used to be crazy hyper and try to play 24/7, he’s a little calmer now and will actually lay down and nap with a foster, but that took about 6 foster sisters. However, he does have a “2 week limit” for fosters. He’s great with them, then like a light switch, decides he needs to sit inbetween the foster and his parents, or he’ll sit in our foster crate and refuse to come out. We’ve noticed the longer we’ve kept fosters, the more irritated he gets with having another dog in the house. Thankfully it hasn’t come to an aggressive trait, but you can definitely see his change in personality. Wishing you guys the best of luck with Turk. And don’t beat yourselves up over it… mistakes happen and at least no one was seriously hurt!
    -Corbin’s momma Jenn

    • avatar Emily says:

      Jen, I think you’re right. Turk seemed okay with Ginger for a long time, but it seems like after the second time her adoption fell through, that was when the switch flipped and he started being really protective of us. So strange. Glad to hear Corbin is better – that gives me hope for Turkey.

  • avatar Anita says:

    Oh Emily, I feel your pain. A couple of years ago Maize bit through Pugs ear after she couldnt handle his harrassment anymore. Pug is pretty food aggressive for example last night we were all on the sofa and I took a bite of cheesecake and as I brought the cake to my mouth I saw Pug lunge at Maize I was lucky enough to stop him in time. I can’t have certain toys out unless they are seperated and same with treats. They got in to a squabble on Sunday over treats. I have heard of NILF and it seems very helpful, same with tiedown. I dont have any suggestions, I just wanted to let you know that I feel your pain and I am here for support. And you’re right through the bad comes the good in that you want to start addressing Turks issues.

  • avatar Anita says:

    Oh Emily, I feel your pain. A couple of years ago Maize bit through Pugs ear after she couldnt handle his harrassment anymore. Pug is pretty food aggressive for example last night we were all on the sofa and I took a bite of cheesecake and as I brought the cake to my mouth I saw Pug lunge at Maize I was lucky enough to stop him in time. I can’t have certain toys out unless they are seperated and same with treats. They got in to a squabble on Sunday over treats. I have heard of NILF and it seems very helpful, same with tiedown. I dont have any suggestions, I just wanted to let you know that I feel your pain and I am here for support. And you’re right through the bad comes the good in that you want to start addressing Turks issues.

  • Brave post, Em. Here’s hoping some Pitty Posse peeps can offer some sound advice!

  • Brave post, Em. Here’s hoping some Pitty Posse peeps can offer some sound advice!

  • **Sigh** this happened to us just a few weeks ago…It’s scary, and easy to blame yourself. We’ve had to become a “no toy” household as well because Oscar is so possessive around Kaylee, possessive with his toys and possessive with us. If we so much as start to scratch her big floppy ears, Oscar is right there, nosing his way inbetween us. I know it’s party our fault because we allow it, and, like you with Turk, we know this is an issue we’re going to have to address. But how???

    I think how to work with your forever dog is a subject that’s overlooked sometimes when talking about fostering, but it’s really important. I am totally with you in this inquiry, because we’d love to keep fostering too, and Oscar really is such a great role model and usually LOVES other dogs, but we think he’s just becoming jealous.

    I’ll definitely share any tips I get, and I’ll be watching for yours too! Hang in there, and don’t beat yourself up!

  • **Sigh** this happened to us just a few weeks ago…It’s scary, and easy to blame yourself. We’ve had to become a “no toy” household as well because Oscar is so possessive around Kaylee, possessive with his toys and possessive with us. If we so much as start to scratch her big floppy ears, Oscar is right there, nosing his way inbetween us. I know it’s party our fault because we allow it, and, like you with Turk, we know this is an issue we’re going to have to address. But how???

    I think how to work with your forever dog is a subject that’s overlooked sometimes when talking about fostering, but it’s really important. I am totally with you in this inquiry, because we’d love to keep fostering too, and Oscar really is such a great role model and usually LOVES other dogs, but we think he’s just becoming jealous.

    I’ll definitely share any tips I get, and I’ll be watching for yours too! Hang in there, and don’t beat yourself up!

  • I know I already said it, but that must have been so scary. I’m really sorry that happened. I’m glad neither of them were seriously hurt.

    After reading the full story, it does seem like the best/easiest way to manage them is to not use treats when they’re both around. I can see how everyone got caught up in showing Ginger off for company though. I think NILIF (and tie-downs) would probably help, but long-term the best solution may just be to avoid the situation all together (and it sounds like you already plan on doing that anyway). We have a similar issue with Kongs in our house. They are the one thing that I could see the dogs getting in a scuffle over, so we only give them Kongs when they are separated and/or closely supervised. It’s a pain in the butt sometimes (especially when I’m going around the house picking up so many Kongs! haha) but it’s also the easiest way to manage the situation. For what it’s worth, Mel gets especially possessive of Kongs when foster dogs are around so Turk isn’t the only one who’s jerky to foster dogs sometimes, haha.

    I’m glad Ginger is going to be okay. I lol’d at her new way of waking you up 😉

    • avatar Emily says:

      Kate – Daniel actually didn’t have any treats out when he was doing her tricks. I guess I worded that weirdly. So we know that couldn’t have been the trigger this time! :/

  • I know I already said it, but that must have been so scary. I’m really sorry that happened. I’m glad neither of them were seriously hurt.

    After reading the full story, it does seem like the best/easiest way to manage them is to not use treats when they’re both around. I can see how everyone got caught up in showing Ginger off for company though. I think NILIF (and tie-downs) would probably help, but long-term the best solution may just be to avoid the situation all together (and it sounds like you already plan on doing that anyway). We have a similar issue with Kongs in our house. They are the one thing that I could see the dogs getting in a scuffle over, so we only give them Kongs when they are separated and/or closely supervised. It’s a pain in the butt sometimes (especially when I’m going around the house picking up so many Kongs! haha) but it’s also the easiest way to manage the situation. For what it’s worth, Mel gets especially possessive of Kongs when foster dogs are around so Turk isn’t the only one who’s jerky to foster dogs sometimes, haha.

    I’m glad Ginger is going to be okay. I lol’d at her new way of waking you up 😉

    • avatar Emily says:

      Kate – Daniel actually didn’t have any treats out when he was doing her tricks. I guess I worded that weirdly. So we know that couldn’t have been the trigger this time! :/

  • As you know from private conversations, we have had troubles, too. Luke hates being a foster brother, although he will now nap by Charlie. They have tusseled a few times, and it is Luke who usually takes things to the scary point. I have definitely been the trigger for them and for little Scooby when he thinks another dog is invading his space (i.e. my lap).

  • As you know from private conversations, we have had troubles, too. Luke hates being a foster brother, although he will now nap by Charlie. They have tusseled a few times, and it is Luke who usually takes things to the scary point. I have definitely been the trigger for them and for little Scooby when he thinks another dog is invading his space (i.e. my lap).

  • avatar Two Grads says:

    I am so glad you shared this, what an important learning opportunity!

  • avatar Two Grads says:

    I am so glad you shared this, what an important learning opportunity!

  • avatar Kirsten says:

    Eegad, you are FAR from alone!

    Honestly I don’t know if you can change Turk’s mind so he is able to accept foster kids. I’ve been trying for years to make Lamar feel better about Fozzie, and his behavior is basically unchanged. What I do is bust out treats and feed Lamar whenever Fozzie is near Lamar’s “Zone” that he defends–usually our bed but could be anywhere. This allows us to manage the situation and get a break from the barking and snarling, and its possible that over time, Lamar has learned to settle down more quickly once the treats come out…but he still snarls in the moments between when Fozzie comes close and I can get the treats out.

    Dog trainers with more experience than I have, have told me that the only solution is to stop fostering. I’m sure Lamar would love a break, but so far I haven’t been able to stop for long :) I do believe that the best solutions are management solutions. It would be so great if we could teach them to love each other, build different associations, teach happy coping skills and ways of thinking of their fellow doggies in a positive light–but I just don’t think its always possible! Management is a pain in the butt but I think once we accept it as a solution, it stops being so much of a pain in the butt and becomes a smart way of allowing everyone to have their needs met.

  • Lucy is somewhat possessive of her deer antler chews – to the point of growling and snapping if our foster goes near here while she’s enjoying one of them. She has grown to be a bit better over time, and in fact, openly shared her antlers with our last foster, Bill. But I didn’t even allow the antlers to be out while both of them were out just to prevent any situations. I then slowly introduced them, one at a time, and allowed the dogs to see that there were plenty for everyone. It’s a bit more challenging when the resource is YOURSELF, I’d imagine, but I definitely agree that avoiding the situation altogether for a little while may be best. Crate and rotate. Share the love equally and slowly begin having both dogs around at the same time. Show them that because the other is there doesn’t mean they wont get the love and attention they so desperately want.

  • Lucy is somewhat possessive of her deer antler chews – to the point of growling and snapping if our foster goes near here while she’s enjoying one of them. She has grown to be a bit better over time, and in fact, openly shared her antlers with our last foster, Bill. But I didn’t even allow the antlers to be out while both of them were out just to prevent any situations. I then slowly introduced them, one at a time, and allowed the dogs to see that there were plenty for everyone. It’s a bit more challenging when the resource is YOURSELF, I’d imagine, but I definitely agree that avoiding the situation altogether for a little while may be best. Crate and rotate. Share the love equally and slowly begin having both dogs around at the same time. Show them that because the other is there doesn’t mean they wont get the love and attention they so desperately want.

  • avatar Elizabeth says:

    Please don’t get discouraged with fostering. Turk is what I like to a special needs pup. Our boy Ajax (who was our foster) did almost the exact same thing to our girl Courage. The event was when someone stopped to speak with my husband while he was in yard with our dogs. Ajax jumped on Courage & bit through her ear. Our trainer said it could be a number of things from fear, obessiveness, re-directed aggression, display of dominance or a combination. We kept Courage & Ajax seperated for about 6 months & work with our trainer on socialization skills for both of them. Now they are best of friends. Talk with several trainers because each have their own ideas & style and not every trainer’s personality fits with every dog. It is also a good idea to have a set of bite sticks. This helps in opening your dogs mouths without putting your hands on or around the mouth. Also remember that it isn’t just pitties that get into tifts. I have seen very bad case of re-directed aggession from one Lab to another. Good luck and don’t give up hope. If you have dogs, somewhere down the line they are going to get into an arguement.

  • avatar Elizabeth says:

    Please don’t get discouraged with fostering. Turk is what I like to a special needs pup. Our boy Ajax (who was our foster) did almost the exact same thing to our girl Courage. The event was when someone stopped to speak with my husband while he was in yard with our dogs. Ajax jumped on Courage & bit through her ear. Our trainer said it could be a number of things from fear, obessiveness, re-directed aggression, display of dominance or a combination. We kept Courage & Ajax seperated for about 6 months & work with our trainer on socialization skills for both of them. Now they are best of friends. Talk with several trainers because each have their own ideas & style and not every trainer’s personality fits with every dog. It is also a good idea to have a set of bite sticks. This helps in opening your dogs mouths without putting your hands on or around the mouth. Also remember that it isn’t just pitties that get into tifts. I have seen very bad case of re-directed aggession from one Lab to another. Good luck and don’t give up hope. If you have dogs, somewhere down the line they are going to get into an arguement.

  • We have to cats and introduced our pittie to them almost 3 years ago. While one cat rules the roost, the other is far from friends with the dog. Most of the time the dog just ignores the cat, but every once in a while she will go after the cat. Nothing serious has ever happened, thank God. We separate the dog when we are not home and when we are home the cats and the dog are normally in close proximity to each other because we are around. So thankfully, we are always right there to stop bad things.

    We can’t figure out why most of the time the pittie ignores the cat but sometimes she reaches her limit or something.

    We are certainly always working with her, building on her training and confidence. I wish there was a way to train the cat.

    But the point is, when it happens, I always feel like it’s my fault somehow. That I’m a bad momma. But they are animals, we can only do our best to mitigate and train them as much as possible.

  • We have to cats and introduced our pittie to them almost 3 years ago. While one cat rules the roost, the other is far from friends with the dog. Most of the time the dog just ignores the cat, but every once in a while she will go after the cat. Nothing serious has ever happened, thank God. We separate the dog when we are not home and when we are home the cats and the dog are normally in close proximity to each other because we are around. So thankfully, we are always right there to stop bad things.

    We can’t figure out why most of the time the pittie ignores the cat but sometimes she reaches her limit or something.

    We are certainly always working with her, building on her training and confidence. I wish there was a way to train the cat.

    But the point is, when it happens, I always feel like it’s my fault somehow. That I’m a bad momma. But they are animals, we can only do our best to mitigate and train them as much as possible.

  • Maybe focusing on Turk showing off before Ginger gets to show off will help him not feel so jealous of his rock-star foster sibling? Maybe praising him for good behavior when she does a trick? One of you (the higher value person to Turk) takes the role of praising Turk for his good behavior while the other works with Ginger on tricks? Also, giving him a “job” to do like a down stay while Ginger’s showing off and then praising them both for jobs well done might help. I agree that NILF and tethering can also help tons.

    Good luck!

  • Maybe focusing on Turk showing off before Ginger gets to show off will help him not feel so jealous of his rock-star foster sibling? Maybe praising him for good behavior when she does a trick? One of you (the higher value person to Turk) takes the role of praising Turk for his good behavior while the other works with Ginger on tricks? Also, giving him a “job” to do like a down stay while Ginger’s showing off and then praising them both for jobs well done might help. I agree that NILF and tethering can also help tons.

    Good luck!

  • avatar Mayzie says:

    Shoot. I’m sorry this happened.

    I honestly think it’s jealousy – plain and simple. Ranger still gets growly and snappy with Mayzie sometimes if he feels like she’s getting more attention. Luckily, for us, it’s a 20 pound dog going after a 40 pound dog (who doesn’t fight back) – AND Ranger is definitely more bark than bite. He has never actually bitten her – it’s just for show.

    I think a lot of it is just management. If it bothers Turk that she’s getting attention by doing tricks, put him in another room while it’s going on. Or you could keep him on a leash close to you and distract him with treats and praise. Counter condition him that when Ginger does her tricks – oh boy! That means I get something good, too!

    I also think it’s important to keep in mind that not all dogs are going to get along the same with all other dogs. Just like people don’t get along famously with everyone we meet. Some people we LOVE and some we just tolerate. Ginger may be one of those dogs that Turk just tolerates. It may be completely different with the next foster.

    Good luck!
    Amber

  • avatar Mayzie says:

    Shoot. I’m sorry this happened.

    I honestly think it’s jealousy – plain and simple. Ranger still gets growly and snappy with Mayzie sometimes if he feels like she’s getting more attention. Luckily, for us, it’s a 20 pound dog going after a 40 pound dog (who doesn’t fight back) – AND Ranger is definitely more bark than bite. He has never actually bitten her – it’s just for show.

    I think a lot of it is just management. If it bothers Turk that she’s getting attention by doing tricks, put him in another room while it’s going on. Or you could keep him on a leash close to you and distract him with treats and praise. Counter condition him that when Ginger does her tricks – oh boy! That means I get something good, too!

    I also think it’s important to keep in mind that not all dogs are going to get along the same with all other dogs. Just like people don’t get along famously with everyone we meet. Some people we LOVE and some we just tolerate. Ginger may be one of those dogs that Turk just tolerates. It may be completely different with the next foster.

    Good luck!
    Amber

  • avatar jen says:

    As stated above, you are NOT alone here!

    I’m willing to bet that every foster has had that “oops, need to manage better” moment that cost us hundreds of dollars and loads of stress.

    We have. Our dog attacked two fosters over food. One foster bit of of my dogs over attention. And our newly adopted dog bit two of our dogs before we signed his adoption papers.

    NILIF training is great for setting up a precedence of structure for all resources, and opens communication between your dog and yourself.

    Best of luck!

  • We’ve been working on NILIF as well. Izzy loves having a playmate, but she tends to get carried away sometimes. I was texting one night while her and foster Mia were eating and didn’t notice that Mia happened to finish her food. She waltzed on over to Izzy’s bowl, and before I knew it, two heads were chowing down on the kibble. Never in a million years would I have expected Izzy to share her toys, let alone her food! Mia taught me to pay attention and put down the blackberry, while during her short stay, taught Izzy that sharing is caring!

  • We’ve been working on NILIF as well. Izzy loves having a playmate, but she tends to get carried away sometimes. I was texting one night while her and foster Mia were eating and didn’t notice that Mia happened to finish her food. She waltzed on over to Izzy’s bowl, and before I knew it, two heads were chowing down on the kibble. Never in a million years would I have expected Izzy to share her toys, let alone her food! Mia taught me to pay attention and put down the blackberry, while during her short stay, taught Izzy that sharing is caring!

  • avatar shirley says:

    As others have said, you are definitely not alone in this. I’ve fostered two pitties with my, uh, shall we say, dog tolerant, but not dog friendly female pit bull. The first one was great, they hit it off perfectly. For this reason a lot of mistakes were made with foster number two. I assumed the second would be just as easy as the first. Boy was I wrong! She attacked our second foster (who already had no cofidence) twice in the first 24 hours, which made me feel absolutely horrible. Here I was attempting to help this poor guy from the stress of shelter life only to have my dog ATTACK him. The good news is that it got better, but I don’t know if it will ever be easy again. She seems to be less tolerant of dogs as she ages, and she’s only two years old. We can take extreme measures to keep mistakes from happening, but it’s important to recognize mistakes as mistakes rather than failures so we can all move forward. It is unrealistic to expect all dogs to be equally social. I’ve learned to read my dog’s signals WAY before she gets upset, and I never put her in a situation where she is forced to be social with strange dogs. Instead, I understand and respect her limits, and always reward her when she practices impulse control. I love the idea of rewarding Turk while Ginger does tricks. Give Turk lot’s of extra love since he is feeling competitive for your attention. Good luck and thanks so much for sharing this!!!

  • avatar shirley says:

    As others have said, you are definitely not alone in this. I’ve fostered two pitties with my, uh, shall we say, dog tolerant, but not dog friendly female pit bull. The first one was great, they hit it off perfectly. For this reason a lot of mistakes were made with foster number two. I assumed the second would be just as easy as the first. Boy was I wrong! She attacked our second foster (who already had no cofidence) twice in the first 24 hours, which made me feel absolutely horrible. Here I was attempting to help this poor guy from the stress of shelter life only to have my dog ATTACK him. The good news is that it got better, but I don’t know if it will ever be easy again. She seems to be less tolerant of dogs as she ages, and she’s only two years old. We can take extreme measures to keep mistakes from happening, but it’s important to recognize mistakes as mistakes rather than failures so we can all move forward. It is unrealistic to expect all dogs to be equally social. I’ve learned to read my dog’s signals WAY before she gets upset, and I never put her in a situation where she is forced to be social with strange dogs. Instead, I understand and respect her limits, and always reward her when she practices impulse control. I love the idea of rewarding Turk while Ginger does tricks. Give Turk lot’s of extra love since he is feeling competitive for your attention. Good luck and thanks so much for sharing this!!!

  • avatar tholupka says:

    Emily, rest assured you are not perpetuating any pittie stereotypes. That is dog behavior, regardless of breed. Melvin, the happy go lucky lab whose face you want to mush can’t even be in the same house as another dog –Turk could be Melvin’s civility coach. You and your dogs had a moment, while we want to control every second, things happen. I think your plan to try the techniques is awesome and will hopefully help Turk get more comfortable with the fosters.

    Hope Ginger heals quickly!

  • avatar tholupka says:

    Emily, rest assured you are not perpetuating any pittie stereotypes. That is dog behavior, regardless of breed. Melvin, the happy go lucky lab whose face you want to mush can’t even be in the same house as another dog –Turk could be Melvin’s civility coach. You and your dogs had a moment, while we want to control every second, things happen. I think your plan to try the techniques is awesome and will hopefully help Turk get more comfortable with the fosters.

    Hope Ginger heals quickly!

  • Hey guys- sorry to hear about this! It can be so scary to see something like that. I realized with Sinatra that fostering requires a lot of group training to keep the peace. It would be super long to write it all here, but I’ll work on a blog post about what I had to do this time around. Parker and Skye both have limits, and I needed to figure out what they were, then how to improve things from there. Turk sounds like Parker- a bit of jealousy combined with a little ‘too big for your britches.’ But no worries- if Parker could learn a new set of rules, so can Turk!

  • Hey guys- sorry to hear about this! It can be so scary to see something like that. I realized with Sinatra that fostering requires a lot of group training to keep the peace. It would be super long to write it all here, but I’ll work on a blog post about what I had to do this time around. Parker and Skye both have limits, and I needed to figure out what they were, then how to improve things from there. Turk sounds like Parker- a bit of jealousy combined with a little ‘too big for your britches.’ But no worries- if Parker could learn a new set of rules, so can Turk!

  • I find that fostering can be a challenge. I am lucky that my dog (Ethel) has a pleasant disposition because her size could be an issue. Our first foster was fine- Ethel adored her. The next foster was everywhere, Ethel liked him most of the time but he was always in her face. I ended up doing separate walks, giving out special time with each dog, etc. Our latest foster is an elderly beagle who does not play. He snaps at Ethel, creating an atmosphere of intimidation (feeding time is a challenge). He is never allowed on the furniture- giving Ethel a feeling that something belongs to her. She sleeps with us, he sleeps on the floor. Treats are given separately. They walk solo. Ethel is always given everything first, exits and enters ahead of Louie, etc. I feel for Ethel but I also know that my beagle is a special needs case and there isn’t anywhere else for him to go. He can also be extremely loving and finally, a dog that doesn’t lick. I take Ethel on rides with me and work to give her extra time and attention. The cats have finally adapted and I might get to take the protection off the couch. Good luck.

  • I find that fostering can be a challenge. I am lucky that my dog (Ethel) has a pleasant disposition because her size could be an issue. Our first foster was fine- Ethel adored her. The next foster was everywhere, Ethel liked him most of the time but he was always in her face. I ended up doing separate walks, giving out special time with each dog, etc. Our latest foster is an elderly beagle who does not play. He snaps at Ethel, creating an atmosphere of intimidation (feeding time is a challenge). He is never allowed on the furniture- giving Ethel a feeling that something belongs to her. She sleeps with us, he sleeps on the floor. Treats are given separately. They walk solo. Ethel is always given everything first, exits and enters ahead of Louie, etc. I feel for Ethel but I also know that my beagle is a special needs case and there isn’t anywhere else for him to go. He can also be extremely loving and finally, a dog that doesn’t lick. I take Ethel on rides with me and work to give her extra time and attention. The cats have finally adapted and I might get to take the protection off the couch. Good luck.

  • I’ve had the same problem with Midnight and BabyGirl . When I am on the computer they play like they are best friends. When I am paying attention to them the green eyed monster comes out in them both. BabyGirl has the most problem changing. Midnight has progressed as she no longer lunges at BabyGirl when she growls.I have been doing time-out with BabyGirl and she usually does better after the time out. I have only had Midnight for 2 months and BabyGirl sense she was a pup of 3 mts. It has gotten a lot better and I continue to read advice on this but so far the time out has been best for these 2. Ohh and when Midnight first arrived it was not so good and so stressful but I stuck to it and it mostly takes time and patients and above all be alert.

  • I’ve had the same problem with Midnight and BabyGirl . When I am on the computer they play like they are best friends. When I am paying attention to them the green eyed monster comes out in them both. BabyGirl has the most problem changing. Midnight has progressed as she no longer lunges at BabyGirl when she growls.I have been doing time-out with BabyGirl and she usually does better after the time out. I have only had Midnight for 2 months and BabyGirl sense she was a pup of 3 mts. It has gotten a lot better and I continue to read advice on this but so far the time out has been best for these 2. Ohh and when Midnight first arrived it was not so good and so stressful but I stuck to it and it mostly takes time and patients and above all be alert.

  • I commend you for writing this post. I’ve been fostering rescue dogs for about a year and a half now (and currently run my own rescue in Arizona). Unfortunately this stuff goes with the territory, but the more we learn about dog behaviour and are able to read their non-verbal warnings & sometimes split second triggers the more we are able to provide a nurturing and learning environment for everyone involved (humans and dogs alike). I adopted Lola Lulu (who is almost 2 & a German shorthaired pointer/Labrador retriever mix) just over a year ago and she was my 2nd foster dog. She’s grown incredibly from a very reactive & fearful dog to a dog who has helped me rehabilitate every foster dog who came after her whether they were shy, fear biters, super confident, unsocialized, what-have-you. Until I got my 9th foster a 2 year old male pit bull (I named him Beauregard). My sweet, accommodating dog who is well socialized attacked him over a bone. They each had one, he was in the corner with his back to her, totally ignoring her. She’d been nasty to him since they day I got him, constantly growling & snapping if he so much as glanced at her. They slept together & walked together without issue, but he was very pushy about demanding attention from me, demanding she play with him, etc. Beau had punctures on his neck, cheeks, and throat after I pulled her off him (twice); he didn’t leave so much as a scratch on her. I felt terrible, but not only did I misread the signs Lola was putting out there, I was missing clues about Beau’s issues too. My 10th foster dog helped Lola get over her short-lived food/bone aggression by being super laid back, non-confrontational, and generally easy going. I am thankful that during the Lola vs. Beau fight no one was seriously injured and I learned a lot about not letting my emotional attachments to the animals I rescue cloud signals that there is something more serious going on that can be addressed.