Labradoodle & Goldendoodle Forum
We have had Stuart now for two days. He was bailed out from a terrible shelter from a rescue group and they had him for a week. He was tick infested and starving. He has gained some weight but is still only 50lbs and should weigh at least 80 (he is a big boy) when he was with the rescue he was with three other male doodles- no problems they ate together with no issues. When he came to my house he wouldn't eat his food but went over to my other dogs bowl and ate so my other dog went over to his bowl to finish his food and Stuart attacked him (quite seriously)... Now we are feeding them separate and now my dog doesn't trust him and there is definitely tension. Stuart now tries to play with my other dog but my other dog doesn't trust him and won't play. I do have a trainer coming in a couple of days and am enrolled in obedience class (guess I will have to take my other dog back to obedience now too). Stuart is sweet sweet with people but, this tension between the two dogs is upsetting. They did meet before we adopted them and they played everything seeme fine. This wasn't exactly they happy go lucky doodle week I thought it was going to be. We are committed however, and will work through this I was just hoping I would have funny doodle stories to tell the first week... I might add our first dog has never ever had a problem with any dog. We have always raved how gentle he is but, he sure will not back down to Stuart...
Stuart is a very lucky doodle. You are willing to do everything it takes to make him part of your family!
Whenever I have a foster these are things I do religiously
1. all toys are put away. I get new toys but I wait a few days so there is no 'discussion' over the toys
2. NO high value treats - rawhides, etc for either of them
3. I feed them at the same time, my girls get their food first, then the foster and always in different areas of the kitchen. Everyone sits and is not allowed to their bowls until I say 'okay'
4. I never leave the kitchen while anyone is eating
5. If someone walks away I pick up that bowl and I do not allow anyone to eat from somebody else's bowl
It takes a good 10 days until a adoptive/foster's real personality comes out. They have been dumped by their family, then to a shelter, then to a foster and then to their forever home. It takes time for them to trust and to realize they are home to stay. They have been moved so many times that they aren't sure where they will sleeping tonight and if they are going to eat today. On the streets, Stuart might have had to fight to eat. Give him to trust you.
They had a great time playing on neutral territory. Now Stuart is the new kid in the house and they have to work out their issues on their own but I would not leave them alone. Walk them together. They will both learn that Stuart is there to stay.
Join us at the DRC - you will get great advice from foster parents and other adoptive families who have been there, done that.
Good luck and bless you for giving Stuart the home that he deserves.
Thanks for the reply. Yes my home dog will now have to sit for his food as well. We have a third dog who is dying of cancer (she will probably be put down this week-she is blind and barely gets around) but they had a routine where they would switch bowls half way through dinner -so I guess I will have to break our home dog "Shoshone" of this habit. It is a shame because they both enjoyed the switch up. I think for now I will still feed them separately and when I feed Shoshone his meal put an extra bowl down and not allow him to touch the second bowl... Again, hopefully the trainer will have some suggestions. I thought I was pretty dog savvy but have never had to deal with dog agression between my own dogs. I have fostered many dogs but, foster eating time was always separate from my home dogs.... I am confident we will work it out. I just can't wait until we are one happy family like I am use to...
Couldn't your two other dogs eat in a room that the new dog can not go in while they eat? For a long time one of my dogs ate in a crate while the other was free. I see no problem with some separation for the dog who food guards. Perhaps he'd feel more relaxed if he was eating alone without the 'threat' of another dog near anyway.
Yes I am feeding them separate times same place. We had another issue that Stuart wouldn't eat when I put him in the back bedroom. He is 30 lbs underweight and imperative that he get some weight on him asap. (He literally was almost starved to death when the shelter picked him up) So I called a trainer about all this - the food agression and yet he wouldn't eat. The trainer thought that by putting him away from the family that he was feeling punished so she recommended feeding him where the other dogs eat just at separate times (when the other dogs are out). I tried it and voila he ate immediately and has been eating ever since. Except we have to be in the house with him or again he won't eat. This is far more complicated than I had anticipated. As I told Amy we really took our time finding what we thought was the right match. And again, Stuart had no food agression at his fosters house... We will keep working on it and the trainer comes Tuesday so I am hoping she will have further ideas...
Melody, thank you so much for giving Stuart a second chance in life. Something I do with all my dogs is feed them in crates. This allows them to have their own space. Once a rescue realizes that they will always get fed. Usually the desire to guard also goes away, not always but most of the time. You can get crate bowls from most pet stores. Hope this helps
Love the name Stuart!!!! And my Stuart is also a rescue. Give it time - listen to the experts and know that they will work it out - my two did. And now they "cross eat" out of each others dishes - we watch to make sure the little guy is getting his share though - LOL. I think they do this to be sure that the other isn't getting something they aren't. Thank you for giving this guy a new home!
Hi yes I saw there was another Stuart here. I didn't even think twice about his name - his name was just suddenly Stuart and he instantly responded to it. We joke that he says " how did you know my name was Stuart". :)
Lots of great advice has already been given. Just wanted to thank you for taking this doodle on and adding him to your family. It also sounds like a lot might be going on emotionally especially with your dear older dog. I am so sorry to hear that he is dying of cancer and that perhaps this week you will be saying goodbye:(
This is just a thought but perhaps along with the new environment the new dog might be picking up on some of this other stuff.
Again, thank you for giving Stuart a new lease on life. As someone who has fostered it is amazing the difference a month or so can make. Some days can certainly make us question our sanity but for the most part the good outweighs the bad. Take care of yourself during this time.
Hi melody, sorry to hear about the tension in your home, but it does get better. We had a lot of issues with between our two when we adopted Ollie last summer. Here is a blog that I wrote about it: http://doodlerescue.org/profiles/blogs/a-rocky-road-to-a-happy-ending and a discussion on what to do if your dogs are fighting: http://doodlerescue.org/forum/topics/my-dogs-are-fighting-now-what
Things have gotten a lot better for us though we still have occasional issues even a year later.
I read your blog-you're a trooper. Thank you for sharing your story. I know it is so upsetting - one of the reasons we adopted Stuart was so Shoshone wouldn't be so lonely without his life long buddy Annabelle, whose days we knew were coming to an end. I feel terrible for putting Shoshone
through this.... I feel like we can stick it out so long as we don't have anything more serious...
the key is to stay alert and watch for tension to rise and step in before it has a chance to escalate. We are 14 months in now and yet we still have a random fight from time to time. We have been busy getting our house ready to sell and haven't been as good about giving them enough exercise the last few days and notice that is a recipe for disaster in our house. It seems that they are more likely to get into it when they are in need of exercise. We also don't let them steal toys from each other nor are they allowed to play tug. And we can't play fetch with them unless it is one on one. It isn't exactly what I had in mind when we chose to adopt Ollie, but it is our new normal and we have all adapted to it pretty well. Feel free to send me a message anytime you have questions or if you need to vent at all.
thanks a lot for the advice. At this time I think the only issue is food- we have toys all over but Shoshone refuses to play or even attempt to play so at this time toys aren't an issue. We have 2 acres of land so they both run around all day (when it isn't too hot -I'm in California) and we do a 2 mile most days so hopefully the exercise thing is taken care of... I was like you too we did our research-interviewed several dogs and thought Stuart was the best fit.... now I am thinking that black lab might of been the better choice... :) but - here we are... I sure hope there are no more fights I don't think my emotions could handle that again... I keep a can filled with rocks around at moments reach (not to hit them with but to rattle loudly if I think something is going on. so far no more growls in two days... We just put our shepherd lab to sleep today so everything is pretty slow and sad around here today... Shoshone has been looking for her all day....