Sunday, December 26, 2010

Introducing a Visiting Dog to the Household

My Grandma came for Christmas and brought her westie. And the dogs were surprisingly peaceful. He is used to playing with other dogs when he is boarded (...fairly regularly as grandma travels a ton!), but is very much an adult, probably around 7-8 years old.

Blaze (10) has probably met Oscar before, but never been loose with him. Luna got to visit Oscar the weekend after we adopted her. They were SO cute playing together! She was his size! Griffin has met, but not interacted, with Oscar.

When my Grandma arrived, all of my dogs were in the yard. After Grandma and Oscar were settled (he is tethered to a table....he knocks all gates down!).

Griffin came in first and I immediately gave him a stuffed kong and directed him to a big dog bed. After about 10-15 minutes I restuffed his kong, had Griffin supervised, and brought Blaze in. He went right to his bed with his chew item. And after 10 minutes, I went to get Luna.

She had a scuffle with Oscar last time when he was over, she had rolled a toy to his bed and then said "WHY DID YOU STEAL MY TOY!" I brought her in last after the others were settled, thinking that if they were good, she would at least not disturb the peace. If she didn't do well, she could spend the weekend crated or gated separate from Oscar.

Griffin in the front, Oscar, and then Luna is in the crate in the back.

So this time, she was well exercised and went in a crate located so that she could see Oscar but wouldn't feel threatened by him. And she had her kong in there. When I redistributed toys after about 15 min, I let her out, but led her to a bed.

And everyone was peaceful. They all had moments of "hi, who are you?" and I called my dogs away after 2 seconds. They're much larger and a paw swipe could be dangerous.

Oscar was offered food toys too, and joined in for a while, but he just didn't think it was as much fun as my dogs did!

The biggest problem was when Blaze tried to curl up on Oscars you can see from the picture, it's barely westie-sized. And while Blaze is a smallish wasn't the right size and it distressed my Grandma a little!

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