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Discussion Starter #1
A new foster dog is on his way! We met two dogs in need of foster (both are being boarded right now) to introduce to Chester. Both were males so we weren't quite sure how they'd all get along. The first was a sweetie of a cur mix but just way too big, boisterous and pushy for Chester's taste.

The second was a chocolate lab mix (lab/bully breed) who is very stressed in boarding and has lost significant weight and is somewhat insecure. I had met him several months ago before and he was relatively calm and well behaved (although still moderately energetic). He was adopted out and returned due to being "too much energy" according to some people who were apparently expecting a couch potato....dur. So he went to boarding and it has been tough on him.

Chester and Hershey were calm together on leash for a walk and sniffed happily and then ignored each other for the most part. So I agreed to take Hershey and we will do an off-leash greeting and yard time when he comes to my house later this week. Assuming that goes well (and no reason to believe it won't), Hershey will be the new foster. Goals will be to help him gain weight, reduce his stress level, work on some leash training and help him become more confident.

Here's a petfinder photo of him from before going into boarding:
 

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Awwwe .... Hershey is adorable! I can hardly wait to see the transformation. Once again ... Chester has a friend! ( even though he prefers his solitude if I remember correctly?)
 

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You know dogs, and I don't think you did wrong... but as soon as your chocolate dog relaxes and gains some confidence, I expect him to be a persistent play machine... I hope Chester doesn't mind happy-go-lucky extraverts :) Blue eyes?
 

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You know dogs, and I don't think you did wrong... but as soon as your chocolate dog relaxes and gains some confidence, I expect him to be a persistent play machine... I hope Chester doesn't mind happy-go-lucky extraverts :) Blue eyes?
ANY dog will be calmer than the Luna-tic that Chester put up with for 5 months! :)

Light colored eyes at least, hard to say exactly.

I expect him to be happy-go-lucky once he gets settled but he's very good natured and never has been too "in your face"
Should be fun to see him get back to playing. He's a bit smaller than Chester; at a healthy weight maybe 20 lbs lighter and that is something Chester prefers, especially around other males.

Awwwe .... Hershey is adorable! I can hardly wait to see the transformation. Once again ... Chester has a friend! ( even though he prefers his solitude if I remember correctly?)
He is adorable isn't he?

Chester likes not to be bothered; its not exactly liking solitude but more like "lets play, lets hike, and then let me have some peace." He enjoys the company, he just prefers dogs with an off-switch. I'm getting my yard fenced into two sections (long overdue for convenience sake) which will also give dogs their own space during playtime if need be.
 

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Aww he's so cute. His eyes look light amber to me.
 

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Congrats and good luck with your foster! I'm starting to volunteer at the county animal shelter and there are a few I saw that I would LOVE to be able to foster, but alas, I am stuck in a one bedroom apartment for a few more years yet.
 

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Discussion Starter #7

Hershey arrives. This is his "before" photo. He got a quick bath just after this and was introduced to his new room (all his- a crate, couch, water bowl and windows to look out of)

He checks out the yard. He's been in boarding for 2 months so this should all be a nice change for him. Breed guesses welcome. There's definite pit/bully to his face and maybe Lab but I see something long and lean about him also.


He's now settling in and I'm letting him have some quiet time in his room. I'll give him a few breaks and play time over the evening but don't want to overwhelm him. We walked a few blocks and he was pretty nervous walking and stopped to look back several times for the rescue coordinator who brought him here.
 

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I see pit/lab. Some labs are long and rangy - the field labs. The bench (conformation) labs tend to be shorter and slightly stockier. Then there are the English labs (also nicknamed either otter tail or block head), and they're very stocky with short, fat tails and wide blocky heads. We've had both a field lab and an otter tail lab in the past - great dogs, both of them!

I see the pit in Hershey's face and in his muscular structure. With some groceries, he's going to be quite a handsome dog!! I hope he works out for you!!
 

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Hershey is definitely a very good looking dog! By the time he puts on a few pounds maybe some of that lankiness will disappear. But I see Pit/Lab for sure. By the time you are done fostering him ... someone will definitely have a very nice dog.
 

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Thanks guys. I'm starting him on Earthborn's Great Plains as a grain-free, single meat protein food to hopefully make a smooth transition and provide quality nutrients. It is bison so just in case he has any allergies, it is unlikely he's been eating that.

Here he is in the "guest dog room"
 

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Discussion Starter #12



I bought a harness today and Hershey walks wonderfully on the harness. It also lets me have something safe to leave on him while the dogs play and for supervised tie-out. I put a loop handle (traffic lead) on it to have something to grab that isn't long enough to drag on the ground and be a trip hazard.
The dogs had their first game of chase and play in the yard, pretty good although they got a little overstimulated and I had to tell them to stop playing. They listened which is good. Chester's play style is very rough and tumble, it can be too much for some dogs.

Hershey's skin is very dry and his hair is thin in places. I'm hoping some good quality food will help and may add a tiny bit of olive oil to it. It is going to be a balancing act between getting enough food into him to gain weight and not overfeeding to upset his digestive system.
 

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He looks like my last dog, Penn. He had the same serious facial expression and posture, and similar body. I always thought Penn had something else in him besides pit, but I couldn't tell what. I think Penn was a bit houndier looking than Hershey, though.

Just a thought, have you considered the possibility of barrier frustration? I think you said somewhere that you were putting a fence in the middle to divide the yard. I haven't dealt with it myself, so I don't know much about it. I've just heard accounts of totally dog-friendly dogs getting in fights with neighbor dogs after spending a lot of time running the fence together. And at shelters they talk about it being a problem for some dogs, who start lunging and barking at their kennel/run doors and scaring potential adopters away, when they usually don't behave that way.

ETA: Penn was also underweight and had very dry skin when I adopted him. His skin and coat got dramatically better with time and good food, but I did put jojoba oil on him too. Mostly on his face and paws. It's a light oil that's similar to the oil that skin naturally produces, so it doesn't make them greasy. I figured it was safer than using lotion, which has all kinds of stuff that shouldn't be ingested. He also got fish oil orally.
 

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Kaki tends to have dry skin so she gets salmon oil as an extra "treat" in her meals 2-3 times per week. I bought the human variety which is cheaper than buying salmon oil marketed to pet owners. Poke a hole in the capsule with a thumb tack and pour it over kibble.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Just a thought, have you considered the possibility of barrier frustration? I think you said somewhere that you were putting a fence in the middle to divide the yard. I haven't dealt with it myself, so I don't know much about it. I've just heard accounts of totally dog-friendly dogs getting in fights with neighbor dogs after spending a lot of time running the fence together.
Actually, I put a fence along the driveway to finish fencing the yard between the house and the detached garage. There was already a large fenced area behind the garage so I just left that fence up. They're only on opposite sides of the fence for potty time in the AM and PM because otherwise they'd never actually get around to pooping! Or of course if I want to give them raw bones or another treat outside. I just figure that leaving the dividing fence is useful for either future dogs that aren't able to run together or for a homebuyer that maybe has both kids and dogs and wants separate play areas.


Hershey's skin is improving with good food and some chicken livers. It makes his coat look so much nicer with no dandruff :)

We took our first trip to the really big city park today and he did great. He meet a few people really nicely and walked great with Chester (and ran too... we did 45 minutes walking and 30 minutes running, both on hills) and only tried to lunge after a deer which you can't really blame him for. Photos coming soon in Hershey's photo thread...
 

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So Hershey is doing well here in many ways. He has come on 2 group hikes (along with Chester of course) and nicely greeted the people on the hike and only somewhat tried to pull my arms off my body in his excitement for hiking. He also did well when my parents came by the house and only tried to jump on my mom once. He didn't freak or bark or anything excessive. Fairly well behaved inside, at least as expected for a lab under 2 years old.

We have two issues to work on though and I'd appreciate suggestions...
the first is a MAJOR cat obsession. I have a fenced yard, 4 ft chain link. He has seen the neighbor's outside cats and wants sooooo bad to get to them. So he is constantly trying to jump the fence. He actually got UNDER part of it (since fixed, I had no idea a 60+ lbs dog could fit under a 2 inch gap while I was standing 20 feet away...) but now I'm stuck taking him out on a leash to keep him from going over the fence. Even then, he pulls incredibly hard and can't even manage to poop while trying to get to the cats. Arggh.

The other is a low level resource guarding. I never feed or give treats to dogs together, so its a really minor issue to me, but he's been a little snippy when someone gives attention to Chester while he's standing there. Like when I am walking them both and we pass by a neighbor that likes to greet them. If I don't hold them several feet apart when the person pets them, Hershey gives a little snap at Chester and a short growl.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
We have a pending application to adopt Hershey. The man is from a city about an hour and a half away and wants to meet Hershey this Sunday. I don't really have any details yet, the rescue said they'd keep me in the loop (they wanted to make sure I was planning to be at this dog event Sunday anyway).

So everyone cross your fingers, I'd love to see this happy dude get a forever home.
 
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