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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys, so I wanted to start this thread to keep track of how the intros are going.

If you haven't read my posts before, I am currently fostering a very dog reactive AmStaff. We believe it is fear based because her previous foster home had a pack of dogs, and she got attacked there (and on the pound report they said that she was good with dogs when being assessed). I am bringing home a puppy mill rescue pom who is very well adjusted in hopefully a week or two. Adoption fee and everything has been paid, it's just that I want them to start on the right footing, since Gotty is a lot bigger than Meeko so she could easily hurt Meeko.

A couple of days ago, after reading the thread about how to introduce dogs properly, I brought Gotty near the kennel where Meeko is currently being boarded (Thanks to the people who work at the kennel, Meeko is great with all animals including cats, dogs and birds!). We brought Gotty out of the car, and because she could smell all the other dogs at the kennel, she got a little anxious/nervous and refused to walk for very long (I wanted to tire her out before we tried to introduce them). So like it was suggested, we started from very far away. I had my boyfriend hold onto Gotty, while my sister (who Gotty is very attached to) pretty much went back and forth between him and myself (I was walking Meeko).

When I first brought Meeko out, Gotty was all the way on the other side of the circle thing they have in front. She was probably a good 200 meters away. When she saw Meeko at first, she started her yelping/howling (no growling) so I took Meeko a little further away towards the parking lot. He barked a bit when we first brought him out, but soon ignored Gotty and just went about his business. I walked around with him in front of Gotty (not getting close yet), until she stopped yelping. She was doing her high pitched whining, but she was accepting treats which was good. After that I got a little closer to her... probably around 100 meters. Again she started yelping/howling. So I waited there with Meeko while my sister came to us to pet Meeko and whatnot to show that Meeko was not a threat. While doing this many pig ear pieces were being given out, and my boyfriend was petting Gotty (lots of positive reenforcement!). Basically we repeated this until we got them to walk together; my boyfriend with Gotty on one side of the street, and Meeko and I on the other. We walked a bit. At first she would howl/yelp and stop walking, but eventually she stopped and started walking normally while glancing at Meeko every once in a while.

We ended the walk with Meeko maybe 15 meters away from her (we gradually got closer). She was completely ignoring him which I take as a good sign. We gave them both lots of treats for being so good.

There was no lunging or snarling or growling from Gotty so I'm so happy that it went well! We are scheduling the next visit for Wednesday.

Do you think that that's too long of a wait, or do you think Gotty will remember?

Any suggestions are welcome :D
 

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The more positive experiences the better. The more productive practice will mean the most success as long as you are keeping it slow and gradual and not rushing. It sounds like you are doing great though and I know that scheduling can be difficult and plus the time it takes, so if Wednesday is the best you can do then that is what you can do. Otherwise, I would be doing this at least once a day, maybe 2x a day in quick sessions. Just my two sense.

I think Gotty will kinda remember but maybe not entirely. It might take 15-20 minutes for her to realize "oh yea, this". Now, if you were able to do this 2x a day (quick sessions) by Wednesday she will be an old pro at the game.

I would keep them separate by a baby gate in the house. They can sniff each other and see each other and if either gets too rowdy you can calmly remove them from the situation. This also allows you to have them play the "look at that" game in the house with each getting rewarded across the barrier. You can also play that game at the field where you are slowly getting them accustomed to one another too. Have Gotty look at Meeko and be rewarded for looking.

Another little trick is to get a towel Meeko has been lying on or sleeping on and put it in the room with Gotty. When Gotty goes to sniff, reward heavily. Keep the towel around the house and reward Gotty for looking at it, sniffing it, etc. When she sees Meeko again her brain will start making a connection between Meeko's scent and rewards. It may not work entirely but it is another little thing to try.

Edit: It might also help to give Gotty to a friend for an hour or two. Then have Meeko come to the house to play or hang out and maybe go to the bathroom outside, etc. When Meeko goes back to the kennel and Gotty comes back to the house, the house will have Meeko's scent. It will let Gotty smell and get accustomed to having Meejo's scent in the house so that when Meeko does arrive it isn't as surprising. Don't know if it'll do that much but I could see Gotty getting accustomed to having another dog in the house by allowing the scent to come first then the actual dog.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Meeko is currently not at my home, so visiting him 2x times a day is not yet possible. I finish my finals (university student!) tomorrow, so I am planning on trying to go everyday/every other day. We are probably bringing him home by the end of the week (or possibly on Monday, Christmas eve?).

For now I don't trust Gotty around the dog, even with a baby gate, but hopefully after a couple more sessions of socialization and counterconditioning, the two will be okay to live in the same home together!

I am just trying to take things slow because I want to make sure Gotty doesn't feel threatened.

I'll update on how Gotty is doing once I go for the visit tomorrow afternoon! I'm lucky that Meeko is so wonderfully socialized, so at least I won't have to worry about BOTH of them freaking out ^_^
 

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Update:

First of all, happy new year everyone!

Meeko is finally home now. The boarding facility where he was was too busy during this time of the year to allow me to come in for drop in visits, so we just decided to bring the dog home so that we can work more intensely on the socialization.

I am pleased to say that after only 4 sessions, we were able to walk Gotty and Meeko side by side, and even have them come almost nose to nose without any sign of aggression~ :cheer2:

We still keep them separated at all times, but it's a HUGE improvement from when we started with counter conditioning :D Gotty no longer lunges, howls, or whines when she sees Meeko. I think it helps that she can smell him around the house too.

I also started Meeko on raw (he got a tasty quail last night), and it seems that he is already crate trained so :D The only thing is is that he has not been housetrained yet and we have had a marking incident once, and he pooped when I didn't keep an eye on him while trying to locate his leash (and I let him out of my room) :doh: But so far, so good!
 
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