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Considering adopting a 2nd Shiba - NEED ADVICE!
  • Hi all!
    As you may remember, I have Yoko, 3 year old cream female shiba inu. We adopted her about a year ago, and she is fantastic. Super cuddly, loves people, and loves attention. She really doesn't seem to be the typical shiba, in my opinion.

    I saw a shiba up for adoption near us that sounds like a wonderful dog. I have been in contact with the woman fostering her. She is also young but was being used as a breeding dog. She had to have a C section litter and they spayed her at the same time, making her useless as a breeder. The owner then decided to give her up so she could find a home. She does have some interesting issues. First of all, she is a female and so is my shiba, so I'm not sure if that'd be good or not. The woman fostering said she MUST go into a house with another dog companion because she would be "lost without" one. Here are some details she gave me about her other weird quirks:

    "She is very shy. She still skitters backwards from me if I surprise her, and has a wary look in her eye if she is unsure what I want from her. However, I have kids, and she is never even a tiny bit aggressive, no matter what. She actually seems to be mostly house trained already, which surprises me, but I started with her just in the kitchen and gradually weaned out to the top floor and she has been accident free for a long time. I do crate her when gone, and she is fine in there. Her most frustrating trait is her fear of doors. I have to physically pull her from the crate, and to come inside, I have to leave the sliding door open and step away from it so she will come in. Once it's wide open and nobody is there, she comes right in. We force interactions with her, make her come sit with us for pets and stuff and once she's in the situation, she relaxes and enjoys it.
    She is curious and sweet with the kids. She ignores the cats and absolutely adores the other small dogs here. She is highly dependent on them for routines, interactions, and to feel comfortable in a new situation. I think she'd be lost without a canine companion."

    What do I do? The dog is a couple hours away, but Yoko was too and her adoption went well. They said they do a two-week foster period before having someone make the final decision as to whether or not they think the dog fits in their home. Do you think it's worth pursuing? She needs a lot of work. Do you think her strange fears are irreversible or could we work on it? Would Yoko and her get along? I understand we might not know until we get there, but any advice is appreciated. We are also talking about having children very soon, so I might be crazy thinking of bringing another shiba into our home, but it's not stopping me yet :).

    [changed category ~mod.]
    Post edited by curlytails at 2013-09-14 23:59:29
  • I don't know if it will be any help, but when I went through the questioning if I should add a 2nd dog I bumped this chain ...

    Maybe some of the thoughts that I went through will help you make the decision. It is a very personal decision though and each situation will be different.
  • JuniJuni
    Posts: 1269
    Honestly, if it's only the door thing, she doesn't seem to have any serious issues to me. She might just not be used to being indoors or something else may have happened, but it doesn't sound like something she won't get used to. I know quite a few who have two Shibas of the same sex, and where I live (sweden) they are not spayed or neutered but most get on just fine anyways. If there is some age difference and no hormones involved it should be even easier.
  • I am curious how long she has been being fostered at that home. She may not have had enough time to warm up to everyone. Since they allow a foster-trial period, you could always give it a try and if you think her and Yoko don't get along or that her fear is too much work then she can go back to her previous foster home. They may not have a lot of time or commitment in working slowly with her to walk through door ways or out of her crate. It sounds like she just needs some patience and positive associations (lots of treats!). At least you know she has not shown any aggression and she is tolerant of other dogs (in fact loves them), cats, and kids since you are considering adding to your family down the line. I think she is worth considering.
  • Thanks so much for all your help everyone. I wasn't sure if the door issue was really that big of a deal or not. I guess we might find out. I just applied, and we'll see what happens. Of course, the two-week trial period will be crucial. I am waiting to hear back from the foster mom to see if she will tell me how long she has been fostering her for. I'm curious too! I found out she is only two and weighs 15 lbs tops! Do you think having a 2 yr old and a 3 yr old female will be trouble?
  • @MamaYoko I would not think that the year difference in age or the fact they are both female will present any unusual issues. You just want to introduce them properly and watch the first week or two to see how they adjust to each other.

    I was told it is usually best to introduce them on neutral territory to start and walk them together (easier with two people) as they get to know each other. So that is what we did with Bear and Tanjiro, along with supervising their time in the house for the first few days and if we were not there keeping them segregated. After about a week we knew they were okay and they began to be able to handle us leaving for short periods and not being segregated.

    Bear and Tanjiro first met at a dog park and they did great playing together. Surprisingly at home the first time Tanjiro was introduced things went pretty smooth. We did have some minor early resource issues with Bear (he was the first one in the home and the older boy) around treats and meal time. We still use management for meal time to give them each their own space, but with patience and work they now do many basic commands right next to each other and wait for their treats with no issues.
  • I have two females who are about 7 months apart. My situation was a little different though because we got the second one as a puppy. I think it helped a lot with the introduction because the older one knew she was a "baby" and was more tolerant of the new puppy. They get along great other than wanting to play too rough at times. There are also times when they compete for my attention but they love each other!
  • @shibalove - Sounds like she has only been with the foster mom for 3 weeks. Also, she previously came from a place where there were 100 DOGS! she is not used to being treated as a pet.

    @redcattoo - Well, we are meeting her on Saturday and making the 3 hour drive with Yoko. We are meeting at the foster mom's I think that will be good neutral territory? I'm so nervous. Yoko loves being the center of attention at our house, so I'm just worried how she will react. I'm not used to a shy shiba. Sounds like the other shiba LOVES other dogs though, so I'm curious to see if she connects with Yoko. Yoko might like the fact that she can still be the queen because the other shiba will probably just follow her around. Sounds like she depends on other dogs for routines.

    Any advice for me preparing for their first meeting? Sounds like the other shiba loves chicken jerky treats. Maybe I should bring some to break the ice?
  • @MamaYoko, just relax and don't go in with high expectations. If you expect more to go wrong than right it is better IMO, kind of like when a movie is over-hyped and you go in with high expectations and end up disappointed.

    Also be sure to listen to your gut, not your heart. If your gut says it isn't right then it is probably better not to move forward. This can be the hard part IMO as we all fall in love with their innocent looks and we all fall in love with the idea of helping, but that can sometimes lead us to make decisions and commitments that are really not in the best long term interest for all parties. It is also hard for many people, once they bring a dog home, to admit it isn't working out which is why if your gut says something isn't right immediately you should listen.

    I am just trying to play the side of caution in this advice as it sounds like this foster dog may need a very patient and safe home environment. I think as long as you go in not expecting much and ready to know what issues you are ready to bring home and which ones you are not that your gut (followed by your heart) will guide you correctly.

    I hope it all goes well for you, and you will know if you (and Yoko) are ready after meeting her. Just don't be too committed or proud to also know if it isn't the right time/fit once you get there.

  • @redcattoo - That is great advice. It is SUPER difficult to not let your heart make the decision for you. I am an overly involved shiba mom, so I study Yoko constantly. I'm worried I will be so engulfed in wanting to help this shiba that it may cloud my judgment. But...I also think about how unsure I was about Yoko, and she turned out to be even more fantastic than I could have ever imagined! She honestly just needed a permanent home that gives her as much attention and love as she gets from my husband and me. I wonder if this shiba will respond the same way...It's tough to know until I'm there. Yoko didn't SEEM to have any "red flags" when we brought her home, but I'm not sure that this shiba has really gotten a fair chance to try and overcome her fears...I hope we can provide that for her. It's too bad she's not closer so I don't have to wait a WEEK to go meet her...haha. TORTURE!
    Post edited by MamaYoko at 2013-09-16 13:07:20
  • Also, does anyone have any good advice or resources/articles of the best way to introduce a second dog into the home? I am interested in researching what to be aware of for the first meeting, which will be on neutral territory, as we are going to meet the second shiba...I'm suggested we meet outside, on leashes, and maybe go for a walk after their initial sniffing/meeting each other. Does that sound good?

    Then, I'm looking for advice on when we may take her home that night...seems like a quick turnaround, but we won't really have a choice since the second shiba is 3 hours away. How do we make sure we bring the second shiba home without making Yoko angry and territorial at our house? We did have a Cavalier in our house for a week once, and the Cavalier was SO food aggressive and protective over her things, whereas Yoko was just trying to enjoy her and sort of share her toys. Any advice on bringing the new shiba home? I'm mostly wanting to research because I think, from how it sounds, their personalities are different. The second shiba is shy, and more submissive, though still a shiba. Yoko is more energetic, and outgoing. She also has made our house a home for a year already. So what is the best way to make a good transition? Thanks everyone!
  • I am no expert, so this is just my thoughts and hopefully someone with experience can chime in.

    I would be sure you crate them separately for travel for everyone's safety. I would also plan a way to have two separate areas in your house as you assess how they will settle in since the goal is for long term not just temporary.

    In the area the foster is in put something that smells like Yoko (like a dog bed) and in the area Yoko is see if you can bring home something that smells like the foster (like a blanket or dog bed). Then rotate their areas every once and awhile so each dog goes to the other area. What this does is gets each used to the scent of each other in the home.

    Here is one thread you may want to look at and expand your question in to help others later too as they face similar issues ...

    Here is another thread I started after I first introduced Tanjiro that was to help answer the questions I had on multiple dog household - handling play, training, and bonding ...
    Post edited by redcattoo at 2013-09-16 13:48:51
  • Thanks for the info! That is helpful. I guess it's hard because I haven't yet met the other shiba...but I am trying to research beforehand based on the things I DO know. For example, TOYS. Sounds like the other shiba, being solely a breeding dog, probably hasn't had any time with toys. Yoko loves her toys and likes to keep them in the living room. Do you think it's a good idea for me to put all toys away to start........? I guess I don't know how to approach things like that.

    Also, eating. Yoko has her eating routine and she has her eating spot. What is the best way to integrate another dog into the picture? Should they eat at the same time, in the same area? Should I separate them? I've read different things. I just want to prepare myself before I get home with the two so I know what to do.

    Also, just having them in the house together in general. Do I seriously keep them separated right away or do I let them roam around, but obviously I will be supervising, and see how they do before deciding if they need to be separated. I just have never gated Yoko. She goes in her cage when we are gone, and that's it. Otherwise she has free reign over the house because we are there to watch her and we supervise her when she runs free in our fenced in backyard. I just don't really understand what people REALLY mean when they say to separate the do you know if they should be separated? And do you mean literally gate off one room for one dog and another room for the other dog? I don't see how that can help them get to know each and how am I supposed to treat them equally if they are in separate spaces?

    Lastly, sleeping. Yoko sleeps in her dog bed at the base of our bed, or she sleeps in our bed some nights. It sounds like this other shiba sleeps in a kennel at night. Should I stick with those routines or is it not a good idea, considering technically that is not treating them equally, if I have one in the cage and one in a puppy bed?
    Post edited by MamaYoko at 2013-09-16 14:29:54
  • :) Lots of good questions for sure. Read the threads I posted above and maybe do a search even on those threads discussing fostering as your questions/issues are similar to those who foster and have to introduce new dogs regularly to their homes.

    Each situation is different, but reading those threads will help you think through what your strategy will be (and probably raise some more questions).

    It is good you are thinking through things, but there is a lot of unknown variables, so again once you meet the foster let your gut guide you first and foremost.

    Yes, I would plan to have to use baby gates and separate areas to start. No matter what bringing in a 2nd dog is going to change Yoko's life, so she will have to be willing to adjust to changes as she won't be your only dog anymore. Time/resources will need to be split and shared as both dogs need alone time too with you but also together time with you.

    Yes, I would be sure toys, food, treats, water is separate to begin with to assure positive interactions and avoid possible early resource issues that could create negative conflict. Introduce those things slowly and supervised.

    For us, Bear (the first and older dog of the house) has always had some resource issues at feeding. To keep him comfortable and Tanjiro comfortable we use management techniques (Tanjiro eats in a large crate and Bear eats across the room slightly blocked in view ... don't have two big crates otherwise I would probably have made Bear also eat in a large crate). Others have no issues with resources and feed their dogs together.

    Again each situation will be unique. The good thing is you can make some contingency "what if" plans now as you research and think through things so as issues crop up you have some plans in place.
  • Hi all. I just received this interesting email from the rescue/foster mom:

    "Just have to say it one more time.... so you know before making the trip... she is SUPER skittish. I know she won't bite, ever, but she won't come up to you to be petted for probably several weeks. You have to catch her and force the pets. So much progress in some areas ( the house training, the steps, etc) and yet so far to go...."

    I'm not sure why this was sent written in this tone but is this something that this shiba just needs to get through because she's trying to transition from a breeding dog to a pet or should I be a bit more concerned..?

    I responded saying that I thought she probably just needs some love, even if it means forced love. I said I was more nervous about yoko meeting her than anything else :). I said yoko just loves to play and is energetic. She said back:

    "She likes play, she was chasing a tennis ball all over the yard today and enjoys the other dogs a lot. I think Yoko will help her, she needs a leader."

    I was thinking yoko could be a great role model for her but will that happen? I don't know. It's possible.
    Post edited by MamaYoko at 2013-09-17 00:16:36
  • Maybe the foster is afraid to set you up for disappointment and wants to be sure you have the right expectations if you are going to drive 3 hours. The foster is probably wanting to be sure you know that this dog may never come greet you at this meeting. Also this dog may be so skittish you will have to be very careful taking them home regarding slipping leash/escaping.

    It can be very tiring to work with a very shy (skittish) dog some days, which I know due to Bear. It can be done, but you have to accept a different kind of love (and I disagree with forcing it) than it seems you have with Yoko. Some days it is very worth it and other days it can be emotionally exhausting.
  • Ya. I guess I'm not expecting our meeting to go fabulously, but I'm more so hoping that Yoko will be excited about being a leader. I am mostly interested in seeing if she will respond to Yoko and follow her around. She almost sounds like the complete opposite of Yoko, so I'm not sure if that's a good or bad thing. We are sort of in a tough spot with this one, because the other shiba is so far's a risk to drive that far but I don't plan to change my mind or else I'll always wonder. I just was a little alarmed at first...the foster mom almost made me feel like "Are you sure you want to come for this dog?" After she read my application, she said "Wow, I can't imagine a better home for her." So....what changed? I'm probably reading into it too much. I'm good at that. But it sounds like she thinks Yoko can help her.
  • @mamayoko - not to be mean to the foster either, but it sounds like she may not be the most knowledgable about dog behavior if she thinks forcing pets is a step you use to progress and subscribes to alpha theory. The evaluation may be skewed because of that.

    It's unclear to me from your post what you are looking for in another dog. To be honest her issues sound normal for a mill rescue. If you want an issue free dog, she's probably not for you, but if you are willing to be very patient and work slowly, she sounds great. A full, proper integration of a new dog can take months. Only you know if you're willing to put the work into that.

    If you haven't yet already, please read the other threads on integrating a new dog. I would also check out @amti's thread on her obese foster.

    She's a foster who sounds like she has a few issues similar to your potential addition, though less dog friendly.

    [edited to add]

    Please don't subscribe to, or think about it with the pack leader framework. It's a terrible foundation for reasons discussed in greater detail on other threads. For what it is worth, a confident dog can help a less confident one come out of their shell and feel a bit more comfortable, but it is not a magic fix. Confidence and anxiety issues will not be fixed by your other dog, but will have to be fixed by you and your work. Your other dog can be a tool to help with the process, but will remain just that, a tool, not a solution.
    Post edited by violet_in_seville at 2013-09-17 09:10:10
  • @violet_in_seville I'm mostly just looking for a companion for Yoko. It sounds like it might almost be the reverse though in this case, because this other shiba is looking for a companion for herself. But I'm willing to see if Yoko can be that companion for her.

    I just read the thread you sent me...and I'm not sure how that applies to my situation at all. Thanks for the post though.

    I have read a lot of the other threads on here applying to my situation. I knew, after adopting Yoko, that adopting a shiba usually always means you're getting a dog with some issues. Yoko had been to three shelters until we picked her up from her foster family. She had separation anxiety and she was an escape artist and she wasn't super affectionate. It took her awhile to get used to our house and our life, but now, she rarely leaves my side. She loves attention, and she gets a lot of it. I don't plan to force anything with this other shiba. I plan to supervise and encourage her and help her overcome her fears. I'm thinking she will see how much Yoko seeks out our love and attention, and she might learn to follow.
  • @mamayoko - sorry. It's been a while since I read that thread but I do remember that dog being skittish and startling a lot, not to mention that affection with people took a long time. Anyway, sorry about that!

    Like I said, she sounds like a great dog, and I do think that her evaluation may be skewed because her framework (and the attendant expectations) are a bit off. I would just keep them separated initially when not supervised and take away any potential resource guarding items. That means toys, snacks, food etc.

    The first walk through the house I would do leashed as well. That's what we did when introducing our two.
  • @violet_in_seville that's totally fine!

    Ya I agree that her evaluation of the shiba could be skewed, especially since she has only had the shiba 3 weeks. I'm not sure what people really mean when they say to keep them separated? Like how so? I feel like Yoko is going to get more and more curious and frustrated if she can't interact with the other shiba...

    I definitely plan to take away the toys and other things before this weekend. And bringing them both in the house on leashes is a great idea! Thanks!

    I am just trying to figure out what I can do considering I am going to the foster mom's house...I'm not sure how much control I have over the first meeting. What do you think is the best way to go about this? Yoko will have been in the car 3 hours before she meets the second shiba. We are meeting at the second shiba's house. Sooo...what's the best plan of action?
  • I also am picking up this book form the library that someone mentioned in another thread..."For the Love of a Dog" by Patricia McConnell. That might help with some things!
  • Another question:

    Sleeping...It sounds like the other shiba sleeps in her crate at night and does fine. Yoko sleeps in her bed at the base of our bed or in our bed. Someone told me to let Yoko still do what she wants and stay the "dominant" one and keep the other shiba in her crate to sleep. I thought it was best to keep them equal? What is the best option do you all think?

    Also, sounds like the other shiba is making some great progress, according to the director! She said she came up to her on the couch wanting to be pet and loves scratches on her back. As soon as she stopped petting, the shiba started nudging and kissing her hands and arms until she kept going. Yoko is obsessed with doing's constant! It was great news to hear she is coming around!
  • amtiamti
    Posts: 1066
    You have got some great advice. I've introduced two dogs to my boy Kaji successfully. Always introduce on neutral ground. We usually have one of the kids bring Kaji out for a walk while I am with the new dog. Kaji sounds like your Yoko in terms of playfulness so hopefully you won't have any barking problems. If you do, there are a few good threads and videos on how to get the dogs from barking at each other. Once the dogs meet, we walk around the block together and then head inside my house if all is smooth. I make sure to have all toys and personal items removed. If you have a choice, try to do the introductions earlier in the day so when you bring the new dog home there will be several hours of daylight left for the dog to get comfortable before nighttime.

    When we picked up Taisho, we did not bring Kaji. Instead, we asked for a month trial period. We figured that would give us enough time to see how our cats reacted and how Taisho was around us, the cats and Kaji. We drove two hours to get him and my daughter sat with him in the back seat. She pretty much pet him the entire way home and talked to him, trying to comfort him because he was scared and unsure of what was happening. If you can use your drive time as a way to bond, it may make the transition easier for the new dog. We also had a couple of Kaji's toys with us on the car.

    I always separate the new dog in the kitchen area until I can trust him/her. I put up a baby gate so the dogs can see each other and if Kaji wants to join the new dig in the kitchen, we let him in but I am usually there at first too. I also separate the dogs at feeding time when I first get them. Once I evaluate if the are food aggressive or not, then I will fees them together on the back deck, but I am always there to keep an eye on them. I don't recommend doing this unless you know their personalities really well and know how they act toward each other. When I first got Taisho, I only feed the dogs in their own crates. Taisho has crate anxiety, except when he was eating, so it was an easy way to get him used to bring crated.

    I let all the dogs sleep where they want but at first, they were confined to the kitchen. Kaji wanted to sleep with taisho his first night but we didn't let him. We kept him in the kitchen area for about five nights but let him out during the day. Sheba was only in the kitchen area a day or so because she did nothing but sleep. She would not let kaji near her either so kaji laid near her. until it was time for walls, when he could stand next to her and not get growled at. The dogs sleep where they want so you can't really make them sleep together on your bed unless they want that. Taisho will sleep on one side of my breed and Kaji will be on the other with Sheba on the floor near my bed. Since your new dog is a former mill dog, I bet she will be most comfortable in her crate at first. Once she warms up, she may or may not sleep with Yoko.

    It sounds like she is coming out of her shell for the current foster mom which is great news. It may not take as long for her to warm up to you, but be prepared for it to take just as long, if not longer. As mentioned earlier, keep your expectations low and you will have many more rejoices. Best of luck on your journey.

    ETA... Sorry for any typos I missed. I'm on a phone.
    Post edited by amti at 2013-09-18 15:33:48
  • @amti Thanks for the wonderful advice! The woman suggested that I bring Yoko with (we are driving 3 hours to meet the second shiba). We are given a 2 week trial with her. Do you think I should request to not bring Yoko and introduce them when we get home to our house? Since we are driving 3 hours there and back, we probably won't be home until 9ish at night. What are your thoughts? I don't want to upset the foster mom/director but I also want to do what's best for both dogs. What do you think?
  • amtiamti
    Posts: 1066
    It really depends on what you think is the best for your dog and the new dog. Seeing how skittish the new dog is, I can see why the foster mom would request you bring Yoko. There is going to be some reassurance for the new dog if she gets along with Yoko. Just be sure you have plans on how the dogs will ride and a way to keep them separated if they don't get along. If you are putting the new dog in a crate in the car, you may want to bring a blanket out something to drape over part of the crate so she doesn't see all the outside cars passing by- in case she is not used to them.

    I had several reasons for not bringing Kaji. I wanted to make sure taisho was friendly towards us, he was clean of parasites, and I wanted to have a good amount of time to get to know him before introducing him to Kaji. As it turned out, he had fleas, ticks and tapeworms so my decision was good. I doubt you will have to worry about parasites adopting from a good rescue. Taisho was no longer wanted by his previous owner and was left outdoors for at least a year with very little human contact but in a 1/2 acre yard with ten other dogs. The owner said he was vaccinated for rabies but could not give me any proof so I felt the need to be overtly cautious.

    I don't have any experience with mill dogs but I would think how the dogs meet is important. They may not get along at first but may get along after a few days. Sheba always growled at Kaji and would not let him near so he learned to keep his distance. When she had her first seizure, he walked right by her side and now she is okay with him and will even play a tiny bit with him.

    Both Sheba and taisho came with issues. Taisho adapted much quicker than Sheba because he was willing to trust us and was starved for attention. Sheba was adopted a few years ago by a single man who never socialized her. She's not used to bring petted and doesn't like people touching her and will snap at dogs and people. She's not as eager to trust or wanting attention so it is taking much longer. She is opening up though and trusting us more. Your new dog sounds like she is more like taisho so I'm sure she'll warm up within a few weeks, but hopefully sooner. Being a mill dog, it may take a while ( maybe even years) to get her over her skittishness. There is a chance she may never fully get over it too. It all really depends on the dog and his/her environment. However, watching dogs with issues change, no master how small, is very rewarding.

    One thing I remember well about preparing for taisho is thinking of all the things that could go wrong and preparing for them, as you are. I had a list in my head and a plan to work around whatever obstacle we encountered. I had a definite list of things Taisho had to meet for us to keep him. He met all of them luckily. Even if he didn't meet the health requirements, I knew after the third day I would do whatever I could to get him healthy. I hope your decision is just as easy.

    Your Yoko will be a great help in showing the new dog her new life and that you and your husband are good people. Kaji was and is very instrumental in getting both taisho and Sheba to open up and trust. He taught both dogs how to play and is still teaching them. Best of luck to you and Yoko!

  • @amti Thanks so much for all the great advice. Sounds like our second shiba and Taisho could be similar. I'm just trying to figure out, when we bring Yoko, how was should first meet. I have read that going on a walk right away helps...but for example, last night my coworker brought over his shiba-australian shepherd and we tried going on a walk (this was their second, brief meeting). We didn't even make it down the street because they were already launching at each other and playing. So finally we just went down the street and back and then we let them off leash in our fenced in backyard and they had an absolute BLAST. This was the first time I had seen Yoko really play with another dog, let alone another shiba. There were no yelps or growls even. They growled a tiny bit on their leashes before we got to the backyard, but then they were so playful in the backyard.

    I know that the second shiba will not be quite as playful, I assume. I don't think she knows how to play with other shibas yet. So how do I approach her right away? I'm worried that having both of them on a leash may make it worse. But I also don't want Yoko to assume, "shiba, PLAY TIME!" and just go for it, and scare the poor pup. Any suggestions?
  • Well, I guess the second shiba is not leash trained at all, so I think that eliminates the above question. They will probably meet in the backyard or something...I think it'll be fine.

    I also found out that the second shiba was VERY attached to another dog being fostered - a cavalier - and the foster mom would crate them together! I guess the cavalier went to a new home yesterday, so the shiba has been VERY sad, moping around and looking for the cavalier. Not sure if this will be a good or bad thing for Yoko swooping in tomorrow.... :)

    So I'm thinking about when my husband and I are gone somewhere for an hour or two. Would we crate both of them in the same room...?

    Also, any advice on traveling with your shibas for 3 hours? I have never done it.
  • Meaning if you can't separate them right then and there if something should happen they should either be separated by baby gates, or crated (maybe next to one another depending on body language). If you are say busy cooking dinner, they should not be out together, etc.

    The other pup may love other dogs, but moods can change fast. If you're not there watching don't trust them alone together. That's what I meant by a slow process. You'll really need to make sure the new pup is settled in comfortably before you can evaluate them to see what is and isn't advisable. Take it slowly.

    As to your newer questions, yes please do crate them if you're gone for an hour or two. This is a new dog. Even if you were to leave for 15 minutes I would crate. It sounds like having them in the same room might be reassuring. I would also crate them both on the ride back. 3 hours is not too long of a drive but it would probably be helpful to have an item with a familiar scent in the crate on the ride back.

    Forgive me for being presumptuous, but I do have to add that I hope you're not taking cues from the current foster mom. She seems to display a startling amount of recklessness, in my opinion (crating two dogs together that you've known for a short period, even if they do seem bonded). There are a couple of posters here who have had dogs that seemed to get along and would be left uncrated with one another which in hindsight was a bad (sometimes fatal or near fatal) call. Every dog communicates differently, and especially for a dog with little socialization (like one from a mill background) their communication may not be typical. It may take a lot of time to learn to read that dog correctly, so please be cautious.

    When we introduced Bear into our household he had already met and played with Violet many times. He was a retired show dog (in fact her full brother from an earlier litter) and she adored him from the start, and he was pretty fond of her. We had a very good grasp on his temperament (and hers). It was still a year before we allowed them to be uncrated when we left the house and I'm confident it was the right decision. Even though they bonded strongly very early on, the two of them did not fully settle into routines and habits with one another till they had lived together for about a year.
  • Crating them in the same room would be good but I wouldn't put them in the same crate if that is what you mean the foster mom was doing. That could go badly. As for the 3 hour car ride, they really won't need a potty break. If you and your husband are going to be in the car, are you bringing two crates or just one for the new girl? I don't know what kind of vehicle you have, but two crate and and two humans wouldn't fit into mine.

    If you are bringing two crates then just make sure you have a blanket to cover the crate and some towels in case she gets car sick. If you only have one crate I would have Yoko in the front (away from the crate) and the other person in the back by the crate trying to comfort the new girl.
  • @violet_in_seville Yes, you must have interpreted my comments wrong then because I don't agree with what the foster mom did. I have just been asking her a lot of questions and relaying the information. Also, I never leave Yoko uncrated when we leave and I wasn't planning on leaving the two uncrated at home. My only question was should they be crated in the same room. I don't plan to just let them roam free together. I plan to monitor them for a long time before I let that happen...and even then, I'll still be on the lookout. I don't plan to ever leave the house and leave the two of them out. It's just not a good idea, I don't think. I'm just trying to figure out what is best, considering what the foster mom has been doing that I don't necessarily agree with.

    I'm just not sure how to first introduce them now if the other shiba will not be on a leash. Should I still keep Yoko on a leash right away?
  • @shibaLove Yes, I don't plan to crate them together. Not sure what she was thinking when she did that...not good. Especially with a temporary dog. Anyway, we are taking my parent's SUV. We are bringing Yoko's small crate...but she usually rides in the car great without being in a crate...just sits on the passenger side's lap. The foster mom was going to let me take a crate back with me for the other shiba. So we could have two crates. Because only the two of us are going, I'll probably have to crate Yoko so I can sit in the back with both of them...

    I just wanted to know if I should bring anything else for them to do for 3 hours? The new shiba has never played with I don't think I'll have anything for then maybe I shouldn't bring anything for Yoko then either?

    As for something that smells like each of them...this may be a dumb question...but would it be good to have something that smells like the other shiba in Yoko's crate and something that smells like Yoko in the other shiba's crate...? Or just in their own crates?
    Post edited by MamaYoko at 2013-09-20 11:10:10
  • Good luck tomorrow with everything. Hope you update us on how it goes. I think you have received great advice so far.
  • Thanks so much! I'm prepared...I think. I will definitely be updating you all!
  • @mamayoko - ok. It was unclear to me so glad to hear that you disagree with her. I didn't think ou would put them in the same crate but I was worried you might try to integrate too quickly. It sounds like you are ready :-)

    I would actually crate in the same room unless they take a fierce disliking to one another. If the other girl has separation anxiety with other dogs, this may help. You also don't know if the new girl deals well with cars so I would just not bring anything for either of them. My guess is that Yoko won't need an item, but I wold keep the item that smells like the new dog, with the new dog. Think of it as a security blanket. Get two items if you can. One for the car ride, and one for the house in case she gets sick in the car and you have to wash the first item.

    As for the introductions, I really think that you should request that the foster mom put her on a leash (and harness) for the introduction. If they take to each other, great. There will be no harm done by having leashes on for that. If they don't take to each other, having both off leash could be an unmitigated disaster, and having one on and one off could introduce an element of discomfort and discord (since many on leash dogs can dislike being approached by an off leash dog).
  • Thank you! I will make sure to talk to the foster mom. I just don't want to overstep my boundaries, you know? But of course, this could be my dog soon, so I think in a way she should understand that I'm only doing it to start things off on the best foot...or paw ;) possible.

    Thanks so much for all of your help!
  • @shibamistress's scary to think of how clueless this person may really be. I plan to do a lot more research (I have a bunch of Patricia McConnell's books from the library) in order to help the other shiba with her fears. I emailed the foster mom nicely asking if it would be OK for the dogs to meet on leash. We'll see what she says. Thanks for the good luck wishes!
  • amtiamti
    Posts: 1066
    I have to agree with everything mentioned. If the new dog is really skittish, then she may be hovering in a corner with tail down, not wanting to meet Yoko. So Yoko could be ignored completely. Being in a neutral territory might be way too much out of the new dog's comfort zone so the foster's backyard might be the best for this dog. Honestly, I'm really not sure what the best approach is for introductions in this case. Having both leashless at first is a bigger risk, so leashes would be preferred. I'm wondering if the foster hasn't trained the dog to walk on a leash because she can't get the dog leashed. So, go with what feels right at the moment. You know your dog best, but you don't know the other dog, but once you meet her, you'll get a better feel for her. I know with my dogs, when they are on a leash, they react differently than when they are loose. Taisho doesn't like other dogs when he is leashed, but if he is off leash, he no longer is aggressive.

    One thing no one mentioned, that isn't really related to the possible adoption, is restraining your animals in the car. You mentioned Yoko usually sits on someone's lap on the passenger side. You should really try to get her used to sitting in the back seat, where there is no airbag, which would kill her instantly, and keep her restrained so she stays put. Even if she doesn't move around much in a car, restraining is very important in case you are in an accident. If emergency personnel need to open your car and your dog is scared, she will most likely jump out of the car in fear and can be in harm's way. If she is restrained, at least, in all her fears, she will still be tied down until someone can get to help her. She can also go flying through a windshield or be a weight which could kill you or your driver. And if you are going to have two dogs, having a spot for both, where they don't get tangled and each has their own space is a really wonderful peace of mind for the driver.

    I also think you should sit near the crate (instead of the front seat) so the new dog gets used to your scent and sounds. It would be a good way to teach Yoko to ride in the back seat too.

    I'm looking forward to a positive update tomorrow! You've definitely done your homework, so now it is a wait and see approach. If it doesn't work out, you did everything you could do. I'm crossing my fingers and toes for you!
  • amtiamti
    Posts: 1066
    MamaYoko, how did it go?
  • Hope yesterday went well, looking forward to some updates even though I imagine you are tired since if I remember you weren't getting home until 10:30pm or later.
  • Hi everyone! Thanks for all the kind wishes!

    Yesterday was very interesting! :) We did bring her home, and they gave us at least a month to decide if not more. My husband and I got there early so we could take Yoko for a walk. She was fantastic in the car for 3 hours. When we got to the foster Mom's house, she let me go in and meet her before Stuart brought Yoko out back into their fenced in yard. I was shocked. She is SO tiny, for one. Not even 15 lbs and full grown. She was absolutely terrified of everything. Every quick movement. I got on her level and talked to her...she liked my voice. I got out her favorite treat and tried to see if she would take it from me. She retreated a little and then stretched to smell it but wouldn't take it. So I set it on the floor in front of her and didn't pay attention to her..then she took it. I couldn't believe how skittish she was. She doesn't like to go through doorways so the foster mom carried her outside (we have been working on this already). In the backyard, she met Yoko. Right away she followed Yoko around every step she took. They were dragging leashes but that did not last long because I knew that there was going to be no fighting or playing once I met her. She was extremely submissive with Yoko. Then after the initial following around, Yoko did her thing and anytime I would try to go near the other shiba, she would scurry away. It was extremely sad. My husband never knew what I knew about puppy mills, so he was appalled to find out she had 3 litters of puppies and was stuffed in a chicken wire tiny cage where she and the other dogs would just defecate out the bottom of the cage. They never saw daylight and this was also a kill shelter, so really she was supposed to be dead. But I guess sometimes they tell this rescue of a puppy or two "just to keep their reputation." When you see this shiba, it absolutely breaks your heart. She is probably one of the most beautiful dogs you have ever seen. I can't imagine what she has been through. She has an utter and we were told that won't go down. Is that true?

    My husband and I did get a chance to hold the shiba when she reluctantly let my husband pick her up. She was tense at first but then she really relaxed and let us pet her back. She liked that. She also seemed most comfortable though still not "normal" around their youngest son...who was about 12. We held on to this poor little girl while Yoko played with another dog and raced across the yard.

    I was a bit annoyed when the foster mom unexpectedly told me that they had to leave, and my husband and I hadn't even really filled out the paperwork or asked about the foster period. We were a bit rushed but that turned out ok. The foster mom gave us a crate, which ended up being the exact same crate we brought yoko in. They both did not peep on the way home. Yoko was exhausted and they both mostly slept.

    At home, we let them both potty and they were fine. Yoko tried to finally get her riled up a little and she did finally make a sound trying to defend herself. Then yoko left her alone. She basically followed yoko around. She is scared to come inside and was even jumpy when she steps on leaves. We eventually had to get her inside with a leash.

    In the house, we let her explore without yoko around. She was very skittish but seemed ok. When yoko came in she just did her own thing but would go up to her and sort of nibble her ear or step in front of her or lay in front of her. She was being very good, just slightly concerned of the new dog in her house.

    Then, it became very interesting. Yoko let her up on her queen bee bench we have in front of the big window. They both laid and watched out the window. She let me pet her big time and was really warming up to me fast. I was surprised. She even let me scratch the sides of her face. She was able to approach me after that and she liked when I would talk to her. I also noticed she does really watch how we interact with Yoko.

    When she had warmed up to me, she explored the house more freely. She moved a little faster and didn't have to follow yoko to explore a new room. Finally I decided it was time for another outside experience. We figured out fast that she didn't like being outside without yoko. She started howling. When yoko is outside, she pays attention. They did have a little lash out when yoko was just trying to play with her and she sort of growled as yoko tackled her a little on her back. She does not know how to play at all. I was able to pick up fast that yoko would be a great tool in teaching her how to come inside. I'd bring yoko out to follow me and then say "let's go inside!" And yoko would come running to follow me and the other would follow. She then would hesitate at the bottom of the steps. I gave her training treats each time she got closer. Eventually I was able to get her up the steps but then when she saw us in the doorway she retreated. We were told she has some weird thing about going through doors when people are in the doorway. But anyway I was pretty proud of her for how much she already was trying and learning. Yoko was a great help in that.

    Back inside here are some other good and bad things I noticed throughout the night. She likes the window. She eventually was climbing up on the bench herself and jumping down. Before she would just look at me to help her up. She did however think the window was a possible way out because she kept jumping up and scratching at the glass. It made me sad. Anyone see this before?

    She likes when you talk to her. She also seemed to warm up to me fast when I would just be very calm and gentle with her. As soon as I'd make any fast movements, she would jump but then come back closer to me. Her skittishness is insane. The foster mom way underinformed me of that. I'm talking even ripping off a paper towel makes her jump a couple feet. I need some serious advice on helping her with that. Though she does ok with other loud noises. She seems to like loudness of the tv but then can't handle the sound of a windbreaker jacket lol.

    After awhile she started to really move quicker and more comfortably around the house. Yoko would get in her face a couple times just to make sure she hadn't forgotten about her. There was some humping by yoko which I calmly stopped and she listened. At one point I followed the new shiba into our room where we put her kennel with the smelly blanket the foster mom sent her with. She liked our room but decided she liked to roll in my underwear (I had some clothes on the floor). She rolled in the underwear which yoko also had a weird underwear scent obsession too when we first got her. She was just masking her scent I believe.

    (continued in next post)

    Post edited by MamaYoko at 2013-09-22 10:43:33
  • (continued from previous post)

    She eventually decided to explore the lower level. She did it all on her own. She went down the stairs and I followed. She liked the guest room. She was climbing on things. She started to get a lot more comfortable climbing on things. She even fell off the bench and the back of the couch but both times she was fine. She wasn't scared and it didn't keep her from trying again. I found that interesting.

    At the end of the night yoko laid on the couch with us and cuddled and the other shiba sat in my lap next to my husband. Of course my parents, brother, and girlfriend just couldn't wait and had to meet the new girl only hours after we got home. She doesn't mind meeting new people, though she was still skittish of course. Pretty quickly though, she let them pet her and talk to her and hold her.

    I'm laying in bed right now and yoko slept in her doggie bed all night, which I am shocked about because she usually always jumps up and wants to cuddle and sleep in our bed. The other ones cage is close to her bed and she slept the whole night. I heard her shake and hack a little at 2 and then 3 am but that was it.

    So what do you all think? My main questions are how do I keep making leaps and bounds with this fearful girl and how do I get Yoko to want to help me and help her? Is that reasonable or possible?

    I am very impressed already at how I've been prepared and how the new shiba has responded. I am extremely observant being the journalist and writer that I am (hehe). Thanks everyone for your support and your advice so far. Throw more at me! :)
  • More news this morning:

    Yoko and her are fighting more now. The other shiba is starting to fight back. Her teeth are coming out. She doesn't know how to play with other dogs...she used to just coexisting with other dogs. What should I do?

    Yoko is getting jealous. She wasn't at all before. Now she will step in front of the other dog if I try to pet her first. Yoko keeps trying to bite her face and the other retaliates. How do I deal with jealousy?
    Post edited by MamaYoko at 2013-09-22 11:30:02
  • amtiamti
    Posts: 1066
    Thanks for the detailed update! It sounds like you are doing really well with her! Trust your instincts with her. No one's recommendation is going to be right on target since none of us know her or Yoko except you, so we can only offer guidelines and draw off our own experiences. Knowing how she lived in her previous life, you can sort of figure out how secluded she was from the real world and how strange everything is for her. Everything, and I mean almost everything, is a new experience to her. Going by what you have said about her (what is her name?), it will take a while before she is no longer skittish. She's reacting to all the noises she has never heard. Once she realizes these noises are a part of everyday life and will not hurt her, then she'll start to calm down. But there will always be new noises. Depending on her personality, as time goes by, the new noises she hears won't bother her as much. She'll probably just perk up and then relax. Our boy Taisho barked at every new noise he heard for a few months, but has learned to relax a bit. The loud truck noises and cars going down the street no longer bother him.

    Just go about your daily routines and your new dog will get used to them. I think routines are very important for a dog with issues. It'll give her stability in her life and she'll know what to do, when to expect something, etc... As she gets more comfortable, I'd add in something new, one at a time. Seeing how she is skittish about the outdoors, I would try walking her around the block. If she can't handle it, try to carry her. She'll be in your arms where she can feel secure and still be exposed to new sounds and experiences. I would not take her far until she is used to walking around the block. Every day, every thing you do, will be a learning experience for her, so she will probably be exhausted easily and even maybe grumpy. Also with loud noise items like the vacuum cleaner, desensitize her by leaving it out for a few days. I used to run the vacuum cleaner in another room with the door closed so the sound wouldn't be too loud. Taisho is used to the sound now and just removes himself from any room that is being vacuumed. One thing we do at my son's school farm, is run the radio 24/7. We do this to get the animals used to different sounds, so when they go to a show, they don't freak out from all the new sounds. I've never tried this with my dogs since I like it quiet around the house, but it does work, and if your dog is extremely skittish, it might be an easy way to get her used to many sounds.

    If the dogs are still getting at each other, separate them with a gate. It's possible Yoko is wanting to play but the new dog doesn't know what to do and is frustrated, tired, and just wants to be alone to chill. Your new dog needs a place where she can keep to herself and not be bothered. She may be showing Yoko her teeth and growling to tell Yoko to "leave me alone" and if Yoko is not leaving her alone, then you must intervene unless you think the dogs can work it out themselves. When we first brought in Sheba, she made it very clear to Kaji she did not want him near her. She snapped at him each time he tried to get close. He learned she meant business and kept his distance. We were not too concerned with Kaji getting bit because he's very fast and Sheba is very slow (she was 65 lbs when we got her and lethargic). She's fine with him near her most of the time now but will still snap at him if he tries to sniff her backside unannounced. Because Kaji learned to keep his distance and give her space, I never separated the two. I separated Taisho at first but Kaji kept wanting to join him. Taisho, contrary to Sheba, seemed to enjoy Kaji's company and they slept together on one dog bed. I did put Taisho in a crate the first night but Kaji slept right outside his crate instead of sleeping with us. I did watch all the animals very closely at first and never left them alone unless one was crated.

    It will take time before your new dog will learn to play like a normal dog. You'll look over at your dogs one day and see them playing. I know the first times we saw Taisho and Kaji, and Sheba and Kaji playing, how excited we got. It will happen when you don't expect it.

    We've had Taisho now for almost ten months. He didn't have as many issues as your new dog. Although he was housed in a yard with 10 other dogs, they were bigger and some were picking on him, so he wasn't quite playing with them, but more or less, running from them. Taisho started playing with Kaji at first by running laps around mom's yard, probably after having him 3 months. He started playing with toys after about six months, but it was not the serious tug of war type playing. He'd mouth it and then toss it and leave it. Now, he plays seriously with Kaji with toys, or just running and play fighting. They play tug of war, keep away, try to entice each other with a toy, and really have a great time. He's now my mom's dog but they see each other all the time. He'll bring my mom his favorite toy when he gets excited and tosses it around to get her to play. When the boys play, they are extremely vocal and show teeth, so watch the dogs' body language carefully so you'll know when they are playing and when they are serious. I've had Sheba now for 11 weeks. She'll only play about 5 minutes, once or twice a week. And her play consists of rolling on her back (she's a bit heavy so not as agile) with Kaji nipping at her or vice versa. I'm not sure if females play differently than males. Both dogs didn't play until they were comfortable in our house and comfortable with Kaji.
  • Thanks @amti ! I'm still learning the signs of when they are fighting or when they are playing. She only nips and retaliates after Yoko tries to nip or bite at her. Otherwise, they can walk past each other and be in the same room. Every once in awhile, Yoko tests her. Sienna is her name. We haven't decided if we want to keep it yet or not, but I think it's staying! :) So many people are telling me to keep them separated before but now that we are here, I can't decide. I think they're fine together. I just need to figure out what is playing and what is fighting. I don't want Sienna to be uncomfortable. I'm hoping a book on fearful dogs by Patricia McConnell will be here soon from the library and might help me read some body language better.

    My husband said they were running and chasing each other in the yard. I also got Sienna to follow Yoko up the stairs and eventually in the doorway!!! That was great to see. Yoko seems to be really keeping an eye on where Sienna is today. And Sienna is all over the house today. Going upstairs and downstairs. She also keeps going to the door more because I think she is liking outside more now. Maybe because they have a bit more space to play. We are going to move the coffee table out of the living room to give them some more space. That seems to help. It's the hallways and doorways that seem to cause more tussling.

    Sienna is holding her own and Yoko is simply getting jealous. I'm trying to keep my hopes high and patience in check!
  • Also, I wanted to ask about toys again. I am positive Sienna has never played with toys. Yoko has been missing them terribly. When should I start introducing them?

    YAY! I just witnessed the cutest thing. Sienna felt comfortable laying down right next to Yoko in the doorway to the kitchen. PROGRESS! I think that says a lot. Even after Yoko has been tough on her, she is feeling comfortable enough to lay next to her.
  • amtiamti
    Posts: 1066
    My dogs get jealous too. There is a dog hierarchy in my house, which they created. Kaji is my dog and will always be numbero one. However, when Taisho comes over, Taisho is the bully/boss. If Kaji is getting hugs from me and Taisho comes up, Kaji leaves. I'll try to keep him but Taisho just looks at Kaji and Kaji leaves. At first, I was able to hug and pet each dog, one dog per hand/side and it worked out well (I kept their heads from each other by wrapping my arms around their necks and drawing them to my opposite sides. My head would be down, between the two dog heads to separate them). But as Taisho got more comfortable, he clearly became the dominant one. He'll sleep on my bed and Kaji won't come up unless a human is sleeping in the bed too. And he'll sleep on the opposite side Taisho is sleeping on. I have seen Taisho lift one side of his lips at Kaji which is a sign telling Kaji to keep away, which Kaji follows. He has never been aggressive to Kaji so it is just those slight physical movements that tell Kaji to stay away. Kaji is the next in line. When I am petting Sheba and Kaji comes up, Sheba removes herself. As much as I try to keep them together, she always leaves. I have never seen Kaji lift his lip up to her, but he does nudge her with his nose or tries to get between me and Sheba when I'm with her. I think it will be the same in your household. I don't think there is any getting around the jealousy issue because it is a normal feeling for animals. I do believe that you and your furries will find a way to work around the jealousy. It may not equate to every pet being treated equally in the open, but there are ways to work around it by having one on one time with each other behind closed doors, or taking one places the other doesn't go. Kaji is a peacemaker as is Sheba, and they both do things to keep the peace in the house. Taisho on the other hand, does not like to back down.

    Just be sure to find a way to let Yoko know she is number one so her jealousy doesn't escalate. Since your new dog is not ready for long walks, maybe you can take Yoko on long walks without the new dog. Take her to places she likes, play with her, etc... And at night, when she comes to your bed, make sure she feels special and loved. I would also play with her in the house a lot in front of the new dog. That way the new dog can see your interaction and see what it is to play and how much fun Yoko is having. Even if the new dog is in another room, she will still be able to hear the fun sounds you make.
  • amtiamti
    Posts: 1066
    Since Sienna doesn't know how to play with toys, I'd bring out one or two of Yoko's favorite toys and see if Sienna shows any interest. Yoko may try to get Sienna to play with her, but if Sienna is like my two newcomers, then there will be very little response. I played with Kaji and his toys a lot during those times because I felt so sorry for him. You will love Yoko's determination to get Sienna to play. If she's like Kaji, she will try day after day after day, until one day, there will be a response. :)

    I'm very happy for you on Sienna's progress. It sounds like she's really enjoying Yoko's company and liking her new home. Let me know when you make up your mind on whether or not you will keep her.
    Post edited by amti at 2013-09-22 13:27:26
  • I will let everyone know! I'm pretty attached already though she is nothing like Yoko. I am thinking about working on leash and walking with her soon. That's the next adventure. Sienna just slept snuggled against me on the couch while yoko slept on the bench across the room. Nap time :)

    Sienna seems to be on the move a lot though. She doesn't stay in one place very long unless she's taking a nap. She likes to go to the door a lot even though she doesn't have to go potty. I'm not sure why that is. I know outside is still new to her so maybe that's why? She also met the neighbor dogs through the fence today and she really liked them. Now when we go outside she hangs by that fence. I'm not sure why Sienna is always on the move inside though...and when she's not moving she's constantly sitting or laying by the door to the backyard.

    Also, sienna's poop is not normal, I don't think. It's thick and dark like tar. What can that mean? It's very tar-like.
    Post edited by MamaYoko at 2013-09-22 18:20:01
  • jennjenn
    Posts: 856
    Post edited by jenn at 2013-09-22 19:46:38

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