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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok so one of my goals for this year is to, at the least, foster a 2nd dog. It might turn into an adoption and I'm good with it if it does. But before I do anything, I need some advice.

So I now volunteer at the local shelter and have been doing so for close to a year now. Just a quick background on me; I've been volunteering at several different shelters over a span of about 5 years. I've interacted with several different breeds from labs to poms to pits to GSDs, so I would like to think that I'm pretty well versed in handling them.

So anyways, the shelter I'm at now recently took in 2 pits. One is a red & the other is a blue. Both are female.

The red is the sweetest little girl who is very affectionate. She is also very good on a walk and doesn't pull at all. Even though the sheet on her cage at the kennel categorizes her as DA, I think she would be good with Lina given the limited observations I've had with her reacting to other dogs in the vicinity.

The blue is pregnant and heartworm positive. I took her out for a walk today and she was what I would classify to be a more independent dog. She pulled a bit on the walk & when we sat down on a bench, she mainly just hung around and really didn't pay too much mind to me. She has not yet been categorized and tested with other dogs, so I'm not sure if she's DA or not. She doesn't appear to be with the very limited exposure near other dogs.

So needless to say, the decision between the red & the blue is mainly up to Lina. Whichever one I pick, she has to get along with Lina who is also a female. Now I know that many would probably say don't mix 2 females together and I understand why. But I would be remiss if I didn't at least attempt to do a proper, well supervised introduction to see if they would indeed get along. I am also well aware of the crate rotation concept and I fully plan to implement that once I have made my final decision to foster.

I guess what I'm really looking for is some tips and pointers on how to prepare for this new experience. Regardless of which one I pick (and it could be a completely different dog at the shelter which I am open to), I know there are many things that will most likely change in my house.

Thanks in advance for your advice!
 

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If a dog in the system has already been evaluated and listed as DA why would you still want to chance it with Lina??? What gives you the insight to over rule what perhaps a trainer who maybe does the temperment testing at the facility sees and labels the dog? Im just asking cause I have seen hands on what 2 females can do to eachother when 1 is DA, to me it is not even worth it. To me if you want to foster a dog where it can be great playmates and friends with your dog then you should look at another breed. If you want I would be more willing to introduce the blue girl if she is not already labelled as DA and see how they get along , and If you chose to foster her then use the crates when you are not there as you seem to already know about. The one labelled DA already the red one to me is just common sense not to set her up to fail , she is obviously labelled that for a reason. I just hate when people have a " I can fix them " mentality when it comes to DA dogs, that is not curable. manageable yes , curable no.
I would try with the blue one if I were in your shoes, but remember her being in a shelter she may not react how she would 3 weeks down the line when she is settled and comfortable there is no guarantee. Also you need to take into consideration that she is pregnant. Is there any way the shelter would consider a spay abort? im assuming they spay there dogs? Why bring in more puppys to a shelter environment when they could end that now and allow mom to recoup , birthing will take so much out of her as well as finances from the shelter they could use on other dogs needing help.
Have you whelped a litter before? cared for a preg bitch? will the shelter be doing that or will that fall on you as a foster? caring for pups is a HUGE job on both you and the momma. Alot to think about in this situation. I hardly doubt she will be tolerant around Lina when those pups are born as well.

If you go with the red one I would personally not chance having her with your dog, seriously the risk is not worth it. I would deff do a crate rotate system if you go with her. Best of luck in your choice here.
 

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Let Lina choose for you. Good on you for fostering. :)
 

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Do not foster "pit bull" type dogs if you're wanting a doggy buddy for your dog. Just go with another type of dog. Or at the least the opposite sex. I took in another dog from the shelter after already owning a male "pit bull" type dog. I chose the opposite sex, did the three week shut down, and even to this day I do a loose crate and rotate. They have never shown aggression towards each other, but I never have or will take a chance and either should you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks all for the suggestions. Just to clarify a bit, the red nose I am looking at is not accurately labeled as DA. The gal at the front desk stated there are several dogs that she has gotten along with no problems. So I am thinking they may need to tweak their evaluation process a bit.

Compatability and safety are my top priorities with a foster. If it does not work and they don't get along, I'm certainly not going to force it or try to make it work.
 

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Well if the red works out with yours then great and as long as you have that mentality that if you have to crate and rotate and are willing to do that then it really wont matter. The blue deffinately has a bit more of a work load with her situation so that is alot to think about, alot to take on. Do you know why the shelter has not just done a spay abort on her ?? figure shelters should be trying to save money and in the long run that would save money not having to care for pups. She would be getting spayed anyways would she not?
 

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I know this is a bit different from your situation but my dog Bailey is DA,to mainly small dogs. I am with a local small shelter and I fostered a small dog a month ago.He was urgent or I wouldn't have done it,but I kept them separated and they met but one was in a kennel,never together.

Thursday I will be fostering a Coonhound,the shelter is temporarily closing and all dogs must go.IF they get along then great,they will be supervised when together.If not,that's okay too,I just wont adopt her,or if I do they will be crate/rotated.(outside)


I hope all works out for you,but just remember your dog dosent have to have another dog to keep them company/happy :) Glad you are fostering,wish more would.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well if the red works out with yours then great and as long as you have that mentality that if you have to crate and rotate and are willing to do that then it really wont matter. The blue deffinately has a bit more of a work load with her situation so that is alot to think about, alot to take on. Do you know why the shelter has not just done a spay abort on her ?? figure shelters should be trying to save money and in the long run that would save money not having to care for pups. She would be getting spayed anyways would she not?
I think they haven't done it because she's pretty far along & just about ready to pop the pups out. But you're right. Once she's done giving birth, she'll get spayed.

I'm going to follow up with the red today. There was an adoption event this past weekend & the red went there in the hopes of getting adopted. But if for some reason she didn't, I'm going to try & move forward with her.

I'll post updates when I can.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well, you all were right.

I tried fostering the red which lasted a day. Her & Lina got into a couple of tiffs, so I wound up taking her back which killed me to do. Fortunately no one was hurt. But Lina just was not comfortable around her once I got her home, so it's not fair to Lina that I made her feel that way.

So now my goal is to try & get this red into a home. She's very sweet and affectionate & does really well on a walk. She's also up to date on her shots & worm free, so she's ready for a loving home.

If anyone is interested, please let me know.

But I learned many things about this short experience. I learned I don't know nearly as much as I thought I did. And next time, I'll be sure to listen to those who have more experience than me.

I would still like to try fostering, but it has to be a male and they really need to get along.

Thanks again for everyone's help with this!
 

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Awwwww too bad Lina didn't approve. Don't give up, there are a lot of tricks to introducing fosters to your dog. Mine do well but they are used to having nervous, scared new dogs coming here all the time. Its not easy to foster, you have to think with your head not your heart. thats hard to do. There is a mental thing and we tend to pour our hearts into it. I have a whole philosophy on fostering. Too long to get into it right now.....;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Hey all, just wanted to post an update on my fostering attempts:

So I took Lina over to the shelter again earlier today to try again with a male. There was a beautiful tan & white pit there who I thought would get along very well with her. We introduced them outside a bit away from the shelter & Lina started drooling incessantly which I know is a sign of nervousness. The male seemed pretty playful especially since he is not yet neutered. So he tried a few times to get it on. Each time he tried, Lina told him to back off, but not in an aggressive way. All in all, I think it went fairly well, but I'm not so sure about the male's eagerness.

So my main concern now is her nervousness. Do you think it's normal for a dog like her who really hasn't had any other dog interaction to exhibit nervousness when trying to be introduced in a strange place? Or it could be her remembering her first experience there meeting the red female pit who she later had a fight with, and being nervous as a result of that.

She gets along great with my brother's min pin who is about 15 pounds max. When I adopted her, they were together pretty much every weekend, so I'm thinking she just got used to being around him from the start. But now that she's settled and into her routine, perhaps she's not taking too kindly to any significant change in the norm; hence the nervousness & drooling.

Does this make any sense, or am I shooting blanks into the air?

Thanks in advance for your future replies!
 

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See how she is with a neutered male or get that male fixed and try it again after a week. One of my bitches can sence that testosterone. She drools, chomps and chatters her teeth. She does it with confidence, are you sure she's nervous when she drools? Lina might not need a doggy friend. Is this a shelter or a rescue? Do they have any resources there to help you out with choosing a dog to foster? Or do they just expect you know what your doing?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
This is a shelter. Even though I've been volunteering for several years, I don't know it all nor do I pretend to. This is especially true with fostering and interaction between dogs meeting for the first time. But I get very little advice from those who work there. They seem to be more concerned with procedure and following the rules than anything else. But learning about this stuff helps me to make a more informed decision.

I was thinking that as well...perhaps Lina just does not want to be around any other dogs. I would love to give her a friend, but if it just isn't meant to happen then I'm not going to force it.

There is another neutered male pit there who seems very relaxed. I think I'm going to try again with him. If that doesn't work, then maybe it's just not meant to be.

I'll keep you all updated. Thanks again!
 

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Try and tire him out before they meet. I run a dog hard and let him cool off before I introduce. While on leashes, let them meet in passing for a second and continue in opposite directions. Watch body language and let the introduction progress naturally. When you are comfortable, you can drop the leashes. Separate immediately if it gets rough. End on a positive note and put the dog back in his kennel and do the same thing the following day.
Take your time and learn the ropes, it'll come if you are dedicated..
If its too much, at least continue the volunteer thing at the shelter. That makes the biggest impact right away without over extending your self.
 

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If you want to foster with a pit bull you need to be willing to crate and rotate and slowly introduce dogs. We have fostered several times and often they don't even meet my crew and if they do it's one on one and after anywhere from a week to a month. Throwing a couple of strange pit bulls together right off the bat is rarely going to work. Get a friend to help you take the two dogs on a walk together and once they settle down let them do a little sniffing, not greeting at all if they are amped up and behaving badly. Go slow and short periods of time and don't get another dog for your dog, even if they get along off the bat doesn't mean they will in the future and you may have 10 years of separation going on.
 
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