I am on day three of fostering a 10 month old blue heeler mix (Diesel). He met my 3 year old dog Daisy at the shelter and they seemed to get along very well (no growling/aggression after initial “hellos”) We brought Diesel home and the first day he was very skittish and spent about half the time crating himself for comfort. He would allow me to pet him but was very anxious when Daisy came around and wanted to play. Day two was a lot better and Diesel started to play with Daisy by chasing her while she carried a toy. However, Diesel found one toy he liked and would growl and nip at Daisy if she tried to take it even when he wasn’t using it. He also showed a little possession of me when Daisy would try and sit close to me while I was petting him. (Growling/showing teeth). The toy possession didn’t worry me as much as the possession issue towards me. What are some tips to help ease that? Both dogs can sit close to me and Diesel is ok with it, but if I am petting him and Daisy jumps on the couch as well, the growling starts almost immediately. Another issue is meeting new people or seeing people outside our home (walking by). He barks the second he hears any person outside whether they are walking by or coming to the door. Once people come in and he approaches them he is not aggressive, so I am wondering if this is an undersocializing issue. We had a group of about ten people over (some children) and once he was able to approach everyone he was fine. Is there a way to help ease that initial anxiety? He sounds so aggressive that it scares the people coming inside (he has a very loud bark).
Otherwise he he is doing really well. He walks well on a leash, let me bathe him, and does not have food possessiveness. He will go in a crate but prefers not to :). I have never fostered an animal, so I am not sure how long of an adjustment period there usually is before things kind of mellow out to “normal”.
I would definitely recommend a two week shut down period. He sounds very overwhelmed and stressed. That is what I recommend for all fosters and adoptions (actually any time bringing a new dog into the house). https://lgarinc.org/decompression-the-two-week-shutdown/
Our shelter behaviorist recommended this article, and I've found it very helpful for my fosters and for any dog-dog intros. I give it out to our adopters who are adopting a 2nd dog.
oops didn't notice this was so old -oh well!