Introducing a newby to the pack
We've been thinking about adding to our pack of 2 for some time now and with our old lady Sadie slowing down a lot, we have started to think more seriously about it. Sadie and her girl Tasha are very close, the best of buds and we know that while Sadie is still doing well now, our precious time is now much more limited and we want to add to the pack while we still have her. We've had as many as 4 dogs including Sadie and Tasha, so they are not unfamiliar with a larger pack, but there were issues between Tasha and our beagle when the alpha male died. Tasha was an adolescent when that happened and her and Socki (the older beagle)started fighting shortly after(initiated by Socki). We did bring a behaviorist in to help us and we did manage to get over the hump for the most part, but it left an impression on Tasha. Tasha is not the best at social skills to begin with and she is naturally a more nervous dog, she is part sharpei, so socializing was not her forte either. We did try though. To complicate her social skills, she cannot be vaccinated(Rabies included) due to having hemalytic anemia as a pup. All that said, she is overall a well behaved dog and knows I am the boss. We are going to meet our potential new pack member this weekend at a neutral location. I've talked quite a bit with the rescue folks and tried to find a personality that will fit the girls the best. It's a boy, 1.5 yrs old, cattle dog/heeler mix. He is currently fostered in a home with 2 older dogs and he does act as the submissive(one of the first questions I asked and yes I know every pack is different), so I think there is potential for a good match. Given his breed he is also geared as a people pleaser ( I also want the new member to be trainable to be a therapy dog).
I am nervous though and I KNOW that I have to be calm on the meeting and if we actually bring him home (wont be the day of meet and greet). I think one of MY other hangups with dog to dog meetings is that we had so many loose dog encounters at our last residence (while on walks)that caused tension with the girls any time we see other dogs on walks( think barking,excitement, tails up often and staring sometimes, we've been attacked in the past). I am working on that, but the behavior has not been extinguished yet. i am just glad this neighborhood is not like that..the last one did a number on all of us.
Anyways, I know this is long winded, but there are alot of great folks on this forum and I would welcome wisdom, insight and encouragement on how I can make this a smooth transition when it happens. It may not work out with the little guy we are looking at, but we are going to deal with adding to the pack at some point this is one of my weak points because of history.
Erin, Sadie and Tasha