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We are stronger together than we are alone!

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BT 248TRIGGER2Maybe you just simply need some ideas for helping your new foster to safely join an existing pack.

We have always started from the premise that if a dog is not behaving the way we want or need the dog to act, then it is our responsibility to find a way to change, or eliminate, the behavior in a positive proactive way.
Our new dogs have first been vetted fully by a vet before they are brought home to foster. Of course, there are exceptions but they should be few.
Undesirable behavior can be caused by many things, including undetected illness. No behavior modification program should begin without first taking the dog to a veterinarian for a complete physical examination.
We have discovered that many of the methods we have been using are a combination of several methods. Our aim is to use what will work in each situation.


Your Boston Terrier uses his eyes, mouth, voice, body and tail to communicate.

The backbone of a successful training or behavior modification program is the bonding of the Boston Terrier to its owner/trainer. This is always a two way street, for both dog and humans.

The best time to start training any age dog is day one... The minute your Boston, Pug, Frenchie or BT 248TRIGGERBulldog comes through the first time. The goal to help your new dog understand where to look for leadership begins with you.

Another concept that most trainers and training programs consider as positive training tools, when used correctly, are "Doggie/baby" gates and the right sized dog crate.

You need to first teach some basic commands such as “sit” or “down” or to come when called.

First things first:
We should always, when bringing home a new dog, first arrange outside time as a starting place to become familiar with the new environment. Usually that means putting the new dog on a long training BT 248TRIGGER3lead outside, alone with just one dog handler. The long lead makes it possible to retrieve an extra shy or fearful dog, without giving the wrong signals of not being in-control (chasing a new dog or yelling at one is just not a good way to show leadership).  Give the new dog an opportunity to smell the other dog's tracks and places, time to do its business, play or relax a little, while it gets the feel of its new environment. Some dogs are all excited, timid, fearful or hyper and need to burn off the pent up energy. Many need time to expend the extra energy to explore or just get their bearings. This also is an excellent time to watch and understand more about the new dog.

Next step:

Day one inside. We have an established large room, our den, for our new dogs and a large crate complete with bedding, separated by a doggie/baby gate from all other pets. Here a new dog safely can observe the rhythm of our home life without having to deal with the onslaught of our other dogs. (NOTE: It's important to make sure neither dog(s) is willing/able to scale the baby gate). Within eyesight of the den, the living room provides the other dogs, the opportunity to see and smell the new dog.

For the first couple of days we suggest that the new dog is walked outside, and if possible, a second person walk the other dog(s) at the same time, but always keeping distance between them at all times to avoid any face-to-face issues. We would rotate who walked in front and also walk them side by side (but with one of us between them). Give lots of praise for being calm and friendly. Anytime the dogs look at each other with low, slow tail wags, they get lots of praise.

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When not in the room with the new dog, unless it is afraid of crates, the new dog is crated and given plenty of quiet time to watch the way the other members of the existing pack interact. When we have a new foster or guest dog that was afraid of crates, we place a wire portable fence (xpen) around the crate area with the crate door open.  When we are in the same room, our new dog is allowed out of the crate, but with the doggie/baby gate closed. We monitored this VERY carefully and spent a lot of time at the doorway petting both dogs and telling them how good they were. We also 'treated' each dog at the doorway (after putting them both in sits) and told them how good they were. During this time we ONLY gave treats when both dogs were present and being good. This is the step we spent the most time on. It was the easiest to control and the easiest to reward for correct behavior. We waited until we had reliable, consistent happy tail wags at the gate and no snarky behaviors before we moved on. We continued with the walks, allowing them to be closer, but still avoiding direct contact. Some dogs are quick friends and this process does not take long. For other dogs this process may take a long time.

Stepping Forward Slowly:

We always take our time with this step since the next one would have them out together with no barrier and we want to make sure we have a solid base. We keep a very close eye on body language and quash any posturing by either dog, and we praise appropriate behavior. We continued with the walks and allowed some contact (butt sniffing, but no face-to-face). 

We truly believe that the long, slow introduction process is what has saved us from a potentially bad situation caused by our own inexperience or misreading of the dogs body language. We suggest giving the dogs about 3 weeks. 
Each stage builds on the previous one and we didn’t move on to the next until we felt the dogs were solid. It was a series of successful and positive steps for us and the dogs.

Moral of the story: When introducing mature dogs, Going slow is worth it!