Saturday, July 5, 2014

Baby Dogs and Baby Babies: Step 2 The Introduction Plan

Here is our plan for introducing all the family members to the new arrival...

Puppy meets kids
- Kids will be armed with their fleece tugs to redirect any puppy teeth
- Kids will be in the back yard
- Norm will bring puppy in and set him down away from the kids
- I am in charge of children so Norm can focus on puppy and kids are instructed not to approach puppy but they may pet or play with him if he comes over
- Kids will be encouraged to ignore puppy and play in the backyard like normal
- I will be there to coach the kids if puppy comes over, Norm is in charge of removing the puppy if there is an issue

Puppy meets Adult Dog
- We will brush Reyna and have her potty while Norm is going to pick up puppy so there will be very new Reyna scent in the yard when puppy gets here
- Reyna will be in her crate in our closed bedroom when puppy arrives
- Puppy gets opportunity to sniff and play in the yard
- Puppy gets a chance to sniff and play in the living room and kitchen
- Puppy goes into crate in a closed bedroom for nap time
- Reyna come out of her crate and is allowed to sniff all the places the puppy has been
- Reyna goes for a walk
- We will continue this "ships in the night" approach throughout the day
- Depending on how we are feeling we may allow them to see each other in passing on the first day, but no interactions
- Over the next couple days we will have both dogs on leashes with an adult person with treats and they will be allowed to see each other while receiving non stop treats...other dog goes away, so do the treats
- We will gradually move them closer together and will start allowing some drive by sniffs
- Then we will move up to mat work near each other using Relaxation Protocol and open bar/closed bar policies
- Then we will allow Reyna off leash outside with puppy on leash and an adult assigned to each dog to keep interactions short...the puppy on leash is to prevent him harassing the adult dog and to keep him close if he needs to be picked up
- Then we move to supervised off leash interaction with adults ready to intervene if needed

In case you haven't noticed this is very different from the "let's see how they do" philosophy. There are two reasons for this
1) there is a lot of risk involved in just seeing how they do and if something goes wrong it could have irreparable damage physically or mentally
2) there is no down side to taking the slow acclimatization and allows for a ton of flexibility if they are adjusting faster or slower than we thought

Puppy meets Cat
- Very similar to above, but the cat is not put on leash
- we prevent them sharing space and we play musical living spaces for the first day or two
- Any spatial transitions or space sharing will include the puppy on leash, cat off leash and both receiving treats
- Since dogs don't speak cat we will translate for him by allowing him to approach the cat, cat stiffens, arches or growls or gives any other early sign saying stay away and we call the puppy and give him treats
- After many reps we will hold the leash and wait for the puppy to make the choice on his own to turn away then we reward that choice with praise and treats
- As puppy gets better and consistent at reading cat body language we will slowly start to allow him to drag his leash and then be off leash, all with adults present to intervene

That's the plan!
Photos and day 1 results will follow shortly!

1 comment:

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