Dog Forum banner
1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
166 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have experience with senior dogs, I have one right now but I don't have experience with bonded pairs. A shelter in my area is extremely full and these two have been there for three years after their owner died. Nobody wants to adopt them because one, they're old, two they come as a pair. You can't adopt one without the other. I met them both the other day and they're the sweetest, calmest, most gentle dogs I've ever met. I fell in love instantly. I offered to foster them for a few days, weeks, however long it takes(because it said on their charts they were due for euthanasia in a few days... The shelter is too full) . I was just approved two days ago and they'll be at my house on Monday. They met my two dogs also and surprising My little one that seems aggressive sometimes really took a liking to them.
My question is, is there anything special I need to do for bonded pairs? They both get extremely anxious even if they're in a different room from each other. I work part time so I'll only be gone for four hours every day and the shelter already said that was fine as long as I don't crate them apart because one of them gets anxiety attacks if he can't see his brother. They both have arthritis and can't walk up stairs, which is fine, they'll be sleeping in my moms bedroom which is on the first floor. She really likes them too lol. They're being fed some kind of really generic food, I want to switch to a higher quality food.
Is there anything I should be aware of when fostering a bonded pair?? I am SO excited
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
166 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Also they're both 12 and a half and one is a German Shepard lab mix and the other is a lab mix, they call them brothers because the owner adopted them from a shelter at the exact same time, so they've known each other for 11 years
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
149 Posts
I think probably the big thing will be respecting their dynamic. They have had their own set of rules for each other and they have worked for this many years. Whether or not you think they are fair doesn't really factor in if no one is being harmed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,410 Posts
Hi :wave:
I don't have any experience with what you are doing, but wanted to say thanks for taking these two!! It's so sad to hear of elderly dogs in kennels after their owner has died, but for 3 years!!!! :(. I'm sure they will have a happy life with you :huddle:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,421 Posts
I have to agree with 3Dogfam. If they were younger, I might suggest you help them learn to have some confidence apart from each other. At their age and with their long shelter experience, that would almost be cruel.

I would suggest that you give them plenty of time to adjust to your home. This pair has spent a very long time in a shelter environment. What you see at first may not be what you see three or four months from now.

I take my hat off to you for giving these seniors a foster home.

This is a good article and she has a great book called Love Has No Age Limit.

Three Ways to Confuse a New Dog
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,840 Posts
Probably not unlike any other senior, just two instead of one.

As far as their bonding goes....I agree to just let them be. There's no need to work on training them to be apart because they're going together anyway. And at their age, I don't think it's fair or necessary.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
893 Posts
Initially, I would treat them both as one. Keep them together and keep them separate from your dogs at first to settle into your home. I agree with others, at this age I wouldn't try to separate them. If you're petting one, pet the other at the same time too. As thy settle in with you, you can spend short spurts of time one-on-one for some love and affection.

I am currently fostering 2 dogs as well (not seniors though). Both lived together their whole lives, so I keep them together. They are separated from my dogs as they are going through a treatment that requires complete calmness on their behalf. As long as they are together they are happy, so I recommend the same for your 2 senior fosters in the beginning.

If you do decide to integrate them with your resident dogs, make sure you learn to read the bonded pair's language between themselves first. This way you can make sure introductions are kept calm and know when to intervene (if needed). Many bonded pairs can become very protective of each other and you don't want to let one feel threatened in case the other decides to step in and protect the brother.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
166 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you all so much for the advice!! I'm definitely not planning on separating them, Ive gone through dogs being incredibly anxious (my dog that passed away, in his last few days was Very anxious being away from me and I wouldnt want them feeling the same way) I guess I'll just treat them like they're one dog lol. I'm very excited, and can't wait to see how this goes. The shelter did mention that they're both food aggressive towards each other because apparently their last owner only fed them out of one bowl, that's what the daughter said at least so I'll have to work on that, I'll probably start with feeding them a few inches apart with a see through baby gate in between them so they can still see each other and see how that goes. They said something like "if one dog isn't eating it's probably because the other dog ate his food, so..." and as senior dogs, I don't want them to go without meals, they need all the nutrients they can get
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,421 Posts
Thank you all so much for the advice!! I'm definitely not planning on separating them, Ive gone through dogs being incredibly anxious (my dog that passed away, in his last few days was Very anxious being away from me and I wouldnt want them feeling the same way) I guess I'll just treat them like they're one dog lol. I'm very excited, and can't wait to see how this goes. The shelter did mention that they're both food aggressive towards each other because apparently their last owner only fed them out of one bowl, that's what the daughter said at least so I'll have to work on that, I'll probably start with feeding them a few inches apart with a see through baby gate in between them so they can still see each other and see how that goes. They said something like "if one dog isn't eating it's probably because the other dog ate his food, so..." and as senior dogs, I don't want them to go without meals, they need all the nutrients they can get
Resource guarding. Normal dog behavior that can be changed. This is a good article and there are more resources in the training and behavior section.

How to React When Your Dog Begins Resource Guarding Against Other Dogs - Whole Dog Journal Article
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
166 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
They've been here almost all day and already they're acting like they're home! they get along amazingly with my dogs, right now they're currently all sleeping together. I thought it was gonna be a lot harder than it is, I have noticed that they've been following me all day and get very anxious when I close a door on them, like if I go to the bathroom and close the door they both sit outside and whine and press themselves against it, they're also that way with my two dogs, they follow them everywhere. Could that be because they're in a new place and they're just anxious? Had no problems with feeding time, I gave them rice and boiled chicken because the shelter didn't provide any food like they said they would and I didn't want to upset their stomachs just suddenly giving them different food
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,207 Posts
There's nothing special you have to do other than allow them to spend time together. I would give them better food but be careful, they're old! It's nice to see shelters adopting out a large pair. A little bonded pair (littermates!) of seniors at mine was separated and it bothered me. :-/
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top