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Seeking advice for a growing rescue pack

540 Views 7 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  OldDog-NoTricks
I've joined dog forum because of the growing rescue pack!
Indoors are 4 rescue cats and a 6 year old dog (she stays separate to the other dogs). Outside are two recent rescue dogs and a third is arriving soon. If all goes well I'll take on a 4th outdoor rescue dog. I've never kept outdoor dogs but these guys need a home and mine is too small to accommodate so many animals inside in harmony.

The outdoor dogs started with a puppy dumped at my gate with fight bites (I think her owners were desperate and trying to do the right thing). So I got another older dog to keep her company, he is Toby (see my avatar) he's had a broken front leg and damaged back leg possibly due to a motor bike. He's an absolute treasure but was attacked by other dogs at the rescue home. His three legged girlfriend is still there and I am planning to adopt her. All going well we'll take a 4th (older) doggo later this year.

So I am here looking for tips, hints and links to old threads to help manage and enjoy a growing outdoor rescue pack!
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Personally, my feeling is that a situation such as you describe might not be an improvement from the side of "is their their well being being improved ?". Rescue shelters have full time staff, vets, trained personnel and financial resources unavailable to most people. So the question is ...does your personal situation allow you to be in a position to improve things for them ? How often you have to be away from home, how many folks you can depend on to help you all factor in here. And is your property subject to limits on how many dogs you can keep.

Dunno where you live but weather is an issue here. If your hitting high 80s or low 30s, that can be a significant issue. Aside of the physical well being issues there's the other side .... how much human interaction can you give them ? At some point this might become an issue with neighbors. We have a large 3.5 acre property that was owned by a breeder, also has 3 outdoor kennels and a grooming room. We have 2 dogs, 2 cats and sometimes we have guest dogs and my son's 2 dogs. Historically they have had the full run of the fenced in property but storms and fallen trees have created gaps in the fence and will likely be July before we catch up.

Normally the dogs are outside in spring / summer / fall on days that we dont have heat or AC on.... they come and go in and out as they please. They want in they bark. I work from home so Im with them pretty much 24/7. And it' me, wifie and 2 adult children. One is a pilot so he's here mostly, the other is a student. The house is a 200 year old dairy barn with 5 levels, each separated by a hinged baby gate. Every new arrival has had issues with the other animals when they arrived, gates provided for socialization opportunities but inter-pet aggressiveness is not tolerated ... at this point everybody eats out of each others food bowls.

Is the plan such that they'd be platooned ... in other words ... 2 inside on M-W-F and 2 inside on T-T-S ? One thing we've become very aware with of late with our latest addition requiring some medical care on our part is that the other dogs are affected by what they perceive as "special attention". The dogs were fighting, marking and humping each other all of a sudden for reasons we didn't understand.... so the indoor / outdoor situation may cause some rivalries.

Aside for that, if you have the resources in time, environment and other items noted above a secure fence and adequate environmentally controlled shelter would be the 1st step. Adequate financial resources will be required to provide proper care and diet. No "Purina Dog Chow" (not a knock on the brand, Purina does have quality product lines) but the stuff that one can buy for $20 for 50 pounds is not a healthy diet.

Your goal is admirable and anyone without full knowledge of your resources and time that you can commit won't be in a position to judge. But going in you have to understand the challenge this will bring ...good pets require physical and mental stimulation beyond that which they get from one another. A fair number of pets that are brought into shelters are ones that were taken away from owners because over time because of owner's deteriorating health or finances, they could not provide adequate care.

Many more thoughts come to mind but it starts with "can you give them better care and more attention than they could get at a shelter. One thought I'd suggest is partnering with a local shelter and fostering dogs ... this way you have a fallback situation whereby if you are called away got family emergency or whatever, you have a support structure behindyou.
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So yes, I absolutely can improve their quality of life and I've improved their diet 1000% already with my home made recipe, fresh bones, etc. I've had dogs all my life but this is the first time I'm going to try having an indoor gang and an outdoor pack... so I'll probably come to DF for sanity breaks😜 as well as advice.
I would have to agree with you, but that was why I asked the question rather than making a judgement. The subsequent information provides a lot of clarity. The one thing I would still encourage you to do is find someone of like mind to help you. Should you get sick or injured, will need to have someone to help you. Also depending on breed, temperature conditions are an issue:

When seeking to find a Husky companion for our Husky / Shepherd mix, I was dismayed to find that the 2 states with the most huskies up for adoption were Florida and Texas, two stated where temps often exceed 100 degrees F (38C) *

* Who will be the 1st reader to the serious typo in this image :)

Anything in the 80s (27 - 32C) is potentially life threatening for a dog ... the larger and heavier coat the more so; shade and plenty of water significantly reduces this risk. The above links provide good advice in this regard.

I will make a 2nd post on the topic including a table which folks can edit and tailor to their own dogs. At just 26C, a large elderly dog with some extra weight with plenty of water and shade is considered to be in "life threatening conditions" at just 26C. A small teeny dog is similarly exposed at 29C, both worse so if they have heavy coats.

I would suggest that in addition to drinking water, in the warmer months at least a "kiddle pool which they can lay in and cool off would be a boon. Fleas, ticks and worms are a serious problem everywhere ... you'll want to avoid exposing new dogs to your pack until it has been checked and cleared for worms. Many folks, concerned of tick borne diseases being spread to their families, periodically have their property sprayed and when doing so, it's wise to have a separate area where the dogs can be kept until a good rain. the chemicals don't last long and neither does the effectoiveness. By next season, the area will be reinfested. Elevating their dog beds is helpful and, depending on size, daily cleaning of excrement may be a must. When I worked with security dogs, my rule of thumb was 500 SF per dog per day... Stretching that to a week with 2 dogs that's 500 x 2 x 7 = 7,000 SF or 70 x 100.
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As to "joggin the noggin ... that's what forums are for and other "communities". I attended a conference in Puerto Rico and we conducted an exercise where by we were asked to take a list of 20 items and list them in order of importance to human survival if you crash landed on the moon and had 60 seconds before the hull failed. The 1st round was done individually and the average score was 71%. Now this was a conference for the National Society of Professional Engineers ... so, I would hope :), ... a group of cautious and logically thinking people (aka nerds). In the 2nd round, we were paired up and with 2 people contributing to the answers the score rose to 89%. In the last round, we were placed in groups of 5 ... the score rose to 99+%.

The big takeaways from this were:

a) The lowest score among the groups of two was better than all but 1 of the single testers.
b) The most common error was people who ranked oxygen tank 1st ... the correct answer was pressure suit as with no suit, the lack of air pressure, cold and radiation present more of a problem ... and you'd have nothing to hold the air in.
c) The person who had the lowest score in the test, got that question under b) above right..... 87% of the testers got it wrong in the individual test.

After the testing, we had not as yet had any knowledge of the test results as yet and, as there were no names associated with the answer reporting, there were no prizes for anyone to win. Between dinner and desert, someone read out all the correct answers followed to what the testing showed. The factoid listed under c) above was the last one reported and the speaker asked ... what is the most important think we learned from this ? and he picked someone who raised their hand and that person .... "when approaching a difficult project, the project leader should never automatically dismiss any idea that might be considered out there or outside the box .... you can oft find good ideas in unexpected places." .... to which someone shouted out .... "even from the dumbest guy in the room". We all laughed but I have heard that story told dozens of times at subsequent meetings with people reporting examples where someone made a suggestion that was criticized by a segment of the team and wound up being included in the project.

I came into your story missing a lot of information and expressed concerns that were based on my experiences and observations ... in short, lacking the knowledge of the situation in Paraguay, in this case, I was the proverbial "dumbest guy in the room" ... so I'm relieved that one useful contribution was made to improve how you approach your challenge.
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