Thursday, July 5, 2012

A Weekend Visitor

This past weekend, we had the pleasure of watching a friend of ours, Koda.  I love Koda because, well, he is pretty much a fluffy version of Maggie.

Obsessed with balls and toys? Check.
Likes to be the dog in charge? Check. 
Is a bit demanding? Check.

Unfortunately for Koda, Maggie does not really enjoy having her fluffy twin around. 

The last time we looked after Koda, I committed the cardinal sin of petting him before Maggie when I came home from work.  Maggie instantly tried to start a dog fight.  Well, she snapped and aggressed toward Koda, he told her off quickly and backed away.  I intervened and all was fine in our household.

Until the next time I came home.  Even though I was careful not to pay any attention to Koda before Maggie, she did the same thing.  And the time after that.  And the time after that.  Since I knew it was going to happen, I started ignoring both of them when I came home and instantly intervened when Maggie got bitchy. 

Other than Maggie's snarkiness when I arrived home, we spent the rest of the weekend in peace.   Sadie lurves her some Koda and flirted with him as much as possible. It's funny how dogs defy our expectations.  Sadie has never been overly fond of male dogs at the dog park but with Koda, we saw a spunky side of Sadie that we'd never seen before - she even wanted to wrestle with him!  Unfortunately for her, Koda was more interested in a ball or hanging out with the Hubster than loving up on Sadie, no matter how closely she shadowed him all weekend long. 

Even though watching Koda was not without its trying moments (thanks, Maggie), he is a doll to be around and I value the experience my dogs gain, specifically Maggie who needs to learn how to peacefully co-exist with dogs she's not overly fond of.  I was happy with how they all did this weekend - Koda was much better this second time around focusing all his attention on the Hubster and letting Maggie have me to herself and towards the end of the weekend, I saw some definite communication between the two that seemed to be geared towards acceptance.  They may never be the best of friends but eventually, Koda will be able to hang out and Maggie will be able to hang out and I won't have to watch them closely for signs of a pending snark-off.

Have you ever fostered or watched after a dog that your own did not particularly like?  What did you do to make co-existence peaceful?


  1. I find it fascinating to see which dogs like each other and which don't. It's really no different from people. But we have the ability to hide our feelings better than dogs do.

    We've been lucky with fosters so far. Honey has loved all of them. One puppy, Eddie, wasn't crazy about her. But fortunately she took his signals with aplomb and they two coexisted without conflict.

    Sounds like you developed some good management techniques with Maggie and Koda. Sometimes that's all you can do.

  2. With all the dogs in and out of the house, it really is interesting to see who loves who etc. If Parker or Skye don't seem thrilled with the new dog, or especially if the new dog is being rude to mine, it loses freedom.

    Usually that means a tie-down in the living room, which my dogs understand means they have free reign but the guest does not. Luckily, my pups accept just about any dog that stays at the house even if they aren't a fan- I'm sure Maggie will get there in time.

  3. Abbie is picky about who she likes and doesn't like. She definitely does better with submissive dogs, males or females don't seem to matter much. I was actually contemplating something along this level just this morning as I watch Buddy chomping on Abbie's, feet, jowels, ears, collar, to try and get her attention to play. Just over a year ago she was still setting boundaries with him, and today she tolerates his annoyingness...for a while... I do know I don't trust her enough to give her alone time with many visiting dogs, and if I do, it is typically a short amount and during her "less aroused" time when napping is her #1 priority.

  4. We have been babysitting a naught six month old puppy all week - it has been very trying and Cali does NOT appreciate the noise or the nonsense! She's never really been a fan of dogs staying at our house (the cats don't like it either!) Koda sure is cute!!

  5. I enjoyed reading your blog post. It has been a few weeks now since I am babysitting my Boo.