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Live The Life

Tips for a happy, healthy, gorgeous little dog.

How to Introduce a New Dog to your Current Dog

Friday, February 22, 2013
How to Introduce a New Dog to your Current Dog

Although dogs are social animals that tend to love the company of other dogs, there are times when introducing a new dog into the family becomes tricky. Because some resident dogs are not accustomed to having other dogs at home or do not appreciate having to share the family’s attention, first impressions are very important. To help you maximize the chances of becoming successful at getting the new dog accepted by the dog you already have, consider the pointers discussed below.

How to Prepare

Prior to bringing your new dog or puppy home, make sure everything that your resident dog would likely guard is removed. This may include food bowls, chew toys, bones, beds, and toys. Even if your pet has never displayed possessive leanings in the past, it is best to be cautious. In addition, because congested areas may trigger aggression between dogs due to the possibility that the dogs would feel forced upon each other, avoiding clutter is highly important.

What to Do During the Initial Meeting

Secure help from a family member or friend so there will be someone to pay attention to each dog all throughout the first meeting. Making your way separately to a neutral environment such as a park is recommended. It is best to avoid introducing the dogs in the house or even in the yard as the resident dog is likely to become territorial. Besides, open areas like the park are ideal as there are a lot of interesting sights as well as sounds to keep the dogs distracted; thus, away from each other if they opt to.

Try to bring the dogs together, and let them greet each other. Human escorts have to keep slack in the leash so the animals wouldn’t feel as if they are being held back. Expect that the dogs would sniff, circle, play, urinate, or simply ignore each other. Let them do what they want to do to establish a relationship, with as little intermediation from the owner as possible. If the animals try to fight, intervention will then be necessary. Do not pull the dogs away by the leash to keep the attack from being triggered. Just wave a treat over or in front of the dogs’ nose to lure them away from each other. Make sure that the initial interaction is brief. After the dogs meet, go for a short walk together.

What to Do When you Bring the New One Home

Walk home with the dogs together and act as though nothing changed. If you have a yard, let the dogs hang out there for a while as you supervise. When they are ready, let them in to the house. If your dogs luckily have gotten along well at the park as well as in the yard, allow the resident dog to be off the leash first. Let the new dog or puppy to explore the house on the leash, and if the resident dog demonstrates friendly manners, that’s the time you permit the new pet off his leash. Keep their interaction supervised for the next two weeks until both dogs are fully accustomed with each other.

And, finally, congratulations on your growing family!

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