You've decided to add another dog to your family — congratulations! With so many people staying at home, now is an excellent time to bring a new pet into the family.
Despite the fact that dogs are social animals and enjoy being with other dogs, there are occasions when bringing a new dog into the family can be difficult. First impressions are crucial, particularly if your current dog is used to being the only one competing for your affection. Here are some suggestions for getting your current dog to tolerate your new puppy.
How to Prepare for Introducing a New Dog
Place everything your current dog could guard in one area before taking your new dog or puppy home. Food bowls, bones, beds, and toys are examples of this. Ascertain that the new dog has a designated area for all of their belongings. Even if your dog has never been possessive before, it's best to be careful and avoid putting them in a situation where they can battle over toys or food.
Avoiding clutter is also important; dogs can become aggressive if they feel compelled to interact with each other in crowded areas. You might also use a tall baby gate to keep the dogs' areas apart until they've gotten used to each other.
What to Do During the Initial Meeting
Secure assistance from a family member or friend for your dogs' first meeting so that everyone can pay attention to each dog. The meeting should take place in a neutral setting, such as a park. It's best not to introduce the dogs in the house — or even in the yard — because the resident dog might become territorial. Open spaces are perfect because they have a variety of fascinating sights and sounds to keep the dogs entertained.
For the first meeting, follow this step-by-step guide:
- Head to the meeting spot with the dogs separately.
- Bring the dogs together and allow them to greet one another. Human escorts must keep the leashes slack so that the dogs do not feel restrained.
- Expect the dogs to smell each other, circle each other, play, urinate, or simply ignore each other. Allow them to do what they want in order to form a bond — with as little intervention from the owner as possible.
- It's time to interfere if the animals start fighting. But don't drag the dogs away from you with the collar. Instead, get a Willy & Dilly toy and use it to distract them from each other.
- Keep the first encounter short. Try going for a short walk with the dogs after they've met.
If the walk together goes well, your dogs may be ready to meet on home turf.
Advice for Bringing Your New Dog Home
Your new dog and resident dog should try meeting at home after a good first introduction. Begin by going to a neutral spot. Act as if nothing has changed as you walk home with the dogs. If you have a yard, let the dogs run around in it while you keep an eye on them. Allow them to enter the house when they're ready.
Enable the resident dog to be off the leash first if your dogs have gotten along well at the park and in the yard. Allow the new dog or puppy to explore the house on a leash, and only remove the new pet's leash if the resident dog behaves well. If the resident dog is aggressive or territorial, it's best to hold them apart as they work out their differences.
Managing the New Dog in Your Home
As all of the pets adjust to the new situation, create boundaries in your home by using baby gates and locking off rooms and areas. This allows them to see and get to know one another. Allow the resident dog to wander the house at first, while keeping the new dog contained behind a barrier.
Separate the sleeping and feeding areas for the resident dog so he doesn't believe his territory is being invaded. Feed the dogs in different areas and clean up their food dishes after they've finished eating. When you're out or can't watch the dogs, keep them in different parts of the house.
Although your dogs may enjoy playing together, keep an eye on them to prevent them from being too excited, which could result in injury to either or both of them. When one dog starts to bully or growl at the other, stop playing with them and separate them for a few minutes. If they're playing well together, compliment them.
Remember to spend plenty of time exercising and playing with each dog individually. If one dog is much older or less enthusiastic than the other, make sure he has his own room and time to relax and feel safe.