It’s common for dog owners to decide that they want to add another dog to their family. While the idea of adopting another dog and bringing him or her home is simple, the actual task of introducing your two canines may be difficult, and at times, stressful. When it comes time to bring your new pup home, there are a few simple steps that you can take to ensure that the transition and introduction goes as smoothly as possible, and in today’s post, we will give you a few tips on how to introduce your favorite pups.
When it comes to introducing your new dog to your old dog, training plays an important role. Depending on the training level and age of your new pup, you may have to rely on the skills of your current dog to ensure that everything goes according to plan. Luckily, ACDT offers professional dog training classes to residents in the Medford area. Whether you’re looking to fine-tune your old dog’s basic training skills, or you’re interested in puppy obedience classes for your new pup, we can help! Check out our dog training classes on our website, and contact ACDT to sign up today!
Introduce Them Slowly
While you may be excited for your new pup to meet your current furball, you can’t let your excitement cloud your judgment. With dogs, it takes time for them to warm up to each other, so it’s important that introduce your dogs slowly and don’t try to force them together. Letting your new dog loose into the backyard with your old dog may seem like a harmless way for them to get to know each other, but it can often be less successful than you may have hoped.
Meet in a Neutral Space
If there is a park between your home and the shelter or breeder where you get your dog, stop there and introduce your dogs before you head home. This is a great tactic if you are nervous about how your two dogs will react. Waiting to introduce your dogs at your house can lead to your current dog feeling territorial over his or her home.
Have Both Dogs on a Leash
When you first introduce your dogs, make sure that they both are attached to a leash and that the person holding the leash is calm and relaxed. The leash is a direct link between the handler and the dog, meaning that if the handler is nervous and on edge, the dog will sense that unease and probably be on guard.
Walk the dogs together but with a safe distance between them. By walking your dogs together, you give them the opportunity to stare and watch each other, without the fear of them getting into a fight. After you’ve walked a few feet, safely cross paths while still keeping the dogs a safe distance apart. Crossing paths allows each dog to smell the other dog’s scent. Watch for any sort of negative reaction.
Let the Dogs Meet
Once you have walked the dogs together without conflict, you can slowly close the distance between them. At this point, you have the option to keep a loose leash on the dogs or let the leash drag on the ground. Let the dogs sniff at each other and become acquainted. If meeting each other nose to nose goes well, you can take them to a more enclosed area.
During this next step in the introduction, it’s important to sit back and let the dogs interact. Many dog owners will want to micromanage the introduction, but it’s important to let your dogs interact without any pressure.
Keeps Dogs Separate While You’re Away
Even if your dogs seem completely comfortable around each other, it’s still a good idea to keep them separated for the first few days if you leave the house. The last thing you would want is for you to come home to a battle scene, so it’s best to only let your dogs interact together while you are there to keep an eye on things. Whether you decide to keep them in separate rooms or separate crates is up to you, the main thing is to be sure that they can’t fight or get injured while you’re away.
We hope that these tips help ease the transition of a new dog into your home. If you’re in need of more tips and tricks or you’re interested in one of our dog obedience classes, contact ACDT!