Many of us, who already own a dog, have probably thought about getting another dog as an addition to the family. Before rushing to the local shelter and bringing home your new furry friend, there are a few things to consider. Introducing your new dog to your dog at home is an important process and will form the foundation of friendship between your two dogs. The process of introducing your new dog will take time, but follow the tips below and your dogs will be best buddies before you know it.
The Day You Get Your New Dog
Before you bring home your new pup, leave your other dog with a friend. You do not want to mix two dogs who are meeting for the first time in a car. You will also need some help from another person so that there will be one person to handle each dog. When introducing the two dogs to each other:
- Have a loose leash on both dogs
- Let both dogs meet in a neutral territory, such as your friends backyard or a park
- While having each dog on a secured leash, let them sniff each other for a while
- Once sniffing ends, lead each dog away from each other to sit and reward with a treat- this releases tension build up
- Observe both dogs body language and behavior at all times
- Once both dogs feel comfortable around each other, walk both dogs around the area they will be living- such as your house or apartment
Inside Your Home and the Next Couple Weeks
Dogs recognize things and people by their sense of smell. A tip when introducing a new dog to a previous dog is before letting them visually meet let them smell each other’s toys. Continue doing this while letting each dog smell the area of the other dog, before visually meeting. This will make introducing them easier since the sense of smell will be recognizable.
- Before your dogs enter your home, pick up all toys and bones. Possessiveness and aggressiveness can occur over a toy
- Let each dog have their own food bowls and beds, and feed them separately to avoid confrontation
- Keep playtime brief and consider age differences in each dog- an older dog may need more quiet time
- Praise both dogs when they are playing nicely
- Spend time with each dog individually
- Give the new dog his own confined space and let your old dog visit the new dog as he pleases
Following these tips will make the transition of bringing a new family member home easy for everyone. Sooner than later, your two pups will be best friends.