Are you ready to open your home to a second dog, but you are afraid of how your dog will react? Bringing another pet into your home can be overwhelming, especially if you are worried about whether your current dog is going to accept the new puppy. The following are our top tips, tricks, and steps to help you introduce your dog to your new puppy.
Step #1: Find a Compatible Companion – Before you commit to a new puppy or dog, consider introducing your dog to the potential match(es). Most often, your dog will be excited to have a new friend, but it is always a good idea to be considerate and cautious. Introducing your dog to the new dog before making a commitment can save you from heartache and anxiety later.
Step #2: Neutral Ground – Whether you have committed to the new puppy prior to the first meeting or not, always introduce your dog and your new pup on neutral ground. Your dog will automatically be protective of their own territory. Consider instead having the first meeting take place in someone else’s yard, a park, or even a training center. The less territorial your dog feels during this first encounter, the better.
Step #3: Fence not Leash – It is preferable that the dogs are not leashed. When dogs are leashed, it can elevate the excitement leading to increased aggression. If a dog feels like they cannot get away from the other dog if they feel scared, it can escalate their response. If you are concerned at all about the reaction one dog or the other will have, introduce them with a fence in between them.
Step #4: Side by Side Walking – Once you have a positive first meeting, unleashed and on neutral ground, try a side-by-side walk. Make sure each pup has enough space. Once you walk for around 10 minutes, if things are still progressing positively, try allowing them to interact head-to-head. At this time, you can allow more sniffing. Keep the interaction brief, and then continue to entertain them, so they don’t get tired or bored and lose their happy moods.
Step #5: Home – If things have gone well up to this point and the dogs are exhibiting positive signs, its time to bring everyone home. First, allow them to interact in your yard and keep them entertained and busy so they stay happy. If you have multiple dogs, your pup should be introduced to each of them separately. Once that is complete, remove your other dog(s) from inside the home and allow the puppy to get to know their new space. This should preferably be done without your other dog(s) knowing to keep tensions low. After the new pup has been acclimated to the new space, allow your other dogs to enter.
There are many more tips and tricks to encourage a positive relationship between your puppy and dogs, but these are a great place to start. If you need more support or assistance during this time, The Barking Lot can help. We have many service options that are sure to meet any need, including doggie training. Learn more here.