Congratulations – you’ve decided to adopt a new puppy! While adopting a new dog can come with enough stress on its own, it can be even more complicated if you have another pet in your home already. If you find yourself in this situation, there is no cause for alarm as long as you get the introduction right. First of all, don’t panic if things seem difficult. You should not assume that both of your dogs will get along right off the bat. With dogs, much like with humans, first impressions matter. Here are some tips to create a positive first impression.
Tips for the Perfect Introduction
Introduce Your Dogs on Neutral Ground
Dogs are naturally territorial, and some dogs may even have the natural instinct to be hostile towards anyone they perceive as intruders. An example of a neutral ground could be a place such as an open field that the two dogs have not visited before. Make sure you keep the leashes loose for the two dogs to interact. However, you need to be quick to separate the two if you notice signs of aggression.
Take Both Dogs on Walks
You can do this one on your own, although it may be better to have another person with you. Take both dogs out for a walk and let them walk together in a parallel line. To deal with any tension between the two, give them enough leash to venture anywhere they like. However, before they make contact with one another, make sure they walk together for around ten minutes. This technique is ideal for reducing tension and anxiety since both will be distracted by their surroundings.
Introduce the Dogs on Either Side of the Fence
This method is especially useful for people who are overly worried about how the first meeting goes. Remember that dogs are highly attuned to the emotions of people around them. As such, they will often mirror those feelings. If you are such a person, then let the two meet unrestrained in an enclosed space with a separating fence with you observing at a distance.
Familiarize the Dogs With One Another’s Scent
Once you have decided to get a new puppy, get a piece of cloth to rub on the puppy. Once at home, let your adult dog smell the cloth for a pre-familiarization before the actual meeting. Once this is out of the way, let the two meet up and sniff one another. To reduce tension at this stage, separate the two occasionally to administer treats.
Understanding the dynamics of your dog and understanding the world from their point of view can go a long way to ease a hard transition. Remember to always be on the lookout for any aggressive behavior. The last step will be letting the puppies meet in the house and establish their own hierarchy. In the early days, separate the two dogs when you are not around.
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