When bringing a new dog into the house, it is important that every member of the family is on board with the addition. If you’re a cat owner, ask a friend with a dog to bring them over to see how your cat reacts.
The same can be done with dogs. If you’re not sure how your dog will react when introduced to another, ask for help. Bring your current dog to meet the potential new dog at a neutral location; even if your dog likes other dogs, personality clashes will happen. Just like people, dogs don’t always get along with everyone.
Once you do all the research, everyone has met, and all has gone well, it’s time to bring your new family member home. Don’t expect things to go smoothly; hope for it, but don’t expect it! Your new dog will have to be taught the house rules.
When you bring another dog home, start outside, keeping both dogs on leashes. It’s important to keep both dogs equal to keep them feeling relaxed. Keep a fence between them at first, this way they can smell and see each other but can’t get to each other. If the first sniff goes well, bring your dog out and go for a long walk. By walking together, you are letting your first dog know the new one is a welcome addition, and you will be getting them nice and tired.
Back at your home, let them meet in the front yard where your dog will be less protective, then you can move into the backyard together, as a pack. Keep those leashes on though, just in case.
When it’s time to go inside, KEEP THE LEASHES ON! Remember, each step you take could be what triggers one of the dogs, keeping the leashes on and hands on leashes will help provide safety and control.
For now keep this “together time” limited, this will prevent fights from happening and keep things in a positive light. This will also prevent the opposite of happening, we don’t want the dogs too attached to each other. Your new dog should be learning from you and building a strong bond with you not your other dogs. They should each have their own undivided time with you. Yes they will need to be together eventually but there needs to be a time and place for group play. Each dog should have their own space, a crate or a room, where they can enjoy kongs and meals in peace.
If you’re still unsure about how your dogs are treating each other, do not leave them together unsupervised. If you have to go out, the dogs need to be in their crates, don’t hope and pray.
Remember, it could be a few months before your animals become accustomed to each other, even longer to truly be friends. All those cute pictures on the internet are the exception, not the rule.
We had so much fun here! The park is huge with lots of open spaces and trails to get lost in. Do be mindful along the trails, as they border an old canal and there are lots of hills that get slippery in the winter time. These pictures feature our good friend Mocha-Moo!