Having a new dog in your home could be exciting to your family, but to the resident canine, his reaction can be aggressive or unpredictable in a good or bad way. Therefore, you should plan how to introduce them to each other since first impressions matter to dogs just like they do to human beings. Therefore, you will have a better chance at enhancing the relationship between these two pets in your home and enable them to live harmoniously without fighting or competition. If your current dog loves fighting or has a history of the vice, then it’s important to plan the first meeting more cautiously.
Before the New Dog Arrives
Before the new dog arrives, you should place the things that your current dog might want to guard such as bones, beds, toys, and food bowls in one place that is out of sight. Also, prepare a new home for the new dog and place everything needed there; that way, even if your current dog is not possessive, you’ll avoid potential fights for food or other essentials between the pups.
Also, ensure you declutter the living space as it can make the dogs aggressive when they feel that they’re being forced to live or stay with each other. You can use a baby gate to separate the dogs’ spaces until the time they’re ready to meet without any barriers.
Where to Introduce Your Dogs
The best place to have dog introductions is outdoors since it is a neutral place for each of them. Both dogs should be leashed and walked separately. Also, you must have separate treats for each dog at first. This will keep the dogs from feeling that they are in competition with one another over the rewards. Create some distance between the dogs so that they’ll be able to see each other without being provoked by the presence of one another. When they show complete positive behaviors, then reward them with the treats. Once a pet glances at the other dog, then congratulate him with some positive remarks in a gentle voice while patting him. Continue to reward them and praise them throughout the meeting.
If the dogs react negatively towards each other by beginning to growl or fight, then don’t separate them by leash but rather give them treats over their noses so that you can attract them away from each other. If the aggression escalates remove the dogs from one another and be sure to keep yourself safe during the situation too. After this first brief meeting, plan the next walking session after your dog has received enough rest.
Tips for Bringing a New Dog to your Home
Once the first meeting is successful, you can try walking the dogs in your home as if they’re normally together. Supervise the dogs as you walk them in your yard or other outdoor environments. You can start by removing the leash from your current dog while keeping your new dog leashed. Once the new dog gets used to your home environment remove its leash, but if there is any territoriality or aggression between the two, then it’s time to separate them as they adjust.
Rewards are very useful especially for nervous dogs. Depending on your dog you can reward them more often. Dogs enjoy playing for long periods and being given treats and so they may result in them showing good behavior just to get the treats. Overall, it’s important to analyze how your pets respond to the positive reinforcements to know if it works for them.
If your dogs are still struggling to get along it would be important to talk to your vet or a dog training professional to see if they have a way to assist you.