Having multiple dogs can be fun, but it is also a lot of work. One of the most important things when getting a new dog is to introduce him or her to your current pet(s) successfully. A good introduction sets the foundation for a good relationship in dogs. Here are some tips for getting that introduction to go well.
- Recruit help: Ideally, contacting a dog behavioral specialist for this meeting would be great. If one is not available, it is a good idea to have a 2nd person to help you with the introduction as both dogs should have a handler.
- Meet on neutral territory: Have the first contact be somewhere neutral. Try somewhere like a neighbor’s yard or a park. Do not have the first contact in an enclosed space such as a car as this may agitate the dogs.
- Conduct this first meeting while leashed: Keep the dogs leashed for this first meeting. Allow for their interactions to progress at their own pace. If they ignore each other at first, that is fine. It’s preferable to forcing them into a situation where they become aggressive. If they want to get close, let them, but keep an eye out for aggressive behavior.
- Keep this first introduction brief: Let them hang out for a few minutes and then take a break and disengage them. This allows them to collect themselves. Use these breaktimes to reward good behavior.
- If all goes well, move on to onto bringing the dogs home. Have the dogs take a walk around the yard together before approaching the house. After that, bring them inside and keep them leashed to walk them around the house together.
- If this step goes well, you can take off the leashes, but supervise them still. Do not leave them unattended while they are still getting used to each other.
For the first few weeks, keep them in separate areas for sleeping and meals. It will take a while for the dogs to get used to having the other in the house. Also, if your current dog is very territorial and bad