What Steps to Take to Introduce New Dog To Old Pet Dog?
If you already have a pet dog at home, then there is no doubt the thought of bringing him a companion would have crossed your mind. Where your dog will love and enjoy having one, the initial phase will be no less than threatening. Dogs are territorial, and having another one in their space will not always be welcomed.
It makes bringing another pet home a big decision, as making the transition smooth is imperative for all parties. The steps of introducing the two to one another should hence be planned carefully. This will ensure a companionship that will last a lifetime.
Here are a few steps that can help to introduce your new pet dog to the old ones:
Step 1 -
Introduce them at a neutral space
It is not always possible to find a space at home that your old dog has not visited. However, it is a very important step as it will calm their territorial instincts. Your old dog will not feel threatened by the new one, preventing them from getting aggressive.
If it is not possible to find such space, your next best bet is an outdoor space, where the dogs can roam with a leash on them. This way, they will get to know each other. However, even if that isn’t available, try your garage or the basement. All you need to make sure is that the space is neutral and not congested for the dogs, you and your helper.
Furthermore, make sure that your helper is either familiar with your old dog or is someone who understands canine behavior. This will help you both determine whether the introductory phase was successful.
Step 2 -
Take them on a parallel walk
Walking your dog is a great way to bond with them, and this process can be equally useful for helping your old and new dog bond with one another. However, it is advised that they’re not nearby—they should be farther than the length of their leash. Walk them parallel to one another so that they can take a look at each other.
When walking on your way back, ensure that you trade places so that the two can take in each other’s scent that they had left before. This will allow them to learn more and get familiar with one another. You should also allow them to investigate potty spots as urine-sniffing is one of the most helpful ways for dogs to gather information about the other ones.
It is also important that both the handlers remain calm and patient throughout the process.
Step 3 -
Keep a lookout for their body language
Keep a lookout for wagging tails that proves their interest in one another. But make sure that they are not having a tense posture, giving hard stares or are frozen in a place. In case you feel that they are not comfortable or you are not sure of their behavior, it is best if you take a behaviorist’s advice or take help from a trainer.
Once you believe that the dogs are more relaxed and social toward one another, then you may gradually decrease the distance between them.
This can be done when you are parallel walking them. However, make sure that they are not facing each other when you are bringing them closer since it may be stressful and an unnatural way for your dogs to meet.
Step 4 -
Let the dogs interact with one another
Once you and your helper are comfortable with the dogs’ behavior with one another, you may go ahead and drop the leashes. They will start by sniffing one another; you can encourage this by praising their calm interaction. You can take them for a brief walk again, and you may parallel walk them closer than before.
Now, the dogs will be more familiar with each other’s scent and may even start playing around. The best sign of invitation to connect is a play bow; this is when the dogs lower their elbows on the ground and raise their rear end in the air.
Keep a watchful eye on them with they are playing. Any sign of mutual give-and-take during their interaction is a sign that they have developed a respect for one another.
Step 5 -
Bring the new dog inside for the first without the old one
When introducing your new dog to his new living space, your old dog should not be around. You should let your helper take the old dog out for a stroll when the new one is taking a look around the house.
Keep a check on your new dog when he investigates, and once he is done, you can bring him to a part of your house that is away from the door. You can then bring in your resident dog and let them meet again inside the house.
When doing so, ensure that the space is free of treats, food or toys that have a possibility of creating tension between the dogs. And of course, the two should be on-leash throughout the process, and up until you find their behavior affirmative.
Step 5 -
Points to remember before you begin the introduction
The same policies must be followed when you are introducing your new pet dog to more than one resident dog. It is, however, easier, because the old dogs will be used to the presence of other dogs in their space, and may not be very territorial. It is also easier if your new pet dog is a puppy when brought into your family, as he will be less threatening to your old one. You should, however, keep an eye on the puppy as they are notorious and tend to fool around to gain attention from the old one.
Furthermore, before you introduce your new pet dog to your old one, it is important to ensure pet care right from the start. You should take your pet to a vet for a check-up. The vet will ensure that your new dog is free of mites, ticks, lice, and fleas. He will also deworm and vaccinate your new dog if it has not been done before.
You can find the best and top-rated vets in your area by visiting the website of Great Vet, selecting your city and entering your zip code. The Great Vet will enlist the best vets in your area, from which you can choose your nearest one and take your new pet to. You can also ask your vet for various tips and tricks you can use when introducing your new pet dog to the old ones.