If you're a dog lover, you already know that if one dog is great, two is even better! If you're ready to introduce a new dog into your home, whether a puppy or fully grown dog, a little planning ahead will make the transition from one dog to two go a lot smoother.
Begin in a Neutral Area
Dogs are naturally territorial. Choose a neutral area, not your own home, when you're ready to introduce a new pet to your dog. He'll be a lot less likely to look at your new friend as a rival if the initial introduction doesn't happen on his home turf. Choose a park (not one you visit frequently) or a friend's yard and make sure you have a helper. That way the dogs can be easily separated if things don't go well at first.
Those First Sniffs
Dogs get to know one another through cautious sniffing. Let them take the first steps. If they're completely uninterested at first, take a short walk and give it another try. Eventually, they'll get the idea.
- Stay positive. Be sure to communicate to your dog that everybody's happy about the new family member. Use your happy voice and give a lot of encouragement. Give some simple commands and reward with treats to keep the experience a positive one.
- Observe body language. You'll know right away if things aren't going as you'd hoped by your dog's body language. If things get tense, pull back for a bit. Get each dog's attention with a simple command followed by a treat for obedience, and then try again.
Time to Go Home
A walk around your yard with both dogs is a good place to start getting your old dog accustomed to the new guy. It may take some time, but eventually both dogs will settle into the routine of your household and establish a good doggy relationship.
Whether you've got one dog or a house full, doggy daycare is a great place to get some fun social time with other dogs. Contact us at Intermountain Pet Hospital & Lodge to schedule a visit!