introducing a new dog to your old dog
Over the years, you and your dog have been close companions. For various reasons, you have decided to add a new dog to the family.
You should do this is a way which causes minimal stress to either dog.
Introduce the dogs on neutral territory
Bringing a second dog into your home can be stressful for the two dogs and for you. Dogs are territorial and your old dog’s instinct will be to defend his territory. Similarly, the new dog will be nervous in his new, unfamiliar surroundings.
If you bring the dogs together in the old dog’s territory raised hackles, posturing and maybe even aggression could be the result.
Introducing the dogs on neutral ground will reduce the tension. The first meeting should be in an open area like a neighbor’s yard. Your old dog will not feel threatened and the new dog will not be nervous about entering another dog’s territory.
The first meeting could be through a chain link fence. They can get used to each other’s scent before they are actually able to sniff each other.
walk the two dogs together
The next step should be walking the dogs together. They should be on a loose leash but not close enough so that they are able to touch. Each dog should be walked by a different person and that person should have some way of getting the dog’s attention when necessary. Usually, one session of walking like this is enough, but be prepared to repeat it.
When you have walked them like this for 5 or 10 minutes, they should be ready for a head to head meeting.
They are now ready for their first sniffing session. Do not choose a confined space for this. Let them get together on a loose leash. Limit the first meeting to about 10 minutes. Separate them from time to time during the meeting and reward them with a treat.
During the introduction watch out fro the way they react to each other. If they seem to want to play, this is a good sign. Barking and growling can be part of play so keep an eye on the body language signals to find out what the dogs are feeling.
Related Article: Dog’s Body Language
now, introduce the old dog to the new dog at home
After some minutes of play, end the introduction while they are still enjoying themselves.
If the introduction on neutral ground went well, it is time to do it again at home. Your back yard is the best place to do this. If it is fenced, they can be off the leash. Bring them apart every few minutes and give them a treat. This will help prevent them from becoming too excited.
The first time you actually bring the new dog inside the home, the old dog should not be there. This will give your new dog chance to explore and make himself familiar with his new surroundings. When the new dog is fully relaxed, the old dog can come in and find his new housemate already there.
The dogs will soon work out the pecking order and react to each other in a positive way.