Dog Meets Dog
New dog in the household? The key to success is to plan ahead and be patient. Don’t assume the dogs will take an instant liking to each other or that they will work things out themselves. If your dogs get off on the wrong paw, the relationship might not recover. Taking a little extra time is well worth the effort.
Before you get in the house:
• Arrange an on-leash meeting on neutral ground. That means not in your house or yard, and with plenty of space around. Keep the leashes loose and let the dogs approach calmly. (Is your dog more comfortable off leash? Leave the leash off and keep tasty treats ready in case you need to call him away.)
• After a 2-second greet-and-sniff , call each dog away with a cheerful voice. Praise and treat.
• Now take a short walk with both dogs. Begin on separate sides of the street. As the dogs relax, gradually move closer together until side by side.
In the house:
• The first time the dogs are inside the house together, keep them on leash and keep the introduction brief, around 5 minutes. Then confine the newcomer to a comfortable space like a dog-proofed spare room or crate where he can start to get used to his new home.
• Over the next day or two, repeat the brief introductions. Keep them to 5-10 minutes and keep the dogs on leash.
• Make the time the dogs spend together as pleasant as possible. Reward friendly and playful behavior with food treats, praise, and toys.
• Don’t be tempted to try longer periods of time if the early introductions go well. Slowly work your way to longer periods of dog-dog time.
With this approach, your new dog should be fully accepted as a family member within a week or two. If things are still not warming up after two weeks, call us for help.