Image Credits: Pixabay
Getting your new dog and your existing dog befriend each other takes time and patience. Canines need their time to get to know each other. If introductions are properly planned, keeping your dogs’ feelings in mind, then your dogs can become best pals for life.
Here are a few ways to make introductions smoother for your dogs:
Introduce them on leash
Take your dogs to a spacious outdoor area. Choose an area that your existing dog is not territorial about as this could spark an immediate hostility between the dogs.
For more neutral grounds, consider your neighbor’s backyard, a tennis court (perhaps your local community sports court could help), or other such areas.
If getting an outdoor area is difficult, chose indoors with enough space to let two dogs on leash roam about without breaching into the other’s area.
The idea here is to introduce the dogs to each other without them undergoing any stress.
Walk the Dogs
Keep the dogs on a leash and take them on a walk. Keep them 10 feet apart so that they are aware of each other but not too close to growl, stare, or exchange other hostilities. Walk them for a while. Then swap their places so that each dog now walks on the area used by the other dog.
This way, each dog will be introduced to the scent of the other. Dogs usually get to know other dogs on the basis of their urine. So, let them sniff each other’s potty spots.
Bring the Dogs Closer
Retain the leash on the dogs. Get them close enough to sniff each other. Let them sniff each other’s scent for a few minutes. They drag them back gently. If they seem interested in each other and are willing to play, let them do so for a few minutes and then pull them back.
Allow the dogs closer to each other as long as there are no hard stares, growls, or other hostilities toward each other. If your dogs do not seem relaxed and seem stiff, tense, or frozen in their place, then pull them back.
You could try another session of walking them again and bringing them closer the next day. If you are unsure, consider getting the assistance of a professional dog behaviorist.
Remove the Leashes
If the dogs seem comfortable enough around each other, remove the leashes and allow them to get closer. Look for positive body signs such as a play bow. Dogs use the play bow to show friendliness; they rest their elbows on the ground and lift their rear in the air in this gesture. Also, watch out for gestures of respect, such as to give and take by both the dogs.
If you find these positive interactions, let them be together for some more time. Then bring the session to an end with a brief stroll with the dogs giving each other company.
Bring your New Dog Indoors
It is now time to introduce your new dog to its new home. Keep the resident dog outside when you bring the new dog home. This way, the new dog can explore its home freely.
Then bring the resident dog inside. Choose a place that is not as cramped as the meeting place. Keep objects such as dog toys and feeding bowls away from sight at the meeting place to avoid conflict between the dogs. Monitor the dogs daily for signs of hostility and intervene immediately in such cases. Divert the dogs’ attention to something else. Allow them to have some me-time. Keep their mealtimes separate. Seek help from a friend who understands canines all through the process.