For the lucky ones this works out fine, but more often people find themselves in the middle of a fight and wonder what went wrong. To make sure your dogs will get along, there are several things to consider.
- Dogs tend to get along better with another dog of the opposite sex. If the dogs are of the same sex, you may want to consider spaying or neutering them before the initial introduction.
- Also, you may want to check whether your new dog shows dominant behavior before selecting one. If a new dog was dominant at the kennel or shelter, it may express dominance at home, which can be problematic.
- Before you bring in the new dog, put away anything your old dog could get possessive about. This includes any toys, bowls or similar items. This will help your old dog to stay calm.
- Be careful in choosing the area for the two dogs to meet. It should be in a neutral area such as aneighborhoodpark. This way, your old dog will not feel territorial dominance, and the new dog will be much more relaxed. Also, always have somebody to help you with the initial introduction, just in case you need to separate the dogs.
- When you get your dogs together for the first time, keep the leashes loose, let them sniff each other. Stay relaxed as your behavior may influence the atmosphere and could make things better or worse. Be positive and calm. Do not hold a puppy in your arms, as it may feel trapped or tense.
- If you notice any teeth baring, deep growling and nipping or snapping, separate the dogs immediately by calling them away or with a treat if necessary. Do not drag them by the leash as this may raise tensions. If the first get-together went well, put them off their leash and let them play together.
- After the introduction, it is time to bring both of them home. Initially, do not feed them in the same room, at least for a week. Also, do not leave your dogs unsupervised. Let them interact as much as possible, and always remain calm, no matter what happens.
- Keep their belongings separate. Do not expect them to share bowls, beds or toys. Make sure each dog is fed in a separate bowl and has its own supplies.
- Do not favor your new dog. Your old dog may feel neglected while you bond with the new one, so make sure you give each pet the exact same amount of attention during the first couple of weeks. As your old dog may feel confused or even jealous, give the same amount of attention and time that it received prior to the new dog being introduced.
Although it takes time and patience, if you take a calm and positive approach, your dogs will soon get along just fine.
The Real Owner