If you’re adding a second dog to the family, a proper introduction is the best way to ensure that the transition from a one-dog to a two-dog house goes smoothly. The team here at Close Vet Clinic knows that introducing a new dog to your family dog can be stressful, which is why we’ve shared some great tips to make this introduction as easy as possible.
START ON NEUTRAL TERRITORY
When introducing the two dogs, the first time they meet should be on neutral territory. Bringing them to the park or another street will reduce any territorial feelings the dogs may have. Make sure you bring plenty of treats with you during this first meeting so that you can reward positive behaviour.
Once the dogs are both at the chosen location, start by letting the dogs see each other from a distance. If they seem happy with this, then let them slowly approach each other. If their behaviour continues to be positive, make sure that you reward both dogs with treats and praise.
MONITOR BODY LANGUAGE
When introducing your two dogs, always pay close attention to body language. Throughout the introduction, you should be on the lookout for indicators of defensive or wary behaviour in both of the dogs. Indicators or this include hair standing up on their back, teeth being bared, growling, or prolonged staring.
If you notice any of these behaviours in either of your dogs, do not panic. Simply interrupt the dogs by interesting them in something else, such as a toy or another person. This should stop the behaviour before it escalates.
The most important thing to have when introducing your dogs is patience. As much as you would love them to be instant best friends, you need to let them set the pace of the introduction. While you can hope that the introductions will be smooth and quick, be prepared for them to take longer than anticipated if one or more dogs need a little more time to adjust.
While you dogs are becoming comfortable around each other, make sure that they are monitored closely any time they are together. Until you are 100% confident that your dogs have bonded, do not leave them unattended together. In addition, during this introductory period, try and keep toys and food separated so that there is nothing that could instigate a fight between them.
Taking the extra time to make sure that your dogs are properly introduced is the best way to ensure a successful integration into the family. If the introduction of your two dogs isn’t going as well as planned, contact a professional dog trainer or give our Kitchener Vet Clinic a call. Our knowledgeable team is here to help answer any of your questions.