Bringing a Second Dog Home?

How-to bring a new dog home

Like any parent, you’ve come to the conclusion that you can handle one child, and you think you’re ready for another… but is introducing one dog to another easy or will it be challenging? How will the dogs react? will they like each other? or will be a complete and utter disaster?

Read on for some tips on how to make their meeting as smooth as possible…

The Golden Rule

This rule can be applied to both dogs and boyfriends (girls, if you’re reading this, take notes!) introduce the two dogs to one another before you bring the new dog home (if you’re thinking of introducing your parents to your boyfriend, grab a coffee!). Don’t just come home one day with a brand new dog thinking everything will be absolutely fine. To the dog that was there already, they may feel that this is an intrusion on their territory by a strange alien dog.

Plus, like looking after someone else’s children, your dog knows the rules and boundaries of your home, your new dog will not. If you bring in a new dog straight away, it might encourage bad behaviour in both.

Picture of two yorkies who are friends
This is Pippa and Pear, two beautiful Yorkies who love their Pawfit devices almost as much as each other! Thank you Jane for sending in such a gorgeous photo!

Love at First Sight…

Some dogs are born with excellent social skills, others have had it bred into them and some dogs just didn’t get the memo. With some dogs, the first meeting may be easy and with others, it may require a little more care and effort.

In order to integrate a new dog with the pack, first arrange to meet in neutral territory; this should be somewhere that neither dog has been too or at least not regularly. For their first meeting, keep them on a leash, but make sure it’s loose as the tension in the leash may project a feeling of tension to the dogs, which will, in turn, make them anxious.

Have someone help you by having the new dog on one leash, while you have the other dog on another leash. If you are adopting a dog from a shelter, ask the staff if they can help to introduce the dogs. Allow the two dogs to sniff and explore one another. As the dogs approach each other, watch their body language closely, paying attention to the entire body. If the dogs have shown no signs of hostility toward each other, you can try to take them to an enclosed area, drop their leashes, step back and give them space to get to know each other.

The Pawfect Match

Again, making sure you meet in a neutral location is necessary before you bring your new family member back home; take the dogs on walks together. Position yourself either walking on the outside or with you in between them.

Before you open your front door to let the newbie in, make sure that the dogs are 100% comfortable with each other. Admittedly sometimes it’s difficult to tell the difference between dogs getting to know each other versus dogs who don’t like each other, so get in touch with someone who does!

Head of the Pack

Even though you don’t have four legs and aren’t covered in fur (maybe you are, we don’t judge!) it’s incredibly important to establish your role in the pack. Both dogs should be very much aware that YOU are the pack leader. You are the boss in the house and you make the rules and define the boundaries.

This is especially important for your current dog to know. Some dogs mistakenly think that they are the boss once a new dog enters the picture!

Welcome Home

They know you’re the pack leader, and they’ve accepted each other as friends, not foes. Now it’s time to leave them be. You’ll notice that they will establish an hierarchy among themselves. Do not get involved. Don’t try and force a submissive dog into a dominant position or vice versa. The relationship between the dogs will be more harmonious if you allow them to discover their own roles.

Now it’s time to enjoy the delights of having two doggo’s under one roof… How long will it be until it’s number 3?! 😉

If you have any top tips on bringing dogs together, please get in touch and comment below!

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