Introducing New Dogs to Each Other

Introducing New Dogs to Each Other

Understanding your new dogs history
If your current dog and the new dog have been well dog-dog socialised, then things are going to go a lot smoother. However, if one dog is scared or cautious then care will have to be taken. Check out the history of your new dog; has he lived with other dogs before, did he attend socialising classes, has he had any aggression or anxiety problems.

Introduce one dog at the time

If you already have more than one dog in your home, introduce the dogs to the new dog one at the time so that it is not overwhelmed.

Introduce them in neutral territory

Avoid territorial issues and introduce the dogs in an area new to both dogs. It is often a good idea to allow them to sniff and meet at either side of a fence for 30 minutes or so.

Take the dogs on a walk together

After the initial introduction, take the dogs on a walk together. Try to keep them apart and avoid them staring at each other.

Don’t introduce dogs in ‘loaded’ areas Avoid introductions in door or gate entrances, or in confines spaces. Avoid having clusters of people in the introduction area. After they have had an initial sniff, tempt them away for a brief period to relax and avoid tension building

Don’t introduce dogs whilst on lead

Scared or nervous dogs will either ‘fight’ or ‘flight’. If your dog is on lead, it only leaves one option FIGHT !. So introduce dogs off-lead and in an open area, but preferably one which has fenced barriers such as a tennis court.

Keep the first meeting a positive experience

On the first introduction, don’t wait for something bad to happen before splitting the dogs up. Keep the meeting brief and positive.

Familiarise the new dog with your home

Allow your new dog to familiarise itself with your house without the other dogs being present.

Don’t leave newly introduced dogs together alone

No matter how well newly introduced dogs appear to get on, under no circumstances should you leave them alone together in the house. If you do need to leave them, always ensure they are kept in separate rooms or in their crates.

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About Patricia Hunter

Patricia Hunter at Canine Concepts is a qualified full-time dog behaviourist and trainer. Some of the articles on our site were written by Patricia with her full permission to use the literature on our site.

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