HOW TO INTRODUCE ANOTHER DOG TO YOUR CURRENT DOG

Updated on December 16, 2022

Most dogs are naturally social creatures that benefit greatly from contact with both people and other canines. As a result, some dog owners may be considering adding a canine companion to their household.

It’s exciting to bring a new dog into the house, whether it’s a puppy or an adult dog. Keep in mind that bringing home a second dog will result in double the work, double the mess, and, most importantly, double the joy. However, when a dog seems completely underwhelmed by the birth of a new brother, pet parents can be left feeling dejected. Also, if you’re looking for advice on how to introduce your dog to your newborn, you can find it here. The topic of this piece, however, is the introduction of canine siblings.

Sometimes, as humans, we set the bar way too high for ourselves. There are canine companions who will get along like cat and dog, and then there are those who will want to fight like cats and dogs the second they meet.

Acing the initial meeting between your two dogs is crucial to setting them on the path to becoming fast friends, just as it is in the human world. A successful first meeting hinges on your ability to come prepared and informed. In keeping with the theme of first impressions and introductions, we also have a guide on how to introduce your dog to a baby.

We hope that these helpful hints will make it easier for you to introduce your new puppy to your present dog and foster a lasting connection between them.

SHOULD I GET A SECOND DOG?

You should know that getting a dog is the best option before we talk about making the initial introductions. Can you give two pets the attention they deserve and maintain your busy schedule? If your second dog is going to be a puppy, ask yourself if you’re prepared to go through the same things all over again.

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Having forgotten what it was like when you received your first puppy, we’ll bring you back to that time. Just go back to all the teething, biting, bursts of energy, lack of sleep, learning to use the restroom, and, well, we could go on for quite some time.

Consider not only how well you get along with another dog, but also how your present dog would benefit from this. You might think it goes without saying, but if your present dog isn’t very fond of other dogs, it’s probably not a smart idea to get them a playmate. A young, active, and bouncy puppy may also annoy an older dog. An older dog shouldn’t necessarily have to put up with the teasing of a puppy.

Your older, well-behaved dog might be a great asset in training your new puppy if you think he or she can handle it. If your dog enjoys the company of other canines and begs you to play with him or her, it’s clear that he or she needs a playmate.

HOW TO PREPARE BEFORE YOU BRING YOUR NEW DOG HOME

There are several things you can do to prepare your home and your present dog for the arrival of a new dog, which will make things go more smoothly and make for a smoother introduction between the two.

What to do when introducing a new puppy to your dog

Acclimating your dog to a new puppy.
Some suggestions for getting ready:

Place baby gates in high traffic areas and lock them to prevent accidents. Make sure both dogs have their own room so they can escape if things get too chaotic.
Putting away your present dog’s toys, chews, and food can help prevent territorial behaviour.
Vaccinate your dog now, because puppies are more susceptible to disease.
Make sure there is plenty of room for your dogs to move around and play without feeling crowded.
Before bringing home your new dog, take your current dog for a walk so they’re weary and not as excited.

HOW TO INTRODUCE YOUR NEW DOG TO YOUR CURRENT DOG

Despite your best efforts, your dog will likely need some time to adjust to the arrival of a new canine buddy. We have a few suggestions that will help the first meeting go off without a hitch.

KEEP IT NEUTRAL

There is no doubt that your dog will come to think of your home as his or her own. Due to a trait inherited from their wild ancestors, some dogs are naturally protective of their homes and the people who live there. As a result, you shouldn’t introduce a new puppy to your home’s canine population right away.

It’s best to introduce the two in a neutral area initially, to avoid any territorial aggression over the house. Choose a location, like a park, where your dog does not feel possessive. Unfortunately, most people get their puppies before they’ve had their vaccines, so they can’t go to a public place like a park to meet their new puppy companion.

On the other hand, if you’re taking home an adult dog, the park can be a fantastic alternative for everyone involved. Bringing a new puppy into the house can be an exciting time, but it’s best to introduce him or her to the family in a less confined setting, like the garden, rather than the rest of the house.

Dogs can be introduced to one another in the house with the use of a baby gate if a garden introduction is not possible. This way, they may take a whiff of each other while still being separated by the baby gate, easing your worries about potentially violent first meetings. You may also tell how each person will respond to the introduction and how to proceed from there.

LEAD OR NO LEAD?

Depending on how you believe your present dog will behave, you may want to put him or her on a leash before introducing the two in the garden.

If your dog is demonstrating negative body language or is getting overly excited about their new playmate and you’re worried they’ll damage the tiny puppy with their overzealous greetings, the leash provides you peace of mind knowing you can quickly take your dog away.

Socialization of canine companions

When introducing two dogs, it’s best to let them sniff each other out and investigate the newcomer at their own pace rather than tethering them with a lead. If you decide to take the initiative, ease into it and give them time to get to know each other on their own terms.

FIRST GREETING

It’s best not to pick up your puppy and carry it about, but rather to let it play on the ground with its new pal. While it may seem like a good idea to keep your puppy safe by holding it aloft, out of the reach of your massive hound that is dying to get a look at the adorable tiny ball of fluff, this can really make the puppy feel even more threatened.

The sight of a large dog leaping up at someone who is trapped in your arms and unable to defend themselves is terrifying. Let your puppy run about freely on the floor; they don’t need to be held all the time.

Obviously, you’re worried about something horrible happening, like your brand-new, tiny little dog getting hurt. However, make an effort to maintain your composure and good mood; both of our dogs are highly sensitive to their owners’ emotions. If given time, the two will likely explore their bond through sniffing, circling, playing, or even ignoring one another. If you see anything unusual in your dog’s body language throughout the meeting, though, you should end it.

READING BODY LANGUAGE

Canine body language provides us with a window into their language. It can help us understand whether our canine companions are content, bored, furious, or stressed.

Keep an eye on how each dog responds to the other during the initial meeting. Puppies don’t yet have the same level of understanding as older dogs do about how to behave around dogs and the proper ‘dog etiquette,’ so they may not understand the behaviours your older dog is demonstrating to them.

Your puppy may, for instance, insist on playing with another dog despite clear indications of the other dog’s pain and irritation. It’s time for you to step in and end this initial get-together.

When under stress or emotional distress, a dog may exhibit the following negative body language signs:

Snarling
Ruffled fur on the upper back and neck (heckles)
Growling
Long, intent looks
Showing of Teeth
Arched back
Keep an eye out for the desirable bowed position, where your dog’s head goes to the floor and their back and tail tip high into the air; this shows your dog wants to play!

Meeting each other’s dogs: a guide

Guide to Puppy Playgroups: How to Introduce Dogs
Additionally, submission is shown when one dog kisses and licks the face and mouth of another. Signaling this is also achieved by rolling over onto one’s back and exposing the stomach. There’s a good chance the puppy will act this way to let the senior dog know they’re still a kid. It is important to pay attention to your dog’s other body language cues in order to decipher if his whines, barks, or grumbles are indicative of play or irritation.

Let them play politely if they ask! Keep them apart for a while if you see that one of them is getting tired. Aim for a happy ending in every first meeting.

TAKE IT INSIDE

It’s time to move the party inside. While your dog may have taken to a new canine friend very well in the garden, they may become possessive of your home if they feel threatened in any way by its presence.

A new dog should ideally be settled in before the present dog returns home. This will prevent your dog from reacting defensively or guardingly when he meets the new dog. Your present dog may feel less of a need to guard the home and its inhabitants if a new puppy is already there when your current dog comes home.

Once you’ve successfully introduced the two in the backyard, your present dog can go for a stroll while you bring the new puppy inside. Furthermore, the puppy will get some private time to investigate its new environment. After all, they’ve been dropped off in their new home, far from everything they know. Given their inexperience with the world and the many other novel experiences they are having, including their new home and canine sibling, this can be particularly stressful for a newborn puppy.

Once you get your dog back inside after a walk, put it in a relatively open area of the house, far from the front door, so it doesn’t feel confined. Since they’ve met before, tensions should be lower for their second encounter.

FOLLOWING WEEKS

Maintaining peace and quiet at home can help both dogs acclimate more quickly and easily. In the weeks ahead, keep a close eye on the canine companions, especially during mealtimes and playtimes, for signs of tension.

The first few weeks can be very trying for both dogs, so it’s best if you give them some space apart every once in a while. Most dogs can’t tell each other to stop playing if they’re having fun, so you’ll have to promote this chill out time on your own.

Even if an instant bond isn’t formed, following these guidelines should make the first days and weeks as a new canine duo more pleasant for everyone involved. Just you wait until an awful duo starts running rings around you and driving you nuts.

TOP TIPS

You can’t push a friendship, so give the dogs some space at first and then introduce them gradually.
If you don’t want your present dog to be overwhelmed by the addition of a new sister, it’s a good idea to get them each their own bed.
It’s important to keep an eye on the size difference between your dogs and to intervene and promote calm, gentle play if your older dog begins to play too roughly.
Don’t make too many changes to your dog’s routine at once; introducing a new sibling is enough of a transition for one day.
Despite how much of your time and energy your new puppy consumes, it is still important to spend quality time with your older dog.
Your puppy may be trying to get your older dog to play with him or her, but you can deter him or her from that idea by engaging in some play yourself.
Any parent of a young dog will attest to the fact that keeping up with their boundless enthusiasm is exhausting, and that goes double for the dog you already have at home. Your companion dog may find your puppy’s incessant jumping on, chewing, nipping, and yapping annoying. If this is the case, provide your dog a quiet place to retreat to whenever necessary. Because puppies are still developing their sense of self and boundaries, you will likely need to physically separate them.

No matter how often your present dog grumbles and sulks, a new puppy will always be able to bring out the best in him.

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