Acclimating a New Dog With the Dog You Have
Many people have dogs as pets and for those who think of their dogs as family (and well they should), sometimes it's better to have more than one. You probably have plenty of room in your heart for another dog but does your current dog feel the same?
Here are some tips on acclimating a new dog with the dog you have.
Take It Slow
Allow plenty of time for your dogs to get to know each other and do it in a safe environment. Always have control over both dogs - even if that means having someone help you. Allow them to see each other but don't rush things. And never just let your dogs loose together before they get along.
Use Neutral Territory
One way to preempt any fighting over territory is to have the two dogs meet on neutral ground and while leashed. Take both dogs for a walk and allow them to be near each other on a leash, away from home. Walk to a park, or with permission, use a neighbor's yard. Just keep them out of the house for a closer meeting at first.
If you feel they are getting along well, try it with the leashes dragging. Do this only in a secure place but allow plenty of room for them to get to know each other from a distance, if necessary. Always be ready to grab a leash at any time. And don't be off-leash in public places since it is typically against the law to do so.
Home Sweet Home
Once things are going well, try to let your dogs meet closer at home. First, try the yard if possible and then move into the house if things seem to be working out. Make sure the meetings aren't long at first. Short and sweet is the ticket to a more natural acclimation to each other. If you see the first signs of discord, remove the dogs from each other's space. The key is to be aware of how they are reacting at all times.
Once you have the dogs getting along, give it more time. Don't leave your dogs together without you being there. A fight can break out and you wouldn't be there to stop it. This doesn't have to be forever, just till the dogs are fully comfortable with each other and there's no growling, attacks, or fighting. This is where crates or even separate rooms come in handy.
- Jennifer M