Tips for Introducing Dogs to Other Dogs

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Do you already have a dog and adopting a new one to add to your pack? Use these tips to ensure success and minimize stress for your dogs and your family.

It can be difficult to introduce a new dog into your household if you already have a resident dog. The resident dog’s instincts will tell him to defend his home from the new dog. Dogs introduce themselves in their surroundings using their sense of scent. When introducing a new dog to your resident dog, keep the dogs separated so that they cannot see each other as this could cause staring and growling.

To introduce the two dogs, you should follow these steps:

  • Place two cages in separate areas of your home.
  • Using the cages, you can give your dogs the ability to smell each other but not see each other, while each remains in a safe space.
  • Allow them to smell each other by placing a toy or blanket in their cages and swap them from one cage to another.
  • While keeping your resident dog in a separate, safe area, let your new dog roam the area for twenty minutes at a time, multiple times a day. This will allow the new dog to learn his surroundings and leave his scent around the house.
  • Switch the roles by allowing your resident dog to roam the house while the new dog is away. Your resident dog will be able to take in the scent of the new dog but might become confused and upset by the presence of another dog. For this reason, make sure to comfort your resident dog and let him sit with you while you watch television or read a book.
  • Repeat this multiple times a day but only after the new dog has been out and playing.

When your resident dog no longer insistently follows the scent of the new dog, the two are ready to meet. For territorial reasons, allow the dogs to meet away from your home, such as at a park away from other people or in your neighbor’s yard. It’s best to do this in an enclosed area so that your dogs won’t have to feel restricted by leashes. Allow your resident dog to run around and play while your new dog is out of sight, then switch like at home. Finally, allow your dogs to run around together. They’ll recognize each other’s scent and will get to know each other a lot faster.