Planning to get another dog to add to your growing family? There’s one area you have to cover first, if you don’t want problems in your otherwise peaceful abode: introducing a new dog to your pets. Naturally, you want your pets to get along great. With due preparation, this may very well happen.
If you haven’t picked a pet yet, you might want to consider the gender. A male dog will get along with a male dog just fine, but a female and female will most likely lead to conflicts. Also, what’s the current state of your current dog? If your current dog is older and has certain problems, you should protect your older dog from a younger, more energetic puppy who might end up harassing the former.
The best time for introductions is the weekend, where you can observe it happening. You should do it in your own home or the backyard. There should also be leashes on both dogs, with leashes that will give them just enough room to move around.
You can also walk together the two dogs, on either side of you. Try not to walk them all in one side, as this may easily cause them to crash against each other.
Make sure there is an environment of plenty. There should be more than one water bowl and more than one comfortable place to lie down. There should be plenty of toys, especially of kinds your dog likes, so that there’s no reason for the dogs to have a conflict over access to them. If your dog has a history of guarding his toys, they should be removed for the initial introduction period, which may take a few weeks. This all needs to be arranged before you pick up the new dog.
At first, feed your dog the way you always have done and feed the new dog in a different room. Your dog should not have to worry about feeding time, leading to problems feeding the dogs. The new dog has no expectations of your home, so he shouldn’t be upset by whatever feeding spot you choose. A very food-motivated dog will eat well from the start, but some dogs may need a person with them for the first day or two. (Read more here)
It might take a while before you give valuable treats to the dogs, like real bones. You might have to separate the two when giving these favorites. It’s also important to treat both fairly. If one gets a nice treat for a job well done, so should the other.
Sometimes, the older dog will feel a little territorial and push away the new dog. Do not scold your dogs when this happens. Instead, you can distract the new dog and just let the old one have his space.
Be careful about switching the sleeping areas too. Don’t move the older dog from the current sleeping situation. The new dog can either sleep alongside the older dog or get a new spot to sleep on. Also, don’t leave the two dogs together alone in the house at first, unless you’re sure that they won’t fight against each other.
It’s almost inconceivable for two or more dogs to live together without disagreeing now and then—just like us humans! Don’t punish them for this. In time, they will grow comfortable with each other, and disagreements like these will come to pass. All it takes is just a little patience.