How to Introduce Your Dogs

Bringing home a new dog always has its challenges. This is especially the case when you already have one dog at home. When introducing a new pup, your old dog could get defensive. As such, it’s important to respect the old dog’s territory and slowly ease your new dog into your family’s lives.

Start on neutral territory

The initial introduction should occur on neutral ground, such as a park or walking path. Make sure both dogs are on leashes with a little bit of slack – do not hold either dog. By having more freedom to move, they will feel more comfortable and in control. If all goes well, walk or drive your pups home.

Let the new dog explore

If the initial meeting goes well, you should allow your new dog to explore their new home. While doing so, keep your current dog confined in a separate room or outside. Keep both dogs under supervision, and limit your new dog’s exploration to 15- or 20-minute sessions, a few times a day.

Role reversal

Following the new puppy exploration, allow your old dog back inside and move your new pup to a separate room. Your old dog will probably sniff around, detecting the scent of the new “invader,” and this is when you should provide your faithful friend with extra care and comfort. This is a new experience for them, so they need your reassurance and comforting during this time.

Transition period

As time goes on, you can slowly transition to your pups interacting inside the home. One of the most obvious signs that your two pups are ready to meet is when your old dog stops actively sniffing and searching around each time you let the new pup out to play. This shows that he or she has gotten acclimated to your new dog’s scent, and under supervision, is likely ready to meet with your new addition to the home.

Each case is different

It’s important to note that each introduction needs to be approached on a case-by-case basis. Dogs, like humans, are all different. That means each introduction will be different, too. By following these tips, however, you can help to make the transition and addition of a new dog as peaceful and smooth as possible.

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