How to Introduce a New Dog

As a dog owner, you may eventually want to have more than one, to build the pack.  When you decide this, the inevitable question of how to introduce a new dog will certainly come up.  Thankfully, it isn’t that hard.  Most dogs will be able to get along just fine rather naturally, and will find their proper place in the pecking order.  Adding another member to your canine family can be awesome, it can bring more fun and another companion into the fold, which can have great rewards for both you and your dog.

How To Introduce A New DogSometimes, things can be a little rough in the beginning, especially if either one or both of the dogs is young.  Think of how you would feel as a young child or teenager if your parents brought another kid home one day and told you to share all your toys with them.  In the longer term, though, dogs are not jealous animals, and they will become pack mates for life.  In the beginning, though, you should take a few preliminary measures to assure a smooth transition for the dog who is already in your home.  The first major step is the introduction.  When you go to pick up the new dog, leave your current dog at home.  It is not a very good idea to have them both in your car and just hoping it works out as you drive home and they meet for the first time.  When you make the first introduction, do it in a neutral area, like at a park or going for a walk.  It is best not to introduce them at the food bowl, as a dominance fight could ensue.    Make it a friendly and non-stressful event, and don’t force your dogs to do anything with each other.  Let them both get comfortable with each other and the interaction will come naturally.  Over the first couple weeks, try to avoid stressors between the dogs, things like food and favorite toys can cause dominance fights.  Try and keep their interactions monitored and don’t let them get too overstimulated or out of control, as it could cause a fight.  Let your dogs ease into their own company and gradually carve out their pack over a couple of weeks and you will have two dogs that absolutely love each other!