If you have a dog and a new one is coming to visit or enter your house, there are several things you can do to make the introduction go smoothly. A new dog might indicate that you are bringing home a foster or new family member, that someone with a dog is moving into your home, or that someone is visiting you.
Factors that may influence interactions
The meeting should be simple if you know both dogs are quite friendly with a range of different dogs. On the other hand, some dogs may not go out much and interact with other dogs or may have only had one or two dog companions throughout their life. Because these dogs may appear to have stronger social abilities than they do, exposing them to new canines may take more time and effort. Another thing to think about is if the dogs have been spayed or neutered; if they haven’t, the meeting may be more problematic.
Neutral meeting place
Be cautious if you’re not sure how one or both dogs will respond. To begin, arrange for the dogs to meet on neutral terrain. Select a location where neither dog will feel possessive. Unless it’s a dog park, even your dog’s favourite park isn’t a good site because dogs are accustomed to meeting other dogs there. If you’re adopting a dog from a shelter, see if the staff can assist with the introductions. If either dog has a history of having problems getting along with other dogs, hiring a qualified professional behaviour consultant to assist you in progressively introducing the two dogs to each other is the ideal method.
When the meeting takes place, make sure each dog is on a leash and handled by a calm, relaxed adult. Maintain a free leash since tightness on the leash may signal the dogs that you are scared or apprehensive about their meeting, making them even more fearful and anxious. Walk the dogs beside each other, keeping a safe space between them. Then, crossing paths (but keeping the same distance) enable the dogs to scent each other’s footsteps.
Before moving on to the next level of introduction, hire a licensed professional dog trainer or behaviour consultant to show you how to play the Look at That game to assist the dogs to feel calm and happy near one other.
Allowing dogs to socialize
Allow the dogs to mingle after that. Keep a close eye on the dogs’ body language as they approach each other, paying attention to the complete body. If you don’t know how to distinguish between dogs getting to know each other and dogs that don’t like each other, have someone present who does.
Take the dogs to an enclosed place, drop their leashes, stand back, and give them space to get to know one other if they have shown no signals of aggression against each other up to this time. We tend to micromanage these relationships, but it’s usually better if we let the dogs figure it out on their own. Humans hovering and becoming overly interested can irritate dogs, causing them to get nervous and ruining the contact.
Giving dogs verbal feedback
Most of the time, dogs in this circumstance respond well to human feedback. If the dogs are feeling nervous near each other, for example, saying anything in a calming tone of voice might help them relax, shake off, and start over. If one dog is being overbearing and the other isn’t correcting her, humans may frequently aid by saying, “Hey, knock it off!” We may reward them for such actions and promote more of them by speaking pleasantly if the dogs manage to shake off their tension and connect in polite, suitable manners. That type of explicit direction is all they want from you in most circumstances.
We must only come forward and physically separate them when they become too excited and do not allow themselves a break or when it becomes clear that their relationship is headed for conflict.
It is important to start on a good note, let us know if you want to read part 2…
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