Getting a new dog is an exciting time for everyone, but sometimes your old and new pets just don’t get along. Don’t fret about it, take action. With a little hard work and some patience, your dogs will be buddies in no time.
Introductions are always tricky, even for dogs and here are a few tips:
1. The first rule of thumb is to leave your current dog at home when going to pick up the new dog. Leaving the two pets in the car to duke it out is never a good idea.
2. When the dogs finally meet, make sure it’s somewhere other than your house and don’t force them to interact. They will do so when they feel ready and once the dogs start to sniff each other, set the tone by encouraging them in a positive voice.
3. Lead the dogs apart after sniffing for a few seconds. A minute or two later, lead them back together for several more seconds of sniffing, then break the dogs apart and give them treats. This helps to keep the situation calm and reduce aggression.
4. The first couple of weeks will be an adjustment for everyone, especially the dogs. Each dog should be given their own food and water bowls, beds, toys, and confinement areas. Make sure to pick up any items that were your current dog’s favorite to avoid rivalry until the two pets are comfortable with each other.
5. Another tip to avoid rivalry is to feed them in separate rooms and put the food bowls away when they’re finished. The dogs’ interactions and playtime should still be kept short to minimize any possible fighting.
6. A good way to get the dogs to know each other is through a barrier. Putting the new dog in their confinement area and allowing the current dog to come visit will help them become friendly.
7. If all else fails and your tricky dogs still don’t get along, do not hesitate to call a professional that specializes in animal behavior. Soon enough, your dogs will get along like old friends.
This was a guest post written by Margaret Grace.