A pile of sleeping dogs. A group of dogs running enthusiastically back and forth in the back garden or in the dog park, waiting for you to throw the ball. The joyous symphony of dogs – of all shapes, sizes, and breeds – barking with happiness.
Dogs are not only man’s (or woman’s) best friend. They can also bond deeply, forming lifelong relationships, with other dogs. However, simply adopting a new dog and bringing her home, expecting an instant friendship could be, well, a huge letdown.
Knowing how to introduce dogs should make the transition process smoother.
Here are some tips on how to introduce dogs:
Sure, miracles happen but why risk the chance that your dogs won’t fall in love at first sight? When you adopt a new dog, keep your original pooch at home. Putting two dogs, who have just met, in the car together could spell disaster if they don’t get along.
Make it neutral
Bringing a new dog into your home – into what has to this point been your dog’s territory – is the last thing you want to do. Rather, find a neutral place, such as the park, to make the first introduction.
Keep them on leashes
Make sure each of your dogs is on a leash, with a collar that is not secured too tightly at the throat, when you make the initial introduction. That way, if one of the dogs starts to lunge or to show aggression, you can simply tug on the lead to calm her down. But, by also ensuring the collar isn’t too tight, your dog won’t feel stressed or as if she is choking.
Let it happen naturally
Dogs are just like people. They have their own individual personalities. As a result, some will be more reluctant around new dogs at first while others may be eager. Keep a close watch but let things happen naturally. If the dogs want to ignore each other, allow it. Eventually, they’ll feel secure and interested enough to start to approach and to sniff each other.
Letting the introduction happen naturally could take time. However, to be safe, wait until both dogs have approached each other and appear to be tolerating the other before you consider getting in the car and taking your two canine companions home.
Bonding may happen right away, if you’re lucky. Or, it may take time, but it will happen if you remain patient.