Introducing new animals the proper way can help lessen the tension and stress that new animals experience when going into a new home.
Here are some tips to help alleviate the stresses on the new dog and your current dogs:
- Introduce your new dog to your current dog in a neutral area, such as during a walk around the neighborhood or at a park, that way no one dog feels like they have to protect their surroundings from the other.
- try not to take your current dog with you when you pick up the new dog, that will help lessen the stress level on the new dog. (according to aspca.org, one of the worst things you can do is throw the two of them together in a car and hope for the best)
- when introducing them try to keep the tension on the leash loose so they don’t feel the lovely hacking experience that comes from a too tight leash.
- allow the dogs to greet each other at their own pace, do not rush things along, if they ignore each other or one of them seems reluctant to meet the other just give them time, they will come around.
- make the first meeting of them a positive experience, remain positive and light-hearted
- at first allow them to sniff and get acquainted with each other, then after a few minutes of that, take them on a brief walk to calm down, after that they can make brief meetings (sniffings). after the brief meetings, ask them to sit or lie down and reward them .
- keep a watchful eye on the body language of the dogs, that is a major way that they communicate with each other (more information about canine body language can be found at this website: https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/virtual-pet-behaviorist/dog-behavior/canine-body-language)
- once the greeting behavior has dissipated and they appear to be tolerating each other without any fearful or threating responses you are ready to take them home
- once you get home, take them for a walk, together, around the house to show the new guy what’s what and make sure he/she feels comfortable with knowing where things are
- most importantly is to be patient. It takes time for you and your dogs to get used to each other’s routines and daily going-ons. And it will take time for your dogs to form a comfortable relationship
- Source: Introducing Your Dog to a New Dog.” ASPCA. ASPCA, n.d. Web. 04 Oct. 2014.