How To Introduce Another Dog Into Your Home

Introducing a new dog into your home can be potentially disastrous.  Dogs are very territorial animals.  Even if your dog is normally sweet and docile, precautions should be taken.

Before I take a new dog to my home with an existing dog the new dog must go to my vet for a thorough check up.  I want to make sure that I am not bringing in fleas, ticks or any type of contagious disease.  After this complete checkup then it’s time to introduce the dogs to each other.  I think the first thing to remember is to not rush things.

The actual first meeting should be done on neutral territory.  A good way to do that would be to take the new dog to the park where you meet a member of your household with your existing dog.  After the initial short introduction take them for a nice brisk walk.  This will give them a chance to meet while at the same time keeping them busy.

For the first few days at home I like to use a crate.  You can actually put their crates next to each other and they again get to learn about each other with the safety of a crate.  At different times of the day one dog can be loose while the other is in the crate.

Feeding the dogs separately in the beginning is a must.  We don’t want to take any chance of a dog fight over food at this point.  Remember we are still feeling the dogs out at the same time that they are feeling each other out.

Again for a few days I like to keep toys out of the picture because some dogs are very possessive of their toys and we don’t want to get this new relationship off on a bad start.

Hopefully your original dog is well-trained and knows its place in the pack.  Make sure that the new dog knows from the beginning who the master of the house is by showing it what is expected and what the house rules are.

Never underestimate the risks when introducing a new dog into the home, especially if they are a larger breed.  It could be potentially dangerous to any other animals you might own and also to you.  Follow the advice detailed above and use plenty of caution and common sense.

Mark Mansfield
 

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