If you own a dog, and you are thinking about bringing another furry friend home, there are certain things that you must consider. The behavior, age and training of your first dog all come into play. The same must be said about your new dog.
Let’s take a look at some important things to consider.
Choosing the Ideal Companion
Pay close attention to the nature of your dog. This will be helpful when trying to form a bond between two pets.
If your current dog is energetic and outgoing, try to bring home a dog that shares those qualities. The same can be said of reserved and quiet pets. Your local rescue shelter can typically give you an idea of the dog’s nature and temperament.
You are going to want a puppy pal that is social. Your current dog will appreciate such a quality in a new friend. This also helps to prevent fights between your furry friends.
Phasing In Your New Pal
Make sure not to rush the process. Also, be sure to purchase dependable leashes. Allowing the dogs to meet on neutral ground is a great idea. This allows your current dog to see the new pet as more of a companion, rather than an intruder. One place that should work especially well for this is your local park.
Positive reinforcement is very important. Start by letting the two dogs sniff and greet each other. Afterwards, you can use an encouraging tone to let them know that they are doing well. Allow them to play for a while. Allowing this interaction will help them develop a bond.
Keep a close eye on your dog’s posture. Watch for a defensive response. Watch out for hair standing up, growling, or a continued stare. These can be bad signs. If you notice any of these signs, disengage and try to reintroduce the dogs afterward. Remember to use positive reinforcement.
If your dogs seem to be getting along, go ahead and bring them home . Try letting your new friend into the house first, and then your current dog. This will help them acclimate to the new situation.
How Long Will It Take?
It can take up to one month for dogs to truly get used to one another. However, most dogs will reach this point after a few days.
Make sure to keep an eye out for any odd behavior.
Puppies and Mature Dogs
Be very careful when bringing a puppy home if you have an older dog. A puppy may irritate an older dog without realizing it.
Even the sweetest older dogs may snarl a bit at an energetic puppy. This is normal. The older dog is simply setting boundaries. However, make sure to keep an eye on the two dogs at first, just in case.
Dogs are very protective of their food. Always provide your puppy with his own bowl and his own food.
Breaking Up a Fight
Things might get complicated when you introduce a new dog. It is best to keep an eye on any strange behavior. Fights may break out, but there are solutions.
Don’t panic. Remaining calm is very important.
Separate the two dogs. Use a raised voice. Shouting diverts your dog’s attention from the fight. You can also use a water hose. If all else fails, take hold of your dog’s hind legs and gently remove him from the fight.
Once you successfully break up the fight, keep them separated for a while. After the dogs have settled down, slowly reintroduce them. You can take them on a walk together and let them play outside.