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How to introduce a new dog

Updated on February 18, 2012

Dogs have always been man’s best friends. Dog lovers can’t seem to get enough of these lovely affectionate and loyal companions. It is pretty common for households to have more than one dog. Introducing a new dog to the household and to the existing dog can be rather challenging especially if the older dog is a possessive and a highly territorial breed. It would be ideal if both dogs are well tempered and would hit it off right away. But if it is not the case, how would you introduce the dogs? How would you make the transition from being the only pet to a two-dog household easier for the older pet?

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The breed characteristic

Do some researches or talk to the breeder before you choose a new dog. Some breeds are highly territorial and are best kept as solo dogs.

The sex of the dog

Generally, male dogs would be more tolerant and would get along famously with a dog of the opposite sex. You may need to have the new dog neutered or spayed to lessen the dominant behavior.

The neutral territory

Take your old dog with you to the shelter. Introduce your dog to the one you have chosen. If you are getting a dog from the breeder, introduce the dog in a neutral territory such as a neighbor’s yard or in a dog park. Territorial and dominant dogs would seldom show their domineering behavior in places that are not deemed to be their territory.

Notice the dogs’ body language

If both dogs are showing an aggressive behavior when introduced, if instead of sniffing each other, the dog would growl and bare their teeth, it would be necessary to separate the dogs. Have the new comer crated or isolated in a separate room. Introduce the new dog gradually to the older dog. If there are several dogs in the household, introduce the dogs one at a time. This must be done so that older dogs would not gang up on the new comer.

Be the firm but calm leader of the pack

Dogs look up to the leader of the pack. In the wild, the alpha male can easily end skirmishes between dogs of lower ranks. Be calm when you introduce the dogs and make them understand that aggressive behavior will not be tolerated.

Positive Reinforcement

Remember to praise the dog and to reward good behavior with treats and toys. But as always, older dogs must be rewarded first.

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