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How to introduce a new dog into your household

Updated on November 29, 2007

To have a dog in your household is a wonderful thing. But for most people, nothing compares with the joy of having multiple dog household. I was always a bit vary of expanding my canine family, but it does not have to be difficult if you do it right. Having said that before you decide to add another dog to your canine family, you should consider the temper of the dog that is already living under your roof. What is his temper? If he is not too friendly to new dogs, it might not prove as such a great idea. If your dog's temper is agreeable to new dogs, do consider if he is an active dog or more of a couch slob, hyper or easy-going. 2 dogs of a similar temper and personality are far more likely to get along then dogs that are complete opposites.

Before you even bring the new dog into the household you will have to make sure there is 2 of everything. Dog bed, water and food dishes, toys, leashes, whatever your dog has the new addition should have it too. If they do decide to share of their own will thats great, but do not try and force them.

Another thing you will have to do before you bring a new dog home is to take him to the vet to make sure health wise they are ok. Also your family dog should have all of its vaccines to be on the safe side.

The next step should include meeting in a neutral territory, this first meeting could be make or break. If you are adopting from a shelter, if possible take your dog along and see if they will get along. Otherwise arrange a meeting in a neutral territory, such as park, friend's house out in the street.

The first meeting - if possible have a family member to help you or enlist friend's help. Have both dogs on leashes and go slowly, let them sniff each other out. If it is not possible to enlist anybody's help one dog should be confined in the car or in the crate.

Take it home - if everything is going nicely do take the dogs home however keep them in the yard for a while if possible. This should cut down on the possibility of dogs marking your furniture. However make sure to monitor the interaction in case some type of scuffle happens.

Pecking order - dogs being pack animals it will soon be evident that some type of pecking order has been introduced. Even if your favorite dog is not the alpha male and king of the pack, you should ensure that the dog that is the leader of the pack gets his food first. They will establish the pecking order amongst themselves and it is up to you to make sure this order is reinforced.

Hopefully with all of these steps implemented the newest addition to your canine family should become the member of the pack and your household in no time at all.


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