Adding a new family member is always an exciting event. Unfortunately, that is not always the case for your existing pets. Don’t let the first introduction be overshadowed by anxiety and frustration. Instead, follow some simple steps to create a lasting bond.
Introducing a Dog to its New Environment
Create a welcome environment for your dog before you even bring him or her home. Have a comfortable spot available for your new pet that has not been previously used by other animals. Purchase a new bed, toys and food dishes that will belong to the new pet and the new pet alone. If possible, bring some of the dog’s previous comfort items with you. This will allow your pet to have an object of familiarity in a new space.
When you bring your dog home, allow him or her to explore unencumbered. This may mean placing other pets in closed rooms for the time being. Instruct all family members to give the dog some space to sniff. Take your dog outside as well. Your yard is an important part of your dog’s home. Let it enjoy the yard for a while before you begin interacting.
Creating a Friendship Between Dogs
Your existing dog may feel territorial when bringing the new dog home. This can lead to depression or aggression. Ideally, you should split the dogs up for the first meeting. Take both dogs to a park or other neutral area where they can meet and get to know one another without worries about territorial disputes. Make sure both dogs are on leashes so you can easily intervene if there are problems. Once they are comfortable with one another, you can take them both home.
If this is not possible, that is okay. Just be sure to make first introductions outside, on leashes, and separated until both dogs grow comfortable. Be prepared for it to take some time. It is best to leave the leashes dragging so neither dog feels constrained, but you should also stay close so you are prepared to pull one or both dogs away.
Do not leave the dogs alone together for the first couple of weeks. Keep them in separate rooms or in crates when you cannot be near. This will help to ensure no aggressive behavior arises.
One of the best ways to ensure dogs get along is to take them both to training classes. Group training allows your dogs to get to know each other as well as other dogs in a happy, positive, neutral environment. It also gives your new dog a jump start on excellent behavior.
Meeting Other Pets in the Family
Do you have other small pets? You may worry about your new dog playing too rough with a cat or other animal. You can introduce these animals indoors, but you should always keep your dog well-guarded around an animal that could possibly be injured. Let your dog know that these pets are part of the family. When the dog begins to ignore the smaller animal you can feel positive that he or she has come to accept the other animal’s presence.
Fon Jon Pet Care offers training services to dogs in the San Diego area. We are available to answer any questions about your new dog. With over 20 years of experience, Fon Jon has a reputation of providing outstanding training and doggy daycare services to dogs of all breeds and sizes.