Getting a new dog is an exciting time for all involved.
However, sometimes introducing a new pup into a home where there is already another dog can be potentially problematic if not managed properly.
Hopefully the following tips will ensure the settling in process is a smooth one for you and all your furry friends.
The day of arrival.
Before your new dog even puts a paw into his or her new home, it is vital that the initial meeting between your new pup and the resident dog is made on neutral territory outside of the home, and preferably more than once. This meeting can be in a park or open space, and it will give the dogs a chance to get to know one another on neutral ground. Don’t worry about the odd growl here and there, this is perfectly natural. Of course if there are signs of overt aggression, then you must remove the instigator quickly and decisively. The key here is to keep calm. By doing so you will be instilling who is the leader of the pack; i.e. you.
Bed time for Bonzo!
Remember the first few weeks are a daunting time for the newest addition to your home so it is important that your new puppy has his or her own space where they can feel secure and comfortable. Dog’s don’t care whether they have the latest in designer beds or a cardboard box to sleep in, as long as they feel safe and comfortable they will be happy. This rule should of course apply to both dogs; it is imperative that they have their own space where they can feel secure, sleep, and have some time out.
Feeding time and treat giving are potential ‘flashpoints’, so it is important that all your dogs know who the pack leader is from the start. They also need to know their own place in the pack hierarchy.
It should be obvious who the alpha dog is; normally it will be the older resident dog to begin with. But this is not always the case, if in doubt; seek the advice of a trained professional.
Whatever the case, you are overall pack leader, and as such you supply the food. To avoid any problems, place their bowls on the floor in order of hierarchy; so the alpha dog gets theirs first and so on. There does not need to be any significant time lapse in doing this, just a matter of seconds. It is important to remove the food bowls once feeding time is over.
When providing food or treats it is important that the alpha dog is given priority. This does not mean the alpha dog gets more attention or more food; it is just provided with food and treats first.
If you follow the simple tips above, then the transition from new dog to fully integrated pack member should be smooth.
Remember; do not despair if your dogs are not best buddies straight away, all great relationships take time to blossom.