Can't We all Just Get Along?

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The Preparation:

If you are planning to have a new dog move into your home, the best idea is to prepare your dog to be around another dog.  

  • Socialize:

    • It is always a great idea to socialize your current dog as much as possible.  Go to dog parks, schedule play dates, or just take him around the neighborhood and take some time to introduce him to other dogs on your way.  
  • Space Invaders:

    • The next best thing is to bring other dogs over to your home for extended periods of time to get your dog ready for the idea that he is not the only one.  Try to do this with several dogs to increase your chances of success.
  • Sharing is Caring:

    • During these play dates or days at the dog park, make sure to bring some of your dog's toys.  Do your best to play with these toys with another dog.  This will help your dog realize that he has to be able to share his toys.

The Meeting:

If you have followed the above steps, you are in good shape.  The next and most crucial step is the introduction.  Any dog owner going into a situation such as this is worried that the dogs will not get along and, in some cases, there is only one shot to make everyone get with the program.  

  •  Let's Go for a Walk

    • Do not take the new dog straight to the house.  Take your dog for a walk and have a friend take the new dog for a walk around the corner.  Then "bump" into your friend and the new dog on the walk and give the dogs some time to say hello.  This allows the dogs to meet on neutral terms rather then at the house which is where your current dog is more likely to feel territorial.
  • Dog Parks = Dog Play

    • The next best place to introduce the dogs to one another is a dog park.  The reason this is second on the list is because the dogs will be distracted by other dogs and will you do want them to be very aware of one another immediately.  
  • So Far, So Good?

    • The dogs don't have to "love" each other on the initial meeting, it is good to keep walking with the dogs together. They will continue to be distracted by other sights and smells but still very aware of the presence of one another.

Finallly, you have to bring them into your home.  Be sure to give equal attention to both dogs.  Especially when adopting a new dog, it can be easy for your other dog to become jealous of the new dog because of the attention he will inevitably get.  Treats and toys can be shared, but be sure to be watching over the dogs as they first begin to eat together.  This can be the most tense time between dogs, and it is best to be around for feeding time until you know how the dogs will act and react.

This entry was posted by Daniel.
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