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Dogs are man’s best friend so it’s definitely hard to resist getting more than one. But introducing a new dog to your current pups can be a daunting process, especially if your existing pup doesn’t get along too well with other dogs.
Bringing in a new dog can, therefore, be a huge decision and much planning and consideration should be made before the move. Thankfully, there are some ways you can help ease your new furry family member into your current dogs’ pack.
Let’s take a look at some tips for introducing your new dog to your current pups!
Before you find a new pup to bring home, it’s important to first consider if your current dogs’ needs are being met. Think hard about whether you’re able to provide sufficient care for multiple dogs equally, with enough playtime and attention as needed.
Next, consider your existing pups’ personality - Are they generally independent? Could they find sharing you with another pup difficult? Are they aggressive with other dogs? Do they suffer from health problems that could make playing or communicating with other dogs a challenge?
For instance, young and active dogs could end up harassing more senior dogs so it’s important to set up some means to protect your older dog. This can include anything from setting up a safe space only your older dog has access to, or making sure to supervise all playtime between the two, at least for the initial weeks or months.
A good way to make sure your new pup fits in with your current dogs is to help your new pup make the best first impression they can.
Here are some steps you can take for the very first stage of interaction between your dogs:
Just like with preparing your home for your first pup, it’s also important to prepare a new home base for your new pup.
Here are some important points you may want to consider during your preparation:
The steps taken above sound like they could be done in a snap, but you’ll most likely have to take at least a week or two for the initial stages. It may even take months to achieve the level of comfort your pups should have prior to their first face-to-face meeting. In fact, you should take as long as you need to make this transition smooth.
It’s absolutely essential to let your dogs determine the pace at this stage. You don’t want to stress out either dogs, or have them associate the other’s presence with stress and tension.
If your dogs still show aggression towards each other despite a considerable amount of time, consult a professional trainer or animal behaviorist for more assistance. But never force your pups to be together if they’re not comfortable as they could get hurt or hurt each other.
Most of all, your first dog likely has their own established habits so make sure to continue to keep up with that schedule so your current dog doesn’t see your new pup as a disruption to their lifestyle.
Throughout this bonding process, make sure that you are always present when all your pups are together, especially in the first weeks or months while you’re still unsure if they are able to stay together without fighting.
Even if your dogs seem like they’ve bonded, they are still learning about each other in many ways and are having to change the way they live to accommodate one another. Which is why it’s normal for your dogs to experience slight disagreements with each other at some point in time so it’s important that they learn how to work with each other.
While it is true that dogs can play rough with each other, they sometimes don’t know the extent of their strength, or they may get too aggressive with each other, so it’s important to prevent these situations from happening.
In fact, allowing your dogs to “fight it out” could lead to them eventually developing a bad relationship. Do not let either dog aggressively bully or fight with the other. If one of your dogs stands down instead of retaliating when your other dog starts to growl, this is a good sign that they are setting boundaries for each other. Avoid punishing them for communicating in this way.
At the end of the day, although having multiple dogs can be exciting and rewarding, it takes a lot of time and effort to not only introduce both dogs to each other, but also to care for both equally. Ultimately, when your dogs do get along, they’ll now have each other as lifelong companions. Nevertheless, don’t forget to spend quality time with your pups!
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