Operation Kindness Blog

The Do’s and Don’ts of Introducing Dogs: A Step-by-Step Guide

Introducing dogs to each other can be a fun and exciting experience, but it’s important to do it right. Your resident dog may not be used to having another dog around, and the new dog may be nervous coming into a new home with a new housemate.

Here are some tips to ensure a successful introduction:

  1. Preparation: Before bringing the new dog home, pick up any items that your resident dog might not want to share, such as food bowls, toys, and beds. Even if your dog has never shown possessiveness before, it’s best to be cautious.
  2. The initial meeting: Ask a friend or family member to help you during the initial meeting, and choose a neutral area such as a park or front yard. Allow the dogs to approach each other on loose leashes, and if one dog is pulling, take them for a walk to expend excess energy. Keep the interactions brief at first and watch for any signs of tension, such as stiff posturing or growling. If things aren’t going well, take a break and try again later.
  3. Provide each dog a safe resting place: Give each dog their own space, such as a crate or designated area, where they can retreat to rest. It’s important to make sure that other family members and guests do not disturb the dog while they are resting.

Here’s what NOT to do:

  1. Do not hold either dog in your arms during the introduction, as this may make them feel trapped or threatened.
  2. Do not put the dogs in small spaces together until they are completely comfortable with each other. Each dog should have their own food bowl, crate, and toys.
  3. If the dogs get into a fight, do not allow them to “fight it out.” Interrupt the dogs and separate them until you can start the introduction process again.

Remember, introducing dogs to each other takes time and patience. By following these tips, you can help ensure a positive experience for everyone involved.

For more behavior and training advice, you can contact our behavior team by email or explore our training section of the website.

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