Taking home a dog can be quite exciting, but it’s no secret that sometimes it does come with a bit of challenge, especially if you already have another dog waiting for your warm cuddle. Naturally, your resident dog would protect his territory from unfamiliar pups. It would be best to make a few arrangements before your new dog’s arrival. This way, everyone gets to enjoy a peaceful and harmonious bond. If you’re wondering how to prepare your dog for a new dog, our step-by-step guide on preparing a resident dog for the latest addition to the pack below may come in handy for you.
Step 1: Take your time understanding each dog’s temperament
Make sure that you weigh in on both dogs’ temperaments before introducing them to each other. If you have a highly social resident pooch, then the first meeting won’t be that complicated. In fact, they might become the best of friends in a matter of a few seconds.
However, if your old dog has been used to being alone or if he doesn’t have much experience with other animals, the introduction may be a bit tricky. You may need to plan each activity carefully to minimize tense or heated meetings.
Step 2: Set up the meeting in a neutral space
The last thing you want is to trigger your old dog’s territorial tendencies. So, instead of letting the two dogs meet inside the house, yard, or porch, you should try going to an entirely unfamiliar space. Some meet-up venues you can include in your options include parks or a nearby tennis court. By doing so, it would only seem like a friendly meeting between two unlikely friends instead of a head-to-head battle to know who gets to claim the couch.
If you have an extra aggressive dog, you might want to try doing a fence meeting. Unlike in the first setup, a fence meeting involves using a barrier like a tennis net or a chain-linked fence. This way, they can sniff each other while maintaining a small distance. Make sure that both dogs are off-leash so they don’t feel tense or turn aggressive.
Step 3: Do more activities together
As your new pup settles into his home and gets used to being around your other dog, you should try doing as many activities as you can together. For starters, you can do parallel walking. To do this, you will need to enlist a family member or a friend to help you. They should be able to walk next to each other at a similar pace. As much as possible, avoid tugging their leash. You should also maintain a calm, confident, and collected stance because dogs can perceive tension, stress, and fear from their owners.
Besides parallel walking, you can also schedule group playtimes, but be sure to keep away your old dog’s favorite toys to avoid conflicts. Also, you should give them enough room to interact with each other. Take note that sometimes, older dogs tend to correct the behavior of younger pups. So, don’t be too surprised if your older pooch suddenly starts snarling or snapping at the other. Take a step back but make sure to watch how things will unfold.
Pay close attention to signs of excessive aggression such as lunging, pricked ears, muzzle punching, and biting. Conversely, if the little pup tends to be a little too pushy or playful, it’s best to place them in separate areas of the house for the meantime. Give them enough time to calm down before you introduce them again to each other.
Step 4: Say no to favoritism!
Make sure that you give both dogs enough cuddle time. If any of them notices that you’re playing favorites, you might have to deal with behavioral issues like separation anxiety, increased aggression, growling, and excessive barking.
As much as possible, you should note the critical signs of a jealous pet and stop the behavior before it worsens. Some of the methods you can do include:
- Ignore unwanted dog behaviors such as growling or barking, especially when they sit near you and your new dog.
- Reiterate good behavior like staying calm and quiet with a yummy and nutritious snack and plenty of belly rubs.
- Consult with a pro dog trainer, especially if your dog shows excessive aggression or jealousy towards the other pup. Your resident pup may need to review his lessons on dog behavior and socialization.
Step 5: Be extra patient and don’t be afraid to experiment
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to introducing old and new dogs. So, if you have trouble implementing the steps we enumerated above, you may adjust them accordingly.
Also, it would help if you note the leading causes of your problems. For example, does the aggression stem from your resident dog’s lack of proper socialization? Is the brand new member of the pack adjusting well to his environment?
If you’ve tried to do things your way but failed to see improvements, then you should consider enrolling both dogs in dog training lessons. This way, they get to learn good conduct and develop a more harmonious bond with each other.
Delaware K9 Academy is the Go-to Place for Effective Dog Training
For years, Delaware K9 Academy has been providing customized dog training lessons to various dogs in the area. We’ve worked with old and young pups, rehomed dogs, and even stubborn and aggressive ones. Using our extensive training experience and background, we can also help you ensure that your beloved dogs get along with each other. This way, you get to enjoy having both of them in your house or around your loved ones.
We offer various training options for every type of dog. For example, if you will be taking home a fairly young puppy, you can enroll him or her in our puppy training lessons. As for your resident dog, you can let him or her join the two-week Bootcamp Training, where we teach them the basic dog commands and etiquette. It’s a fast-paced training program design to help even the most stubborn dog.
Contact us at Delaware K9 Academy for your inquiries about our dog training programs or if you want to book your dogs’ lessons. Also, you can continue tuning in to our other blog posts to learn more exclusive tips and tricks for training your canine buddies.