Introducing a Guest dog to both your resident pup and other furry Guests is a critical step for a smooth and fun Vacay. Read on for some simple tips for dog introductions that will ensure all the pups in your care end up being best of friends.
- Introduce your dogs in a neutral place.
When the new pup arrives, try and avoid bringing them into your home right away. Take the two dogs on a short walk through the neighborhood or around a nearby park. It would be best to have two people, one handling each dog, while both the pups are on leashes. Also, avoid introducing dogs at the entrance to your home as your resident pup may still be a little territorial in this area.
- Let the dogs sniff each other out.
If the dogs don’t interact immediately, don’t force them to get too close. Give the dogs some time to get used to each other and they’ll interact when they’re ready. Keep the introductions light-hearted and happy by praising the pups when they do get along. Allow the pups to sniff each other for a few seconds and then gently pull them away and walk around. You can also interrupt their interactions briefly with simple obedience exercises. After a brief sniff, lead the dogs apart and ask them to sit or lie down, then reward them with treats. This helps to avoid either of the dogs feeling threatened.
- Pay attention to body language.
Loose body movements and muscles, relaxed mouths that are slightly open and play bows (when a dog puts his elbows on the ground and his hind end in the air) are all signs that show both dogs are comfortable. If you notice either of the dogs stiffening their bodies, growling under their breath or giving prolonged stares, these may be signs that the dog may bite because they feel threatened or aggressive.
- Make sure each dog has its own water or food bowl.
Many dogs can exhibit a bit of food aggression. To avoid this, make sure each dog has their own set of food and water bowls and that they are fed separately.
Remember to be patient with your furry introductions to ensure a smooth and happy Vacay!