If you want to properly introduce two dogs, whether you’re bringing a new dog into your home or wanting to introduce your dog to a neighbor dog, the initial interaction can make or break the chances of an amicable meeting. Here are some tips;
- First rule of thumb is to TAKE IT SLOW.
Bringing two unfamiliar dogs directly together can create, anxiety, defensiveness and possibly aggression. It’s like a first date; let’s get to know each other a little more before we hold hands (or sniff butts).
- Meet at a neutral location
Your dogs are territorial and meeting on one or the other’s “turf” before getting to know each other can cause problems. If a complete stranger just walked in your front door or backyard unannounced, your defense mechanisms (your gun, baseball bat, phone to call 911) work instinctively. Same things will happen with your dog.
- Go for a walk
A great way for two dogs to gradually become accustomed to each other is to go on a walk together. You may want to start off across the street from each other then based on body language, slowly come closer together. The distractions, the excitement of a walk and all the great smells will take some of their attention away from the other dog. It can also provide a positive, fun experience with the presence of the other dog.
- Going home
If things are going well and the dogs are happy to be walking together and you feel it’s now okay to bring them into one or the other’s home, do a little preventative prep work first. Pick up any possible triggers that the resident dog might deem valuable. Toys, bones, food dishes, favorite dog bed, are all examples of potential triggers. Sometimes even your attention can cause some “my mommy” syndrome.
- Get professional assistance
If you’re unsure about your dog and/or the other dog as far as aggression, it’s always a good idea to have a professional assist you in the process. Through a lot of experience we can see things that may not be noticed or may not seem to mean anything that could be a potential problem.