How to Acclimate Dogs to Each Other

Dogs can be great friends with the proper introduction.

Dogs can be great friends with the proper introduction.

You may decide that you want to add to your pet family at some point. While most dogs welcome a new companion, it makes sense to use caution when introducing them for the first time.

Introduce the dogs at a neutral site. If you bring the new dog to your home, your established dog may consider it a threat and decide he must assert his dominance. A park or neighbor's yard is a better choice.

Have a separate handler for the new dog. Each dog should be on a leash and you should not try to handle both dogs at the same time.

Allow the dogs to sniff and inspect each other. Watch their body language and separate them if one or both appear aggressive. Signs of aggressiveness include staring, baring the teeth, using a deep growl or raising the hair on the back of the neck.

Talk in a calm, positive voice to encourage your dogs to get along. If they appear to generally accept each other, feel free to reach down and pet your dog, then pet the new dog. Use a friendly tone to describe how good both dogs are behaving. Do not do this if you think one or both dogs is becoming aggressive.

Separate them, even if they appear to be getting along, after a few seconds. Walk around and reintroduce them. If you allow them to continually sniff and inspect each other, one or both may get aggressive.

Continue the sniff and walk routine until one or both dogs show an interest in becoming friends. Play bowing, where the dog presses his front end into the ground and his rear in the air, a vigorously wagging tail and happy barks are all signs that the dog is ready to make friends.

Once the dogs play well together at a neutral site, feel free to bring them both home.

 

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