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Introducing Two Dogs

How to introduce two dogs

Introducing a new dog into your home is a big adjustment.  Along with it, there comes expectation, anticipation and the joy of bringing a new member to your family.  Simply said, it is an exciting time, but at times it can be a challenge.

This is especially true, if you already have one or a few dogs living in your home.  If your canine is like most other dogs, he has marked your home as his territory.  This is why introducing two dogs can sometimes be difficult. 

According to experts, you will need to proceed with care, when introducing two dogs.  As a general rule, dogs do not respond well to unfamiliar dogs, and may fight for the attention of their owners.  There is sure to be tension at first, so be sure to expect a fight.  There’s a chance that there may not be a conflict, but you need to prepare for the worst, pet experts say. 

It may help to socialize your dog with other animals before bringing another dog into your home.  Get him used to being around other animals.  Small dogs generally have a harder time adjusting to a new dog.  This is because they rely on their owners for everything, and as a result, become very attached.  If you have a small dog, it may be difficult to bring a larger dog into the mix. 

However, you will need to desensitize your dog.  Take the two dogs out for a walk.  Allow them to sniff one another in a social setting and present distractions.  Take them around trees.  This will help distract them, so they don’t have a negative first encounter with one another.   

If you find one or both of your dogs becoming antagonistic, firmly but gently place a hand on his back rump, close to his tail.  Say “no” in a firm voice.  When your dog halts and behaves, reward him with positive reinforcement.  Say “good boy” or “good girl,” and smile while doing so.  As you continue to do this in different situations, your dogs will become more comfortable with one another.  Plus, your dog will associate having your hand on his back with praise.

Before you introduce two dogs, it is important to learn about your dog’s breed.  Certain breeds, especially the smaller ones, have a harder time sharing their owners.  If you are introducing a large, friendly dog to a smaller toy breed, you will need to make adjustments.  Smaller breeds tend to be shyer, and may be more likely to get hurt physically.  An overly friendly dog, such as a Golden Retriever, may frighten a smaller breed, such as a toy poodle. 

If you’re introducing a large dog to a smaller one, speak softly to the larger breed.  Pat him softly to discourage rough play.  Try to avoid quick movements, as this could frighten the small dog and make the larger dog more playful and threatening to the smaller dog.  Whatever you do, be sure to introduce them in a calm setting.  This helps avoid distractions, and it allows the dogs to get acquainted to the point that they can happily live together.    

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