Adopting a dog can be one of the happiest and most exciting times! You and your new dog are about to em(bark) on the happiest most fulfilling journey together. However, if you already have a dog waiting at home, they might be feeling a bit jealous or neglected with a new puppy around which could also cause stress for your new animal. Here are a few tips on how to make your new dog’s transition to your home a happy and safe one and reduce any tension between your two fur babies.
1. If you already have a dog, leave them at home when you go pick up your new one.
This is a safer idea for you, and both of your dogs. This initial interaction might be overwhelming for everyone and trying to deal with it when you’re driving a car can be dangerous. Additionally, having your two dogs in a confined space on their initial meeting can cause unnecessary friction between them. It’s usually best to give them their distance at first so they can ease into the idea of being roommates!
2. If you sense immediate tension between the two dogs, keep them leashed
This doesn’t mean you have to hold them back from each other on a short leash, but if you are feeling that there is immediate aggression between the two dogs, it could be best to have them a bit controlled while they are in the same room. Let them ease into their interactions and once you feel that they’re getting used to one another, ditch the leash!
A good way to tell if the two dogs are cool with each other is to lead them around the house together on leashes. If they walk around calmly together and get along, it’s safe to say you can take off their leashes and see how things go!
3. Make the first interaction quick
It’s best to keep their initial meeting pretty brief. If all seems right, allow them to touch noses, smell each other a little bit, and separate them after to involve them in another form of activity on their own such as obedience exercises or playtime. After that, allow them to have another short interaction! Splitting up these interactions will tend to prevent any escalations of tension and/or aggression.
4. Recruit someone to help you facilitate these initial interactions
Whether it’s someone you live with, or just a good friend, it’s always smart to have an extra pair of eyes and hands with you during these first few meetings. This way, if you have to deal with one of your dogs, your helper can deal with the other.
5. Keep your cool and be positive
Keeping a calm and positive voice and mindset during this introduction will benefit you and your dogs in more ways than you know! Dog’s obviously don’t speak English, but what they do understand is your facial expression and tone. If you are reacting in an aggressive or negative way to their actions, it will heighten the stress of the situation even further. Keeping your cool and having a smile on your face shows both of your dogs that everything is okay and safe!
Remember, your older dog could be feeling a bit neglected or under appreciated during this time. Tie together your big happy family by giving just as much love and attention to your current dog as you would to your new puppy!