Location. The key to introducing dogs as painless as possible is to have them meet at a totally neutral site – such as a park or a walking trail they’ve never visited. That way, the existing pack members won’t feel territorial over their space.
Support. You’ll need to enlist the help of a friend (or two, depending on how many dogs are being introduced). With the dogs leashed, walk your existing dog(s) a few feet in front of the friend or family member with the new dog.
Leashed Intro. The next step is allowing the dogs to meet – but not in the way you think. After walking for a little while, slow down with your existing dog(s) and drop behind the new dog. This will allow the original dog to sniff the new dogs’ rear – meeting face to face first could end in a fight.
Then, resume walking with your existing dog in front so the new dog can smell their rear. You may need to repeat the process a few times before the dogs are comfortable. Once they appear calm around each other, you can walk with the dogs next to each other with the humans in between.
“Once they appear calm around each other, you can walk with the dogs next to each other with the humans in between.”
Home Base. Once the dogs are friendly around each other, it’s time to take them home. The major key is to make sure your original dog(s) goes inside first. This acts as an invitation for the new dog to enter the house. Putting away all toys, bones, and food bowls can help with territory issues or possessiveness. And don’t forget about yourself! Remaining in a calm state will help the dogs feel calm as well.
It’s crucial not to overwhelm the new dog in your home – especially since they’ve just met their new fur siblings! Make sure to introduce them to their new surroundings slowly – taking them around the house room by room, showing them where they will eat, and where they will sleep.
It may take some time before everyone becomes friends. After all, the dynamic of the original group is changing. But with time and patience, the new pack will be getting along in no time!
Do you have an intro tips? Share below!