Dog-dog Introductions: Did you get your dog a friend?

two dogs running in the grass together

A new puppy or dog is a time of fizzy excitement and anticipation. If you have an existing dog at home, some careful planning can make things a whole lot smoother. Here are some tips for making the introduction a positive and stress-free experience for both furry friends.

two dogs, one has a big rope in their mouth and the other is reaching for the rope

Prepare Your Space: Before the big introduction, consider a neutral space where both dogs can meet for the first time. This helps to reduce the likelihood of tension. Remove any items that your existing dog might be possessive about to avoid potential conflicts.

Controlled Introduction: Keep both dogs on leash during the initial meeting. This allows you better control and an easy way to step in if needed. Choose a calm and quiet environment to minimize distractions and stress for the dogs.

dog running with leash in mouth
two dogs laying in grass together, one with his paw over the other's shoulder

Observe Body Language: Pay close attention to what both dogs communicate with their bodies. Look for signs of curiosity, playfulness, or tension. Positive body language, such as loose wagging tails and relaxed postures, signals smoother sailing. If either dog displays signs of upset or discomfort, such as stiffness, growling, or bared teeth, separate them and try the introduction again later. 

Separate Spaces: Provide each dog their own safe haven, complete with beds, bowls, and toys. This allows your dogs to relax while they get used to each other and reduces the likelihood of conflicts over resources. 

Dog sleeping on couch with ball tucked next to his nose
two dogs sitting and looking up at camera person with big smiles
Local good girls Cali and Jake

Gradual Familiarization: After the initial meeting, gradually increase the time your dogs spend together, always under supervision. Continue to monitor their behavior closely and reinforce positive interactions with praise and treats until you are confident they’ve formed a solid relationship.

Remember, every dog is unique, and the introduction process may take time. Be patient, stay positive, and celebrate small victories along the way. And if you have concerns, contact a force-free trainer for guidance.

Do you need some guidance for your multi-dog household?

One dog might have been manageable, but two? Three? Four?

Adding a new dog to your family can be so much fun, but it can also be stressful trying to get into a new, harmonious routine.

If you are struggling, we can help. Training helps you and your dogs get on the same page as a family.

At Really Good Pets, we have helped multi-dog households many times and given solutions that lead to more peace and less stress.

Message us for your free consultation and learn how we can help you reduce chaos, breathe again, and enjoy your family more.