When you are ready to add a new furry family member or introduce a new canine playmate, the dogs need to be introduced properly ahead of time. Male dogs are involved in 92 percent of fatal dog attacks each year, according to the American Humane Association, and they tend to be more aggressive and territorial than females in some cases. Therefore, taking special precautions when introducing two male dogs is especially important to ensure that the meeting goes smoothly and the dogs have the best chance to become fast friends.
Locate a neutral meeting area to introduce the dogs. This area should not be where one dog already lives or spends significant time, but rather a place that is new or fairly unfamiliar to both dogs. The ASPCA recommends using a park, a friend's yard or an area in your neighborhood.
Attach one dog to a leash and have a designated dog handler do the same with the other dog.
Approach the other dog, keeping your dog on leash, as the other leash-holder moves toward your dog. Do not pull the leashes tightly, as this will convey tension to the dogs.
Allow the dogs to greet each other with sniffs, tail wags or other non-threatening communications. Talk to the dogs in a positive and upbeat tone as they interact, encouraging them and conveying that this meeting is a good one. Don't force the dogs to greet each other or to interact if they seem unwilling. They will interact when they feel comfortable, so don't rush this step.
Pull the dogs apart gently after a minute or so, and walk away with your dog on leash beside you as the other leash-holder does the same with her dog.
Command the dog to sit, lie down or perform any basic obedience command, and then reward the dog with a treat. The other dog handler should do the same.
Approach the other dog, allowing the dogs to interact while on leash again. Allow this meeting to continue until the initial "greeting" behaviors have ceased and the dogs are comfortable and relaxed with each other. Signs of comfort and acceptance include loose body movements, slack mouths with lolling tongues and play bow stances. A play bow is when the dog makes a bowing movement with his hindquarters in the air.
Items You Will Need
- Dog treats
- If you are taking one male dog into the home of another male dog or if you are bringing a new family member home, the ASPCA recommends walking the dogs around the block together first even though they've already met. This will help ease the dog into the idea of having a new dog in his home, and allows the dogs to enter the home at the same time.
- If there is any sign of aggression -- prolonged stares, stiff movements, growling, teeth baring, snapping, lunging or any action that appears to be threatening -- pull the dogs apart and walk away with your dog on leash immediately. This conveys to the dogs that interaction of that type will not be tolerated.
- Hemera Technologies/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images