Like getting a new roommate, introducing a new puppy to your black standard poodle doesn't just end when the initial greeting is over. Introducing two dogs involves monitoring their reactions and making sure they get along with each other over a period of weeks. During this period of transition, dog owners must be vigilant and consistent in watching the dogs' interactions and meeting their needs. Some puppies and poodles hit it off well and never have any problems, while others require more assistance to ease the transition from a one-dog household to a two-dog household.
Meet on neutral ground. Even if your poodle is not normally a territorial or aggressive dog, the introduction of a new puppy could trigger these feelings. Arrange introductions at a neutral meeting place such as the park.
Leash the dogs. Leashing allows you to maintain some control over the situation.
Walk the dogs toward each other. Maintain slack in the leashes -- if either dog feels like they are being held back, feelings of aggression or anxiety could result.
Allow the puppy and your black standard poodle to interact. Let them sniff each other. Dogs introduce themselves through visual, olfactory and verbal cues. Don't be surprised if either of the dogs rolls onto its back or stands tall and proud. Sniffing, circling, playing, gentle nipping, soft growling or other vocalizations and urination are all common occurrences when dogs first meet.
Watch for signs of tension. Loud or persistent growling, bared teeth, direct and prolonged eye contact between the two dogs, sudden snapping or raised hackles are indicative of tension between the two dogs.
Call the dogs apart if signs of tension or aggression occur. Don't pull back on the leash unless it is absolutely necessary -- the tension and feeling of restraint could trigger an attack. Instead, wave a treat in front of each dog's face to encourage them to come back and to associate the other dog with rewards.
Bring the dogs home together. If the black poodle is brought home first, it may become territorial and try to defend its home against the new puppy. If the new puppy is brought home first, the poodle may perceive it as an intruder and act accordingly. By bringing both dogs home together, you establish a new status quo.
Unleash the black poodle first. Leave the new puppy on the leash, but let it explore your home. This allows you to quickly stop the puppy or retrieve the puppy if a squabble occurs. If the black poodle remains calm and reacts without aggressive tendencies, unleash the puppy.
Supervise interactions for the first few weeks. Don't leave the black standard poodle and the new puppy alone until this time has passed without incident. Pay special attention to high-tension situations, such as when you arrive or leave home, when guests visit, bathroom breaks for the dogs, walks, mealtimes and playtime.
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- Intervene as little as possible when introducing two dogs. Your new puppy and your black standard poodle need to work out a hierarchy between them. The puppy may try to mount the poodle, or vice versa, regardless of gender. This is a way for dogs to work out who is more dominant and is not indicative of an impending fight.
- Don't tolerate fighting, intimidation or any hint of aggressive behavior from either dog during the introductory period. Allowing the dogs to simply "fight it out" on their own sets a standard for the relationship and those habits can be difficult to reverse later on.
- "Handbook of Applied Dog Behavior and Training"; Stephen R. Lindsay; 2000
- "Petfinder.com The Adopted Dog Bible"; Petfinder.com, Kim Saunders; 2009
- "The Whole Dog Journal: Handbook of Dog and Puppy Care and Training"; Nancy Kerns, Pat Miller; 2007
- "Canine and Feline Behavior and Training"; Linda P. Case; 2009
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