Bringing a new dog into your home is a big decision. Not only is it an adjustment for you, but it's an adjustment for your resident dog. Consider your present dog's needs first. A senior dog may not take well to a new puppy. Supervision and observation are key to bringing two dogs together.
Choose a neutral area for your dogs to meet. Find a place with little distraction and ask a friend to help. Walk your resident dog on a leash and have your friend bring your new dog up to you on a leash.
Give the dogs a chance to smell each other. Begin to walk with the two dogs. Talk to them in an enthusiastic voice. With your friend still walking your new dog, walk into your yard. Let them continue to smell each other.
Prepare the house for the new dog's arrival. Before both dogs enter the house, make sure you have two water bowls, two food bowls and two beds for the dogs. Include plenty of toys. Bring both dogs into the house and let the new dog smell the surroundings.
Supervise the two dogs. Once the dogs are wagging tails, remove the leashes, but observe their behavior. Your resident dog may be protective of you or his toys.
Distract each dog if they begin to growl at each other. Have treats ready for them and be prepared to separate them into two different rooms as they adjust.
Feed your resident dog in his usual place. Feed your new dog in a different room. Your resident dog should not have to guard his food.
House-train your new pup, even if he is an older dog. He is not familiar with the home and his expectations. Take him outside after each meal and after playtime. Take him to the same place to potty.
Avoid grooming and bathing at first. If one dog is being brushed, it allows the other dog to attack the restrained dog.
Keep the dogs separated when you're not at home for the first few weeks until you feel assured that they are comfortable with each other.
Keep plenty of treats available when playing with the dogs. Always watch their body language as they interact.
Be patient. It takes time for dogs to adjust.
Items You Will Need
- 2 dog leashes
- 2 water bowls and food bowls
- 2 dog beds
- Dog treats
- Keep the dogs separated when you're not at home for the first few weeks until you feel assured that they are comfortable with each other.
- Keep plenty of treats available when playing with the dogs. Always watch their body language as they interact.
- Be patient. It takes time for dogs to adjust.
- Avoid grooming and bathing at first. If one dog is being brushed, it allows the other dog to attack the restrained dog.
Pauline Gill is a retired teacher with more than 25 years of experience teaching English to high school students. She holds a bachelor's degree in language arts and a Master of Education degree. Gill is also an award-winning fiction author.