No Leaders Of The Pack: How To Best Introduce A Second Dog
Adopting a second dog is likely to be a really exciting event for all the humans in your family, but your canine companion may view this pet adoption as a bit of a threat. In order to prevent conflicts between the new canine adopted "siblings," it's important to plan the transition carefully.
Plan Things Carefully
Dogs like socialization and company just like people do, but nobody is going to enjoy being forced into a new lifelong relationship out of the blue with the demand for instant closeness. Your dog won't like it, either, so plan a gentle introduction carefully.
Introduce the dogs to each other in an area that's comfortable but not proprietary for your current dog. Instead of just throwing the two dogs together in your living room, walk your dog on a loose leash to an area like a park or even a yard in the neighborhood. Have a family member or friend approach with the other dog. Both dogs should be on loose leashes for this introduction.
During this introduction, help things along by doing the following:
- Keep your tone cheerful and encouraging as you talk to both dogs as they sniff and get acquainted with one another.
- Make sure that the person who is walking the other dog doesn't have a close relationship with your current dog.
- Take along someone who knows a lot about dog behaviors, if possible. You want to watch the posture and reactions of both dogs to make sure that they aren't instantly challenging or disliking one another. If you sense tension, distract the dog and continue walking. It's best to try a second introduction than to force the first one.
Take Proactive Steps Against Jealousy
Just like little children get jealous when mom and dad bring home a new baby, a dog can get jealous of the new canine addition to your family. Help prevent this by taking the following steps:
- Curb the temptation to lavish constant attention on your new dog at the expense of the canine companion who you've known the longest. If you pet, hug, or snuggle with the new pet, be sure to spend as much time or more on your other dog.
- If someone comes over with a dog toy for the new pet, don't give it to your dog right away. Wait until you can get two similar toys so that you can give a prize to both pets at the same time.
- Never use treats as rewards. When one dog gets a treat while the other one goes without, that can result in jealousy and conflict.
Finally, keep in mind that you are in control of pet adoptions. However, it's important to weigh the needs of all your existing family members, including the non-human kind, before committing to take care of a new dog. When you feel that you're all ready for the new dog, find pet adoptions from shelters of a veterinary hospital like Pilot Knob Animal Hospital and follow these tips to ensure that the transition goes smoothly.