Becoming a “More Than One Dog” Household
You’ve made the decision to get another dog. Yeah!! All you have to do is bring your new dog home and they get along great, right? Not always. Just like people, dogs need to be introduced under pleasant circumstances. Imagine for yourself if a new person comes into your home, eats your food and plays with your “toys.” You wouldn’t like that person very much, would you? Neither will your dog like his new friend if you just let the new dog come in without a proper introduction. Isn’t it more fun to meet a new person in an enjoyable situation that is less threatening? Dogs and people learn by association. If we feel good, we will associate it with what we are doing when we feel good.
Here are some suggestions:
1. Keep it happy! Your attitude is very important. Dogs can sense our emotions and read our body language better than we realize. If you are tense about introducing your dogs, the dogs will pick up on it.
2. The introduction. The way you handle the introduction is critical. Always introduce the dogs away from your home. Take a walk together and give the dogs treats and praise when they interact properly.
3. Coming home. Make sure you have a new toy for your new dog so he isn’t stealing your other dog’s toys, and separate food bowls. Supervise the dogs at all times! Remember to keep them separated when you cannot watch them. A minimum of several weeks’ separation is recommended.
Having more than one dog is great fun! Enjoy yourself!