Introducing a New Dog to the Pack
Hey, there, Pet Krewe Friends!
Some of you may not know this, but I started life in my fur-ever home as an only-dog. Those were great, happy days with no one but me to get all of mom and dad’s scratches and extra treats. All of that changed when Blanche came home one day and, to be honest, it was a little ruff. It took time for the two of us to adjust to one another’s sleeping, playing, and butt-sniffing habits, but once we got used to it, we’ve been best pals ever since. Then, just when everything was perfect, and every inch of the bed was taken up with a snoring pup or human, Poomba came in. This time though, the transition was a lot easier because our humans used a few easy tricks that made everyone happier.
So if you’re thinking of adding a new member to your pack this howl-i-day season, remember to start it off right by doing the following:
- Don’t be alone when you introduce your pups to each other the first time, have one human for each dog.
- Find a neutral place for the first meeting, like a dog park, NOT in your home. This could cause territorial scuffs that no one wants.
- Keep all dogs leashed at first, but loosen up to decrease any possible tension.
- Let the pups get to know each other at their own pace. Ignoring each other is actually better than pressuring them into a something that makes them get defensive or aggressive.
- Keep it brief. Let them nose-nuzzle and butt sniff, then separate them and do something else like throw the ball around or check out a different pee spot. This further reduces any potential aggression building.
- Keep your voice high and happy and your treat bags full and flowing. Reward each of them for good behavior but not while they are sniffing or playing with each other.
- Watch the body language! If the newest member is being introduced to more than one pup, it is an absolute must to make individual introductions. This prevents them from ganging up on each other. If you see guarded, defensive, or aggressive body language, separate the dogs and distract them with other fun activities again. Take some time, and try again later. Just take it easy; don’t force anything.
- When everyone is happy and calm, you can bring your newly enlarged herd home. Before going inside though, take the whole gang for a short walk around the neighborhood together.
- Once inside your home lead them around together still on their leashes. If everyone is good and calm, take off the leashes but keep an eye out for any signs of tension.
Follow these tricks, and the treat you’ll get is a loyal, happy pack that loves each other as much as they love you!
Peace & Paws
Stella the Hall Monitor
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