Congratulations! You’ve decided to introduce a second dog into your household. All of the love, support, and companionship you share with your first dog is about to be multiplied by two. So what happens now?
If all goes well, your current dog will have made a second best friend (the first being you, of course). However, if not handled properly, your two furry pals could be at each other’s throats before you know it.
Fortunately, there are ways to ensure your two dogs will get off on the right paw. Introducing your pooch to other dogs in the park is one thing, but growing your Pet Pack is another game entirely. Follow these tips, and your pooches will have formed a bond in no time!
Dogs of a paw make friends for sure
Is your current dog a kitten-sized Chihuahua? Best not to bring home a Great Dane. Are they the Alpha of the dog park? A second Alpha in the mix would be a recipe for chaos. Do they prefer an afternoon nap to a morning sprint around the yard? A high-energy pooch will likely drive them crazy.
Choosing the right companion for your current dog will go a long way towards keeping the peace in your home. What’s more, the right mix of traits can bring out the best in both pooches. If, for example, your current dog is shy, a more confident second dog can help them to come out of their shell.
The nose knows
Before your first dog meets your second one, it’s crucial that they feel comfortable with their new furry friend. The simplest method to achieve this is by deferring to one of their greatest tools: their nose.
Introduce your current dog to toys, blankets, and towels that bear the scent of the new dog. If they seem hostile towards the smell, simply turn it into a positive memory. This can be done with treats, belly rubs, or chin scratches whenever they take a whiff of the new pooch’s scent.
Introduce the second dog on neutral ground
When your two dogs meet for the first time, it shouldn’t be in the family home. Instead, try to introduce them on neutral ground, like a park or a friend’s house. Keep them both on leashes in case they snap at each other, and be sure to reward any good behaviour with dog treats. That way, they’ll each come to connote “friendly new dog” with “delicious snack”.
Bonus points if you can give your new dog a tour of your home while your current dog is out. This will allow them to become familiar with their new living quarters – and more importantly, the scent of their new doggy roommate.
Share the love
Once your two pooches are living side-by-side, the real fun begins. Start by keeping their food bowls in separate rooms, so neither dog fears the other is stealing their dinner. Similarly, keep an ample supply of toys so that they have no reason to fight over resources. Once they’ve both settled in, you can move their bowls to the same room – but ensure you feed them many small portions (instead of one big pile) so they both know they have an ample supply of food.
Finally, and most importantly, make sure you share the love equally between both dogs. Many Pet Owners will shower their new pooch with love and praise, which can evoke resentment from the resident dog. Show them you care for them both, and never take a side if they fight. This will not only make both dogs feel welcome – it will establish you as the Pack Leader.
Want to keep an eye on your furry family while you’re out at work? Book a Dog Sitter today!