If you are a dog lover, then it is entirely possible that you already know this, but dogs have been the best friends of us humans for tens of thousands of years. Truthfully, there is no way to determine the exact time when the first dog domesticating process began. There is one thing that we are sure of, though, is that it was at the very least 20000 years ago that the first variance between dogs and their ancestors, the wolf, began to show.
When you think about this seriously, it really is quite long of a time. After all, our oldest civilization that we know of first began during the early part of the Bronze Age. This means that it was only around 3000 years BC. So, in total that civilization was about 5000+ years ago, which is only a quarter of the time dogs have been spending being our friends.
Naturally, with that kind of time spending with us humans and our curious nature, there is no way that they are not affected by us. We have been breeding dogs for as long as they have been by our side to get more diversified attributes from them. Thus, at the moment, there is quite a variance in dog breeds.
As a result, when people get a new pet dog, they usually have no idea of how to incorporate him into his new family. After all, each individual dog has its own way of dealing with this kind of situation. Thus, I write this guide of Meeting For The First Time: How To Introduce A New Dog To Your Other Dogs in the hope that someone can find some useful knowledge from it.
Make sure to do the introduction on neutral ground
It is always the best to let the dogs get familiar with one another on some neutral territory, like outdoors! Each of the pups should be separately walked with a leash on their necks in order to limit the potential of fighting to the minimum. In addition, the walkers should also carry with themselves a pouch full of high-quality food or treats that were previously broken into small pieces.
To start things off, walk the pups at the kind of distance that each pup can be in the field of view of the other. However, you should also remember that the distance should not be too close so that the pups will not be too ticked off by the presence of their new friend. In the case of your pups not showing any behavior of negative nature, then you can give them some treats as a reward for meeting one another. For instance, when one dog looks at another, then his walker can reward him with a “Good boy!” in a friendly and happy voice. Of course, you should not forget about the treat. It is best if you can repeat this process multiple times so that the pup can get more used to the other’s presence.
Pay close attention to the body language of each dog
As I have stated above, one of the most important things that you need to do carefully in the first meeting between the dogs is to watch the pups closely and carefully. Remember to observe for postures of the body that can indicate that the pup is feeling wary or defensive. This includes something like a prolonged stare, stiff-legged gait, growling, teeth baring, or hair on their back standing up.
In the cases of seeing one, some, or even all of those features, no matter if the pups are near one another or at a distance, you should calmly yet immediately interrupt their interactions. You can do this by make the dogs interested in something else entirely. This is where the pouch of treats come in handy. After the dogs have become more comfortable and relaxed, then you can think of shortening the distance separating them from each other.
Let the pups determine the introductory pace
It is entirely possible that your pups will become interested in playing with one another after you have walked them for the very first time. In the same thought process, it is also quite possible that the dogs will take a long time before they will be acquainted enough to be walked side by side. So, the most important thing that you should keep in mind is to keep things slow and natural, leave the deciding power to your pups. Keep in mind that your chance to success will increase exponentially with your patience. Thus, never try to force your pups to interact with each other.
When the dogs are finally able to see one another in close distance, you should start to allow the pups to take turns walking behind one another. Keep switching until you see that the dogs are comfortable enough. Then, you can start to allow side-by-side walking.
Finally, you can now start to let your pups interact. However, keep close supervision on their interactions. Right at the moment one or both of them show agitation or stress signs, you should think of making the interaction process slower.
Keep a close watch at home
Just making sure the pups are comfortable in neutral grounds is never enough. After all, the main place where they will be interacting will be your home. So, first of all, you should use a tall and sturdy baby gate to keep them separated. Then, you observe the way they interact with one another through this gate. You should also reinforce positive behaviors by giving treats to ones with positive signs.
There is also the need of making sure that there are no treats, food, or toys left in the house that your pups can fight over potentially. In addition, you may need to keep your eyes open for situations which can give ways to conflict. For example, your pups are getting too excited. As this is the last step, you should make absolutely sure to monitor the pups closely when they are in close vicinity. Only after you can be completely sure of them being safe and comfortable around one another should you stop this process.