Dogs are pack animals so it’s no surprise that many pet owners decide to bring a second dog into their home; providing their first with a playmate and companion. But in order to build camaraderie and not tension, proper introductions need to take place.
There are different ways to introduce a new dog to the family but one of the most straightforward we’ve found comes from Cesar Millan and involves a long walk. This walk is designed to decrease the energy levels of the dogs while providing them the opportunity to get familiar with each other.
For the introduction, Cesar suggests enlisting the help of a friend or family member who is well-known to the first dog. Have them meet you at a path or trail that isn’t frequented by your first dog or known to the second, this will ensure that neither of them gets territorial. From there, the process should go like this:
1.You take the lead with your first dog while your helper follows behind with the new addition.
2.After 10-15 minutes, drop back and let the new dog take the lead.
3.Allow the first dog to trail behind and give them the opportunity to sniff out the new arrival (scent is an extremely important part of the process).
4.At this point it is important to not let the dogs meet face-to-fact yet as that could lead to friction.
5.Once dog number 1 has had a sniff, re-take the lead and allow dog number two to get his/her sniffs in.
6.When the dogs seem comfortable with each other, walk side-by-side with the dogs on the outside and you and your friend/family member between them.
7.Once the dogs are calm, it is time to bring them home.
8.Allow the first dog to enter the home first and welcome the new dog in.
With dogs it is important to let them work the hierarchy out amongst themselves. The first dog will not always be the dominant and trying to force that position could cause anxiety in them and resentment in the other. Let them work it out on their own and treat them as their role expects. For example, let the dominant dog enter the home first, have visitors greet them first, receive the first treat and so on.