Whether you are bringing another dog into your home permanently or temporarily, it is important to know the correct way to introduce the dogs to one another. Brining other dogs into your home can be difficult, especially if your dog is territorial or protective of you, your family and your home.
The key to a successful introduction is to do it slowly. Simply throwing another dog into your home can be seen as an intrusion by your dog and it will be treated accordingly. Imagine if another human you did not know came into your house and decided they were going to live there permanently! Handling the introduction in this manner will only cause a hostile relationship in the long run because the new dog will not have a chance to learn what pack rules and boundaries have already been established in your home.
To bring in another dog, you will also need another adult to assist you. This adult should be known and liked by your current dog so there is no additional stress or tension on them. Having both dogs on leashes, bring them to a mutually neutral territory (your current dog’s favorite park or regular walk route will not work) and simply go for a long walk. While walking, make sure the leashes remain loose, any pulling or tension could cause the dogs feel anxious or fearful. The walk will allow both dogs to burn off some excess energy and also give them a chance to become acquainted with each other’s scents.
At the start of the walk, your current dog should be in front with you and the new dog following behind with the trusted adult. After some time, you and your dog should drop back and let the others take the lead. This will give your dog a chance to sniff out the new dog before meeting face-to-face.
As the walk progresses, you can lessen the distance between the two dogs, keeping the dogs towards the outside with the two humans in-between. Pay close attention to the dogs’ behavior as they get closer together, making sure to keep an eye out for snarling, teeth bearing, or unbreakable eye contact. If any of these behaviors take place, increase the distance between the dogs and try again in a few minutes. It is also important to remember that some friendly dog behaviors may seem aggressive, such as pawing, bowing, and being verbal. You should be careful not to discourage this kind of behavior.
Once the dogs can tolerate each other without any threatening behaviors you can now being the process of entering the home. You should always let the original dog enter the home first and then allow the new dog to enter. This lets the original dog feel as if they welcomed the new dog into their home and pack. Once they have formed a pack, they will begin to determine the hierarchy amongst themselves. Do not force a role upon the dogs; they will determine who is dominant and who is submissive on their own. Always remember that you are the pack leader and ensure they know that, too.