Introducing A New Dog

Bringing a new dog into the house is a lot of fun, but it is important that you take the time to properly introduce the dog, especially to other pets already in the home.

While introducing a new dog to your house and to your other pets is exciting, it is important to do it properly.

Picking Up the New Dog

When you go the shelter or breeder to pick up the new dog, bring a towel or blanket from home that has the scent of your other pets on it.

Let the new dog lie on the blanket (or put it in his carrier) during the ride home.

This will allow the new dog to get used to the scents of his new home and his new furry roommates.

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Arriving Home

When you get home, bring that same blanket that now has the scent of the new dog, into the house.

Leave the blanket in a room with the dogs that currently live in your home.  They will probably be very interested in sniffing the blanket as it will have the scent of a newcomer.

Doing this will allow your dogs to get used to the smell of the “new guy” in the same way it allowed the new dog to get used the scents of your home.

The Introductions

Leave the new dog in a room and then bring your other dog in. If you have more than one dog, it is a good idea to introduce them one at a time.

When your dog comes in the room, he will probably head straight for the new dog. If he does not, just let him do as he pleases. Do not force the two to come together.

Many think that it is a good idea to have the new dog in a crate for the initial introduction. This is an especially good idea if there is a big difference in size between the new dog and your current pets.

Obviously, you should be watching for any signs of aggression. If either dog growls, bares his teeth or shows other signs of aggression, you should separate them immediately.

That aggression will need to be dealt with. Until it is, you cannot leave the dogs alone even for a minute.  

In most cases, the introductions will go well. The dogs who are meeting the new pet will likely be very interested and curious about this new addition and will want to sniff and lick and participate in other “getting to know you” activities.

Alone Time

Even if it seems all of your dogs adore the new guy, do NOT leave them alone at first. Even if there is no aggression, keep in mind that the new pet is still getting used to his surroundings and to you. He might feel overwhelmed if left alone with a pack of dogs that the just met.

Also, your dogs might want to play but the style of play might be a bit too rough for the new dog, especially if he is a puppy.

It is best to supervise any interaction at least for the first few weeks. Of course, if there was any aggression, you will need to supervise constantly until the aggression has been handled, preferably by a professional with experience dealing with aggressive dogs.

Don’t Play Favorites

While it is tempting to smother the new pet with all of your affection, don’t do that. It could cause your other dogs to resent the new pet.

Also, it could give the new dog the idea that he is higher up on the social ladder than he actually is, and that is not a good thing.

When introducing a new dog, make sure that you do it slowly so that both the new dog and the existing pets will be as comfortable as possible with the transition.

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