A stress free second addition to the canine family

by Mark James on May 20, 2011

Dogs are a part of many people’s homes. But if you want another canine companion to join the family there are certain steps to take to make sure the transition for both dogs is as smooth as possible.

introducing a new dog to your familyWhen introducing the dogs to each other it is important that it is done in a neutral environment. This is so the first dog does not feel like his territory is being threatened or is jealous by the presence of another dog. A park would be an ideal place for this. At the first introduction, you may want to enlist the help of a friend and keep both dogs on a lead in case one becomes aggressive.

Keeping a positive attitude and remaining calm means that the dogs will be much more passive. Reward them for good behaviour so they can see the type of behaviour that you expect. Good timing is crucial in allowing your dog to remember what behaviour is expected from them.

Both dogs are likely to try and compete to be the top dog in the household and their behaviour will reflect this. This is nothing to worry about. Once the dogs have decided between them which is the Alpha male, then the behaviour will usually settle down.

The dogs may fight in order to establish this role and it is important that you do not break the fight up right away. This may lead to unresolved conflict which could become worse the next time the dogs fight. Giving attention to the winner will help to establish firmly to both dogs which one is the pack leader.

Make sure that your attitude towards the first dog does not change with the addition of having another dog in the house. Make sure that you try to give him the same amount of attention that you always have, as this will stop him becoming jealous. The less the routine is disturbed the easier for both dogs.

Food is one of the most competitive things that dogs can fight over. Giving them separate food and water dishes is essential. If you are unsure about the relationship, feeding them at different times would be better.

Within a few weeks the dogs will have established roles for themselves and your new dog should be a great new addition to a happy family.

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