So you’re already in love with your first canine companion so much that you want to bring home another. There are plenty of reasons why having at least dogs rather than one is a good thing, but the introduction process must be executed correctly, or you can have more than one very unhappy dog on your hands.
Although there is always a small chance two dogs won’t get along, if introduced to each other correctly, you can expect a smooth transition. If your dog is already showing signs of anxiety or behavioral issues like excessive barking, aggression towards strangers and other animals, or relieving themselves on the carpet, for example, you may need to hold off. It’s important to ensure your first dog is happy and healthy before trying to integrate another.
Once you’ve determined your dog is ready to share your home with another in the first place, you need to find a compatible match. Certain types of dogs simply do not get along, and even if they aren’t aggressive they may never want to interact. If your dog is timid and has low confidence, you may want to pick a dog that’s a bit more assertive to help your dog feel more comfortable following the lead. And while it can be okay to have dogs that are different sizes, when it comes to playful dogs try to find one that is not too much bigger or smaller so they can’t unintentionally hurt each other.
When it’s time to finally bring your new dog home, you should do a few things. If possible, have each dog on a leash with a handler, and slowly approach each other. It can take minutes, hours, or even days until they are used to each other, so don’t rush the process. Allow them to sniff each other and calmly observe the situation. As long as you don’t notice any warning signs, you should be free to let them off their leashes.
Following these steps can make integrating a new dog to a home with an existing dog a simple, easy, and fun process for everyone involved!