Introducing a new dog to your home? Plan ahead for success by being patient and avoiding assumptions about instant friendship. A little extra time upfront can prevent issues later. Follow these quick steps for a seamless transition:

Before entering the house:

  • Meet on neutral ground with leashes, maintaining a 10-15 feet distance, and feed very tasty treats continuously.
  • Keep leashes loose, allow a 2-second greet-and-sniff, then call dogs away with treats continuously.
  • Now, initiate a short walk with both dogs. If initial greetings are tense, start on separate sides of the street. Gradually close the gap as the dogs relax, fostering a side-by-side stroll

In the yard:

  • Allow supervised playtime, with leashes on for safety.
  • Should a fight break out, use noise (your voice, clanging or banging pans) to stop it. If that doesn’t work, use the leashes to separate the dogs. Never reach in between two fighting dogs.

In the house:

  • The first time the dogs are inside the house together, keep them on leash and keep the introduction brief, around 5 minutes.
  • Then confine the newcomer to a comfortable space like a spare room, crate, or a dog-proofed, enclosed area where he can start to get used to his new home away from the attention of other pets.
  • Over the next day or two, repeat the brief introductions. Keep them to 5-10 minutes and keep the dogs on leash. If a squabble breaks out, leashes make it easy to pull the dogs apart.
  • Reward positive behavior with treats, praise, and toys.
  • Don’t be tempted to try longer periods of time if the early introductions go well. Slowly work your way to longer and longer periods of dog-dog time.
  • Every now and then, confine your other dog (and any other pets) and let the newcomer explore the house by himself.

Training Tip:

  • Avoid punishing or scolding; separate calmly and retry later.

Follow these steps, and your new dog will likely become a cherished family member in just a week or two. If issues persist after two weeks, contact us for help.