Are you thinking of bringing home another dog? If so, you first need to consider the dogs you already have.
Dogs are individuals, so there are no set rules when it comes to good dog matches. However, before bringing home another furry friend you should look at your dogs behavior and personality, including their energy, socialization, play style, and playmate preferences.
First impressions between puppies are extremely important; have your dogs lie or sit down to clinic self-control, particularly if one dog looks nervous or excited since jittery energy may cause frustration or aggression.
Walk your dog and potential new dog together, this is called parallel walks, which allow dogs to get comfortable with each other while doing a fun activity in a neutral space. Parallel walks require:
- Both dogs are on a leash
- There is 1 individual per dog
- You keep the leashes loose, particularly if/when the dogs Decide to socialize
- You keep the first meeting brief (several seconds)
- You praise both puppies constantly and at a light-hearted tone
While walking, allow 1 dog to sniff another. Let your existing dog sniff first, while feeding the possible new dog some treats. If the walk goes smoothly, take both dogs to a fenced in area to relax and interact. If may be best if there are no other dogs in the fenced in area, so avoid busy dog parks.
What Not to Do
- Do not put two dogs together in a car, home, or backyard and assume that they will work it out. Even social dogs that appear to get along need supervision or separation at home for a couple of weeks.
- Do not keep the leashes tight when dogs meet. The pressure from yanking only raises tension between them.
- Don’t allow the dogs rush up to one another.
- Do not use a stern voice, telling them to”Be good!”
- Do not immediately introduce competition or battle over popular toys, food, or bones.
- Loose, relaxed body moves
- Open mouths
- Wiggling bottoms
- Wagging tails, low and sweeping moves
- Play bows (where one dog puts his elbows on the floor and his bottom in the air) or other bouncy motions that encourage play
- Some dogs who feel at ease can also dismiss each other after the first hello.
Some barking is fine, if it is happy barking.
- Closed mouths
- Tails held high, with a tic-tic-tic motion
- Prolonged body stiffness
- Forward ears
It is normal for puppies to dismiss each other somewhat, but what is not okay is avoidance.
Fearful dogs may seem either grumpy or completely tucked up and stressed, with tails clamped to their stomachs and ears flat against their heads.
If either dog shows any of these stress signals, happily call them over then ask them to maintain a sit-stay or set them back on leash.
Puppies and More Than One Dog
The friendly nature of the majority of puppies makes introducing them to an older dog much simpler. Dogs learn best from other dogs, so most puppies will get quick, clear lessons from other pet(s) about what is allowed.
Brief, controlled lessons which don’t cause the pup any harm are fine. If the puppy does not get the hint, step in so that the pet does not escalate the correction.
Adding a new dog or puppy into a multiple-dog home is done similar to single-dog introductions. Only bring out one or two of the recent dogs at a time to satisfy the new dog.
Quick Friends, or Not
You can help dogs prevent conflict and make good relations by doing these two things:
- Give each dog its food bowl and eating area, water bowl, bed or sleeping place, and a lot of rest.
- Continue walks together along with other fun activities, this helps dogs learn how to enjoy each other because good things happen when they are together.
During the adjustment period you want to see
- Fewer grumpy moments
- More regular play or interaction
- Mutual cuddling
However, if the dogs only tolerate each other or prevent one another, then that reflects a terrible match. Just present together, but sitting on opposite sides of the room, is not a fantastic relationship.