We spend all of our time caring for our dogs and sharing advice via this blog to help other loving dog owners do the same for their pets.
In this post, we are going to look at introducing two dogs to each other safely.
This introduction maybe for a new dog that you are bringing home to meet an existing pet.
Or it may be a friend’s, family member’s or work colleague’s dog that your dog will be spending a lot of time with, and so they need to get on well.
Our goal for you (and the two dogs) is to get them so friendly that they are happy to even sleep on the same double dog bed together!
This might not always be possible, but it is at least worth a go.
By the way, we wrote a detailed article about dogs sleeping together on this post, asking what is the best dog bed for two dogs?
With this advice, we really need to point out that you know your dog better than anyone else. So, please use your knowledge and experience.
If your dog is a big softy or your dog tends to be scared and aggressive with other dogs, you can tweak our advice to work with your pet and the other new dog.
Ok, now let’s looking at introducing new dogs to each other safely.
(By the way, you might also be interested in this post about how to stop aggression between two dogs).
Table of Contents
- So What is the Best Way To Introduce Two Dogs?
- Video: Two Dogs Being Introduced
So What is the Best Way To Introduce Two Dogs?
The First Few Meetings Both Dogs Should Be On A Leash
Both dogs must be on a leash, with confident people capable of holding the dogs back if necessary.
Some dogs just don’t get on at the first introduction, and it is important that if they do start fighting, you can separate them before it gets out of hand.
Worst-case scenario, the dogs could hurt one another, and that would be really sad and hard to deal with.
So please expect and plan for the worse as you hope for the best.
Take the First Introductions Slowly and Carefully
It can take a while for the two dogs to become friends.
So go slowly and cautiously while keeping a very close eye on both of them.
Watch for any signals of fear or aggression.
Keep an eye on their body language for anything unusual from both your current and the new dog.
Don’t Take The Leashes Off, Let Them Drag At First.
When you are confident that the 2 dogs are safe enough to run around and play together, do not take their leashes off.
Let them walk around with the leash still attached. If trouble does arise, if it is not going well, it is much easier to separate the dogs.
Pick A Sensible Spot For The First Meeting
If you are introducing one dog to another dog at the home of one of them, the best place to do the first meeting is outside in the yard.
It should be neutral territory. For example, make sure it is not near the bed, food bowls, or favorite sleeping space of the current dog or the new dog.
This gives the dog who’s home it is a bit more time to get used to the new pooch without feeling their home turf has been invaded.
You can then take them for a little walk together, so they get more time on neutral territory.
Separate the Two Dogs When Unsupervised
Unless you are 100% sure that the two dogs are not going to cause any issues.
We suggest that when you leave them unsupervised, you do so with them in a separate space in the house where they can’t get at each other.
It is better safe than sorry. It would be awful to come home to a pair of dogs that had had a nasty fight!
Reward Both Dogs for their Good Behavior
As always, one of the key concepts of working with dogs is to consistently reward their good behavior until it becomes second nature.
From the first meeting until they become best buddies, every time they are nice to each other, if you reward them, it will become more habituated.
For example, let’s say you notice the pair of them both sleeping on the same bed or if they behave when they go for a walk together.
If you give them some attention and praise, they will be more likely to do it again.
Video: Two Dogs Being Introduced
This short little video has more handy advice for introducing dogs to each other and what you need to make sure of as you go through the process.
How to manage the first interaction between one dog and the new dog to let the dogs get to know each other and hopefully get along well.
It includes tips on body language that the dogs may exhibit warning signs of potential tension and conflicts when the dogs meet for the first few interactions.
So, thanks very much for visiting our dog lover’s website and taking the time from your day to read up on this post about introductions for new dogs.
Getting another dog into your life either as a pet or a friend for your own dog is a great thing to do.
One dog is awesome. More dogs are more awesome!
The final tip we would offer is that if you really struggle with this, you should consult an animal behaviorist or a dog trainer and get professional help and training to get past the problems.