At some point or another, your canine pal will meet another dog. Many of our canine pals enjoy—and benefit from—having buddies. However, things don’t always go smoothly. You’ll need to know how to introduce two dogs properly so that everything goes smoothly. Here are a few guidelines:
Rule number one: don’t rush things. Tossing two pooches together and hoping for the best is not a good idea! In fact, this could lead to fighting and injuries. Let both dogs see each other from a distance and approach each other slowly.
Keep both dogs on leashes during initial introductions. This is essential for maintaining control over the dogs. It’s also important to make sure they don’t feel that they can do whatever they’d like. If you’re introducing Fido and Spot in a controlled environment, have a family member or friend hold one dog’s leash while you hold the other.
Fido’s and Spot’s body language is the best indicator of how well the first introduction is going. Paying attention to this can tell you whether the dogs should continue greeting each other or if you should separate them and try again later.
Good signs include relaxed body language and facial expressions, tail wagging, and play bows (that super-cute move Fido does he puts his front end down and his hindquarters up, indicating a desire to play). Not-so-good signs include things like tense body language, tails tucked between the legs, or growling or snarling. Separate the dogs right away if you see any of that.
Are you planning to adopt another dog? If so, that’s great! However, if you’re bringing home a second dog, give each of your canine buddies their own private sleeping and eating areas. Also, give each dog some alone time every day during the first few weeks. Dogs who spend too much time together can become overstimulated and start exhibiting aggression and other bad behaviors.
When Fido meets an unfamiliar dog on the street, take things slow and maintain control over the leash at all times. If the meeting doesn’t go well, simply move on.
Ask your veterinarian for help with dog training and socialization. We’re always here for you!