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Monday, May 21, 2018

Introducing a New Dog to the Resident Dog

You have decided to add another dog to your family.  One very basic question is “Does your
resident dog wants another dog in the home?” If they are social and get along with others then 
two dogs can be endless fun and they keep each other company when you are not home.

The first step is selecting the right dog as a new companion dog.  The placement volunteers will
assist you in making the right selection.  With any new dog you bring into your home with and
existing dog there are rules to follow for success.

1. Prepare your home in advance for the arrival of a new dog by removing any trigger items
Removing all toys
Remove food bowls
Prepare adults and kids to not give affection at first.

2. When you arrive home take the dogs on a short walk to calm them from the car ride and to
reinforce their bond. Walking is the best way to create a pack bond.

3. After the short walk, take the dogs into the back yard and with leashes on, let them roam
free together. Do not hover or try to get them excited. Just let them sniff around the area
and each other.  Should there be a problem the leashes make it easy to separate them.

4. When it’s time to go into the house, the new dog should be on a leash for two reasons.
First to prevent any accidents until you are certain they are housebroken.  More
importantly the new dog needs to learn their place in the pack and should not be allowed
to start taking over from day one.

5. Having the new dog observe from a crate or on a leash is the best way for them to safely
get used to the sights and sounds of their new home.  You never want to give a new dog
too much too soon. They are much happier and more relaxed if from the start they realize
that you are in control.

6. Walk the dogs together as often as possible. In the outside world they begin to look to
each other as trusted and respected pack members. Walking together is the best way to
create a bonded pack.

7. Feed the dogs separately. You do not want food to create a situation that is a negative
impact on the two dogs bonding.  Feed one inside a crate the other outside the crate or whatever works best for your situation. This may not be forever but you must remove food triggers until
you know the two dogs are a bonded pair. 

8. Do not instigate or excite with toys at first as possession may trigger aggression. Again,
this may not be forever but a level playing field is important in the beginning.

9. Do not shower either dog with affection as affection may be a trigger of possession. You
can slowly integrate affection back into the picture with both dogs. Be aware of body
language to avoid a jealous encounter. 

10. Learn to be a calm assertive leader to your dog. Dogs that do not feel the need to control
are happy, relaxed well adjusted dogs. 

11. Above all give it time. Having another dog in the house is new for everyone. Sometimes
it’s as if the new dog has been there forever and other times it take some leadership skills
to settle them into a friendship. Call RAB if you need help. We are here to make the
adoption successful.  

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