If you're bringing home a second dog, here are some tips from an animal behaviour consultant on making the transition stress-free for both dogs.
1) The first meeting between the dogs should be in a neutral area, i.e., not at your home as this is your first dog's territory.
2) Bring the dogs' favourite treats — if your dog likes peanut butter, give him a small quantity when he meets the new dog so that positive associations are formed. When the second dog is brought home, give them both treats again and continue to do this for the first few days every time the second dog enters the house
3) During introductions, it is better for the dogs not to focus on each other completely. Take them both for a brisk walk so they are distracted by other sights and smells.
4) The first dog must not feel that life has been disrupted by the arrival of the second. His sleeping area, feeding times and walking times must be continued as earlier.
5) Don't make your dogs share everything. Ensure that the second dog has his own sleeping place, toys, feeding bowl and walking schedule and that he is made to feel comfortable in his new environment.
6) If rivalry arises due to any reason, raise your voice firmly and say ‘Stop' or ‘Don't move' (don't make them anxious, though). Reward them when they back off.
7) For the first two weeks after the arrival of your new dog, ensure that they are kept in different areas without access to each other if left unsupervised, until they learn to coexist peacefully.
[Image via WENN.]
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