Introducing a new dog to your pack

What's better than one dog? Two. Or three. Perhaps even four. Although the idea of adding to your pack is exciting – remember that it might not be so easy straight away. To make sure you introduce your new dog into the existing brood properly, we have made a short article with some suggestions to help you get prepared for the all-important, first impressions.

1) How soon is too soon?

Consider how long you have had your current dog/dogs. It’s commonly known that it takes a year for a dog to get settled into it’s new home and to bond with it’s owners. It’s important not to get your second dog too prematurely after getting your first, however tempting.

2)  Don't over spoil your existing dog

Try not to over spoil your existing dog prior to introducing the new family member. Perhaps ease off slightly in the lead up to the new addition. This might be a tough exercise but if a pooch has constantly been the centre of attention, they may react badly to having to share the spotlight with another friend. Give your dog some space, it will lower the shock of the divided attention when the new dog arrives.

 3) Remove your current dog's favourite toys

Dogs can get very possessive when it comes to their favourite toys, they will claim it and guard It with their life. It’s important to make sure your current dogs favourite toys are removed out of sight, prior to the new addition joining. This will stop any disputes over belongings and help the both of them to be on level footing from the get-go.

4) Introduce the new member's scent 

A dog’s sense of smell is just as important as sight is to us. If possible, it might be a great idea to introduce the scent of your new puppy or dog to your existing pooch before they meet. This will help them get used to their new besties smell and ensure it’s not a shock when the new arrival turns up. Why don’t you place a soft toy or towel that the new dog has used into your current dogs bed? This means that when the new pooch arrives, your original dog will already feel some familiarity.

5) Choose the meeting location carefully!

The meeting location for introducing the new member of the family to your existing dog/dogs is incredibly important. Make sure to choose the location of their first meeting carefully in order to avoid any territorial disputes. A neutral location like a neighbour’s garden or park will allow the dogs to become comfortable before bringing them home.

It’s normal for there to be some initial tension but give your pooches time to familiarise themselves with each other and they will be besties before you know it.