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Introducing our dog to new dog family member

A lot of dog owners ask themselves the same question: is my buddy feeling lonely? These concerns often lead to a decision about bringing home a second pet. We believe that the new pet will perfectly complement our loving family. But what is our dog’s opinion about this idea?

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How to introduce our dog to a new pet?

Certainly, from now on with the new company our dog will be more eager to stay home when we have to go to work. However, before that happens, he must get used to the new family member, and what’s the most important – accept him in the house. Only then, will we be able to honestly say that it was a good decision. Nevertheless, sometimes it might be hard to predict our dog’s reaction to a new pet. Below you can find some tips and helpful information on how to socialize our dog with the new four-legged family member.

Potential obstacles on the way to our dogs’ friendship

  • Age gap

The age gap between two dogs living in the same house can be a very contentious issue, and it might seem difficult to find a golden mean here. First of all, the combination of a puppy and a senior dog may be a bit problematic. As we know, the little dog wants to run, play and be active all the time, and older dog ‘s behaviour is totally different – for him the extremely energetic behaviour of a puppy can be very stressful. If our senior dog appreciates the possibility to rest and keep it calm, we should reconsider introducing the puppy to our family. A much better solution in that case would be to take in a slightly older dog, whose puppy, sportive times are long gone. That kind of dog will still be very active, but not in a way that brings stress to our beloved senior dog.

A mature dog may react negatively to the new puppy at home – he feels that he’s the head of the household, and a new young family member can be a threat to his position. As a result, he can act aggressively towards the puppy, that can read his reaction as an encouragement to play together. Paying attention to this age issue is crucial if we want to avoid unpleasant situations between our two dogs.

  • Gender

There’s no right decision when deciding on the sex of a dog that is about to appear in our household. Each compilation can be a success or a failure. It all depends on their personalities, as well as our support in building their relationship.

Dogs of the same sex can make great friends. Two boys, as well as two girls can get along very well and happily spend time together. However, we should keep in mind the possible complications that may occur in the same-sex dog friendship. In the case of two male dogs, it very likely to happen that one of them gets promoted to the role of a leader. In that situation, the second dog subordinates to him and in extreme situations he’ll be more likely to feel the fear and anxiety.

Two female dogs usually don’t have the problem to accept each other. However, there might appear some aspect of competition, and as a result one of them might try to rule over the other. In this situation, the bitch in a worse position in that friendship, can suffer from stress and anxiety.

When deciding to bring home dogs of different sexes, we should remember that probably the only key to success of this relationship can be a sterilization. However, this rule doesn’t apply if we chose the opposite sex dogs hoping for their baby puppies. If we decide not to sterilize the bitch, we must keep in mind that the dog can react strongly to her smell, even if she’s out of the cycle. It can negatively affect their relationship. The bitch can feel overwhelmed and even down because of the dog’s behaviour and constant interest.

  • Size

Dogs’ sizes are in that case slightly less important but let’s focus on that issue for a moment. For dogs with similar stature it will be easier to cooperate during all kids of activities. The play of a Great Dane with a Maltese can not only be onerous, but sometimes even dangerous. A massive dog can snap or step on a smaller one by accident, and the entire game may turn out very harmful for the Maltese. Therefore, when deciding on a new four-legged-friend, we should think twice about his size.

Introducing a new family member

Before we can welcome a new dog in our household, we must prepare him a starter kit. A new member of our family must necessarily have his own bowl and a place to sleep. It’s a good idea to set all the new items in our house earlier, so that our old dog might get familiar with the new situation step by step. However, we should point out and show him that these items will belong to someone else. Eating from one bowl when our dogs are just getting to know each other is not recommended. The same rule applies to dog beds — it’s important that each pet has his own place at home, and he doesn’t have to share it with anyone. Of course, in most cases, when our pets make good friends, the boundaries between properties begin to vanish, and they’re happy to share anything.

The first meeting is extremely important to both of them. We recommend that dogs get to know each other for the very first time in neutral area, such as park – where our dog will probably treat the new pet more neutral than if it would have happened in his territory or at home. It’s also an excellent opportunity for them to play freely together and start creating their relationship. Let’s give the dogs some space during the first meeting, so that they can get to know their smells and get used to each other step by step.

Under no circumstances can we favour one of the dogs. It’s crucial to make them feel treated equally from the very beginning. We must watch out not to indulge in ’new’ pet’s whims – it can make the old dog feel the worst one. As a result, he may treat badly the new family member, even if in the beginning it seemed that everything was right. None of our pets should feel loved less than the other.

We must remember that it’s not a good idea to force our dogs to make friends or interact. They need to build a bond between them on their own. Our role, as the owners, is just to control the situation and make sure whether none of them feels crushed or overwhelmed by the other.

Two is always better than one!

A well-thought-out decision about a new four-legged family member is something that we won’t regret. Additional dog in our house will always make the place more happy and alive. Our buddy will be happy to make friends not only with us but also with the other pet. The special bond between two dogs is a completely different kind of relationship than the one with the owner.

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