Many dogs have been got used to other dogs since the early days. This mainly refers to street animals that are familiar with “dog’s body language,” know how to fight an alpha male or defend their territory. Street dogs don’t have owners to protect them, so they have to be accustomed to other animals.
However, this is often not the case with our pets. Because of the overprotective attitude of the owner, dogs become pretty incapable of life outside the home. Some have a fear of other animals, some react aggressively, some just ignore others, etc.
Socialization is something that every dog needs. Whether it refers to puppies your dog meets in a walk or a dog park, or you want to take another pet, there is a concern about how your pup will react to the new guy. Even if your pet is friendly and enjoys company, maybe that other dog is aggressive, recluse and mistrustful. That’s why you have to introduce two dogs carefully.
Make Introducing Stressless
No matter how intelligent dogs are, they are not too reasonable. You can’t explain to them the new situation; you can’t just tell “you’ll get a brother or sister” and expect your pet to understand and accept that. The period of adaptation to the newbie should start before its arrival.
1. Meet New Buddies
First, you need to see how your dog behaves with other animals, or how it reacts to the presence of a new animal. A dog’s park is a great place for it. It is desirable to ask a friend or a family member for help, to hold the other pup.
We assume that your first dog knows some of the basics of the dressage. In the other, a less desirable case when the dog is not well trained, you have to be careful twice as likely. Keep the dog in the short leash because you still don’t know how it will react.
Make sure you and your helper are doing the same thing. After a short walk, approach to each other. Let your pet to sniff another dog. If you notice any kind of aggression, move your dog slowly and continue walking. After a while, try again. If the reaction is better, let them play. Don’t pull a leash without need. When they finish the play, take them home.
2. Walk Them Together
Your helper’s mission finishes here. Now you’re on your own. Taking both pups home can be unpleasant, but if they were playing without problems, a joint walk to the home will be a piece of cake. Just make sure you stand between them, at least for the first time. This way, you’ll show them that you’ll treat both pups equally.
For every next walk or taking to a park, do the same thing. Each dog needs its space and freedom. Each dog has some of its habits that the owner has to respect. Some may like to stop every 10 feet and sniff around; the other dog prefers not to pay attention to the environment. Separated leashes will solve the problem.
3. Don’t Force Dogs to Share the Territory
Dogs are very attached to the owner and place of residence. Bringing another pooch into the house can disrupt them. It is therefore recommended to introduce them in neutral territory, as your first dog wouldn’t feel threatened. Avoid taking the new pup straight to the house, since your no.1 pet will try to defend its territory.
After the first meeting and getting both of them to the house, let them play, sniff, run in the yard, but only when you are around. When you have to go, take them to separate rooms. The dogs need some time to get used to the scents of the other one.
4. Or Food
Try to feed dogs at about the same time, but in different rooms, for the beginning. Each pup has different habits; your dog will need time to learn to share, especially if you took one of them from a shelter or from a street where it was forced to fight for food. Maybe the feeding will go smoother if you took both dogs from a breeder, but the process is the same.
Both dogs should learn there will always be enough food. You can gradually train pets to eat in the same room but in different bowls. Filled both of them at the same time and leave in different corners. This way your pups won’t be jealous of each other.
5. Dogs Don’t Have to Compete
Except for the territory, dogs will feel the need to “fight” for the owner’s attention. This is something they definitely don’t want to share, so the owner has to play a major role in this. It is necessary for dogs to treat them equally, to reward and “punish” them in the same way, when they deserve it.
Although dogs should get along, both of them are individuals. If one is restless, “punish” it, but without affecting the other dog. But don’t separate your love for them in this way. When you want to cuddle, do it with both pups. When you go out, take them both. When playing, play as equally with both dogs.
6. Let Them Decide Who Will Be in Charge
It doesn’t necessarily mean that the first pooch should be the “boss” in the house. Dogs should decide all by themselves who will be in charge. Some of them are born to be alpha males; others love society and don’t mind being a leader. That doesn’t mean that the “boss” will be the owner’s favorite. You have to show and prove that to your pets.
7. Respect Their Hierarchy
If you want your dogs to get along, provide them with the same conditions. Even if one of them is there for a while. The owner must find a way to show love and affection to the first pet, but so that the “newcomer” doesn’t feel jealousy. When a dog feels neglected, it will think of its play buddy as a rival.
One dog must be a leader; your pups have to decide which one. Owners tend to treat dogs equally, but it can worsen the problem. Never favor one dog, but also show that you can understand this hierarchy between them. The leader should be the first for treats, toys, etc.
8. Train Them Equally
Both pets should be trained the identical way. The owner has to devote some time and to give them the same activities and exercises. If you do not have time to educate your dogs, take them to a training course or hire a professional who will work equally with them.
Keep in mind that not all dog breeds are equally capable of accepting the command, request, and general discipline. When dogs work in pairs, it will be easier for them to understand each other and get along.
9. Let Them “Fight”
Competition occurs when dogs fight for domination, even when they are from the same litter. It is sure that dogs will “fight” once in a while, even during the game. In that case, do not try to separate them with your hands or body. Spray them with water to distract them, and then get them outside.
Punishment will also only aggravate the problem. After the fight, let both dogs get in the yard, to cool down and burn that excessive energy. Sometimes, the only things they need are a good run and fetch to get exhausted and reconcile. In case of frequent conflicts, you should ask for professional help.
10. The Owner Is the Key Factor
If none of your dogs has an aspiration to be an alpha male, you must become one. In any case, the owner must show authority and make both dogs feel comfortable and under control. That means that the owner becomes the leader of the cop.
When your dogs become aware that you are in charge, they will be less aggressive and rebellious. The dogs need a leader whom they will listen unconditionally. When you have two dogs, it means twice as much effort to make them get along and to stay in the same place without any problems. Your job is (partially) done when your pets learn how to behave when you’re not by their side.
If you have not been able to raise two dogs at the same time (because this is the only sure way for them to agree), do not lose hope. Your wish to take another dog to be a play buddy for your pet can be realized smoothly. At first, it may be difficult at first to get two dogs used to each other. But with enough persistence, care, and love, your pups can quickly become the best friends. If you can’t get involved in their education, you should better hire a professional dog trainer.