You may want to introduce dogs to each other for varied reasons. Maybe you want to introduce a companion for a dog you already have, maybe you want to give a home to a stray or you just want to experience a different breed than the one you have, such as a small dog in a family with big dogs.
For whatever reason, you need to plan in advance because you might have good intentions but the dogs you want to introduce to each other may have other ideas.
The most important thing to consider is the preferences of the dogs you already own. You know your dogs well and you know what they prefer and what they don’t like. For me, it is my female Rottweiler I have to consider before I introduce any new dog to our family.
She has no problem with males but she really detests females. She also has a tendency to bully smaller dogs, but even then she only bullies the females. I have decided that I would rather not introduce new females into the family because I love Ginger too much, and introducing other females would mean she has to go.
You know your dogs best. What do they prefer? Would they mind having other dogs around or would they rather be the only pets in the house? Do they, like my Ginger, prefer to have a certain type of dog around and not another type? When you answer these questions, decide whether it’s wise to introduce other dogs into the family or to leave things as is.
Where to meet
Once you decide to introduce another dog in the family, you need to look for a neutral ground for the dogs to meet. Meeting on neutral grounds eliminates the feeling that one dog owns the territory while the other one is an intruder.
When in such places, it is easier for you to observe signs of aggression and also to notice whether or not the two dogs will get along. If the two dogs stare into each other’s eyes and start growling at each other, you and the other handler can take them around for a walk separately and try introductions again to see if it works the second time.
If on the other hand the two dogs play with their front legs spread out and they take turns chasing, they like each other and they can be taught to live together.
Once you get home, don’t give the new dog stuff that belongs to the other pet such as feeding bowls and toys. You might want to give them time to get to know each other before doing this. You should also not feed them side by side; that might just be pushing it. Your dog is still getting used to having the stranger around so give him time to adjust.
Soon the two may be inseparable but in the meantime, let the dog get used to the idea of having to share everything with the new addition, including your attention.