What is the best way to introduce dogs? Here’s What to Do Next

If youre concerned it’s escalating or there is an injury, separate them as soon as safely possible and call our free Pet Helpline at 952-435-7738 for support. Our friendly staff can help you assess the situation and advise on next steps.

When youre introducing two dogs to each other, first impressions matter. How the dogs interact in their first few encounters can set the tone for their entire relationship, so follow these steps to set their relationship up for success.

The steps outlined above provide an optimal opportunity for dogs to meet one another. If thats not possible, however, use these tips for an introduction at home:

Keep in mind: Some posturing and mild aggression can be normal as dogs become more comfortable, even after a successful first few days or weeks. Don’t panic!

How to Prepare for Introducing a New Dog

Prior to bringing your new dog or puppy home, place anything your resident dog might guard in one area. This may include food bowls, bones, beds and toys. Make sure the new dog has a separate area for all of their items. Even if your pet has never been possessive in the past, it’s best to be cautious and avoid putting the dogs in a position to fight over toys or food.

Avoiding clutter is also important; congested areas may trigger aggression between dogs if they feel forced on each other. You may even try using a tall baby gate to keep the dogs’ spaces separated until they’ve had time to get used to each other.

Pay attention to each dog’s body language.

Watch carefully for body postures that indicate a defensive or wary response, including hair standing up on the dogs back, teeth baring, growling, a stiff-legged gait or a prolonged stare. If you see such postures, either when the dogs are at a distance or near each other, immediately and calmly interrupt the interaction by interesting the dog in something else. If the dogs seem relaxed and comfortable, you can shorten the distance between them. Again, offer treats to the dogs any time they look at each other in a relaxed manner. Top 10 tips

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Learn how to let your reactive dog meet other dogs

You’ve decided to welcome another dog into your fur family — hooray! With many people staying at home, it’s a great time to introduce a new pet to the household.

Although dogs are social animals that tend to love the company of other dogs, there are times when introducing a new dog into the family can be tricky. First impressions are very important, especially if your resident dog is used to being the only dog vying for your attention. Here are a few ways to help your current dog accept your new pup.