Let’s get one thing straight – as far as we’re concerned, when it comes to dogs, the more the merrier! We’re all for adding a second furry friend to the family, but it’s important to be cautious when doing so, especially if your existing pet has been top dog for quite some time.
Last year, Camp Bow Wow’s Training and Behavioral Expert, Erin Askeland, turned her attention to dog lovers everywhere, chatting with Motherhood Defined about how to easily assimilate a furry new addition — and these tips still hold true today! Here’s what she had to say:
Stay neutral and private.
For our pets, it can be overwhelming to meet a new dog as is, especially when surrounded by tons of other pups yapping at the breeder, animal shelter or in the pet store. Erin’s advice? Leave your current dog at home and make introductions private, special and most importantly in neutral territory. Consider taking both pets to the park or meeting up on a stroll through the neighborhood. This eliminates any territorial challenges you may face from the start.
Be positive, but cautious.
Every dog is different, so some will take longer to get used to a new friend than others. That being said, the best thing to do is start slow. Instead of allowing both dogs to run free, keep them on a leash and allow them to sniff and play a little bit at a time. While they greet each other, remember to keep your voice happy and upbeat, as to tell them both, “it’s okay, we’re all friends!” If your dogs don’t seem interested in saying hi, don’t force it. Give them time and space to get to know one another on their own terms.
Keep things separate at first.
Sharing can be a hard concept for your former top dog to comprehend. For this reason, Erin suggests keeping toys, food and even play time separate until they start to get the hang of it. You may even find that some of those old toys, bones and blankets have to go if your current dog has a particularly strong claim on them. Sometimes buying new items from the start can minimize guarding and territorial problems.
It can be more difficult to assimilate a new dog into the mix when your current dog is used to being leader of the pack, but even more so when they’re not running with a pack at all. The easiest solution? Socialize your furry friend from the get-go here at Camp Bow Wow! As a pet parent, you can rest assured that your pup is being cared for, played with and included in all the fun by our expert Camp Counselors, and as a Camp owner, you’ll take pride in knowing you’re creating that opportunity!
Itching for more? Check out the full article from Motherhood Defined.
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