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  • Writer's pictureSteve Rigden

How To Introduce a New Dog To Your Resident Dogs

Dog to Dog Initial Introduction

This step by step guide will help you introduce your new dog to your existing dog. This document does not outline the entire process, but the initial introduction and assessment. Bringing a new dog into your home is NOT an overnight process. The introduction of a new dog may take weeks to complete and will inevitably change the dynamic of your home forever, sometimes in unanticipated ways. Please consider that this is an important process and heed the cautions in order to avoid common pitfalls that result from careless or improper introductions. Bringing a new dog into your family will require some management, but the eventual payoffs for those that follow through are enormous.

The Initial Meeting

1: A new dog must never be brought inside the home or yard of an existing pet dog. Use a neutral site such as a park or the street in front of your home. 2: Both dogs should be on 6 foot leashes and walked on opposite sides of a 20 foot circle until they begin to show signs of relaxation (no pulling, lunging, whining or barking). Both handlers should have a firm hold of their leashes, however, they should try to maintain a U- shaped bend in the leash. Taut leashes communicate tension to dogs and this should be avoided. 3: When the dogs are relaxed they can allowed turns to approach one another, one at a time, from the side or the rear (never nose to nose). Dog 1 should be allowed to approach on a lose leash, give a quick sniff (2-3 seconds) and then moved away. Then allow dog 2 the same type of approach. Again, it is very important to avoid using a taut leash. Try to move with the dog. 4: Both handlers (handler 1 and handler 2) and their respective dogs should now take a walk. Each handler should be familiar with the structured walk protocol outlined in the document titled “Leading The Walk”. Begin the walk with each dog positioned on the outside of their respective handler. Handler 1s dog should be held in his left hand on his left side and handler 2s dog in his right hand on his right side. Walk in this configuration for at least 5 minutes. 5: Next, handler two (the handler with the dog on his right) should transfer dog 2 to his left hand and side so that dog 2 is now in between both handlers. Continue to walk in this configuration for another 5 minutes. 6: Next, handler 2 whose dog is on the inside should hand the leash to handler 1 so that handler 1 is now walking both dogs, one in each hand on each side. Continue to walk in this configuration for another 5 minutes. 7: Next, handler 1 should transfer dog 2 to his left hand and side, so that he is now walking with both dogs on his left. The walk should continue in this configuration for another 5 minutes and end back where the exercise began. 8: Lastly, handler 1 should return dog 2 to handler 2 which completes the initial introduction exercise.

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