People love taking care of dogs since they’re amiable creatures. Even if they meet someone for the first time, it’s almost a second nature for our canine pals to get along with them.
At times, dogs can even turn their newest acquaintance into their best friend from the get-go. Though it’s strange, it seems they don’t experience any stranger anxiety at all.
Thus, most doting fur parents can’t help but want to welcome another doggo into their household. But, will dogs get along immediately with the newcomer?
If you’re asking yourself this question now, you’ll need to read the article below. Perhaps, some of the tips mentioned are all you’ll need to make the two canines get along well.
How to get two dogs to get along?
There’s no ultimate secret in making two dogs (or even more) get along right at the get-go. It’s more of an interplay of safe introduction, positive reinforcement, providing personal space, establishing authority figures, and patience. Yet, even if the two dogs get along well right from the start, make sure to supervise all their interactions. Though it sounds over the top, establishing a safe environment is still your priority.
1. Safely introduce the new pup
As mentioned earlier, safety is always our top priority whenever we bring a new dog into our homes. Since dogs are territorial animals, it’s not unusual for them to think of the latest addition to the pack as a threat.
Thus, it’s best to find a neutral area where the dogs can meet each other. Be it a park, playground, or sidewalk; it doesn’t matter as long as both are comfortable in it.
But, if you want their first meet-up to be successful, you’ll have to choose a place that’s distraction-free. By distraction-free, no canines should be around except the pups that you’ll introduce with each other.
If possible, enlist the help of someone you trust. Though you can do this alone, you don’t know how both dogs will react, hence, the need for extra precautionary measures.
While we emphasize safety, it’s not a good idea to keep the dogs on a leash when you introduce them. Tugging on a leash can ultimately increase the dog’s anxiety, making it all the more stressed out.
And, when a dog’s stressed out, it can exhibit aggressive behavior. So, if you can find a location with barriers like fences, it’s a good idea to take them there.
With all those tips mentioned, the ultimate goal to keep in mind for this first step is to keep the meeting a fun one. The lesser stress the pups feel, the higher the chances of a successful introduction.
2. Reinforce positive behaviors
In connection to the step above, it’s a must that you reward your doggo to affirm that he’s doing the right thing.
Since our goal’s to imprint their meeting day as a positive memory, be extra generous with your praises. Whenever your pup allows the newcomer to sniff him out without any sign of aggression, compliment him.
But, don’t rush the greeting part. Remember, they sense if you’re anxious. Thus, stay calm as much as possible.
Once both dogs are at ease with each other, give them time to acclimatize by letting them play. No matter what game they end up doing, it’s important that they bond with each other.
And, once they’re all tuckered out from playing, let them relax. If they still want to play, allow them to continue where they left off.
Just don’t forget to praise for being such a kind friend to the newcomer.
3. Give each dog their personal space
Even if the canines’ first interaction’s a success, it’s not always a guarantee that you’ll have the same result after.
Chances are, your dog will suddenly act territorial towards the newcomer when you go home.
So, to minimize the chances of the two canines brawling with each other, give them their own space. Think of it like you’re giving siblings their bedrooms.
Why is this so? Well, if you’re paying attention, canines are known territorial animals. The moment they spot an unwanted visitor in their area, they’ll do everything to protect it.
And, giving pups their safe havens doesn’t stop with placing them in separate rooms.
Make sure that you provide separate food bowls, drinking stations, as well as toys. Though sharing the same stuff looks cute, it isn’t the right time for them to do so.
Even during training, make sure to keep them separated for the time being.
If you notice that both dogs are less hostile whenever they do activities together, slowly increase the time they spend together.
But, if you’re still quite hesitant on this aspect, you can install baby gates in the house. In this way, the two dogs can still see each other through the barrier but not allow them to have easy access.
4. Establish who’s the leader of the pack
Remember how dogs love belonging to a group? Well, as they’re social animals, it’s not unusual for them to form a pack and work as a team.
Though canines are already domesticated, they still have this pack instinct in them. Once someone new is introduced to the pack, they tend to act hostile towards the newcomer to protect their group members.
However, a pack isn’t merely a means for pups to have socialization. Unknown to most of us, a dog pack has a hierarchy in place.
Though alphas don’t show their roles with neon signs, they got it after showing off their strength.
Thus, it’s the most opportune moment for you as a parent to assume the role of alpha.
Since dogs greatly revere their alpha, they’ll heed your every “command.” Whatever you do or say, your canines will surely follow.
If possible, spend quality time with each dog, making sure, of course, you’ll do so in an equal manner.
If you successfully spend quality time with your pups, the lesser they’ll think of the other doggo as a rival.
If they don’t see each other as competitors for your love and affection, they’ll get along better.
5. Practice patience all the time
Since it’s not uncommon for dogs to have varying temperaments, the way they’ll react towards a newcomer can’t easily be determined.
For all we know, a mild-mannered canine might not do well when you introduce a new pup to your home.
But, if a doggo’s hostile initially towards its new friend, it’s not the case for the rest of their lives. Though some dogs are undoubtedly slow to warm up, they’ll eventually get used to the other’s presence.
Eventually, the two pups will find the middle ground in their interactions.
Even if it’ll take a few days, weeks, months, or even years, you should be extremely patient as their alpha and fur parent.
Think of the situation like they’re siblings. As siblings, it’s not uncommon for these individuals to quarrel with each other.
But, when they get back to their senses make amends, they’ll start playing and doing things together again.
However, don’t leave the canines alone whenever they’re in the same room. Though you’ll get to the point where you can relax while they play with each other, it’s still best for you to be there to check.
But, if you applied all the steps and still having trouble making the two dogs coexist, then it’s time to ask for the expert’s help.
Seeking help from an expert isn’t a loss on your part. It even shows how much you love your pups that you badly want them to be at peace with each other.
Remember, it’s always better to ask for help than to solve a problem yourself and push yourself to a dead end.