Preparing Your Dog for a New Furry Family Member

Do you remember the first time you brought him/her home? Leading him gently by the leash or carrying her soft, small body over the threshold to start a new life together? Yes, that was the beautiful beginning of a wonderful relationship. Though there have been many mishaps (RIP, old carpet, shoes, [Insert Martyred Possession]) prior to dog obedience training, nothing can make you regret your decision to adopt the pooch lying at your feet or waiting for you at home. However, there comes a time when one four-legged baby isn’t enough. That’s when you’ll want another pooch or cat to grow your small family. In that case, you need to handle matters delicately to avoid turning your home into a new battlefield.
Until the in home dog training specialist comes to your place and starts setting ground rules for your pets, the following lines will help you initiate a bond between your baby and the newcomer.

English Cocker spaniel puppy looking up at an Irish setterIntroducing Your Pooch to a New Dog

If you enjoyed your experience so far, you may decide to double the fun (and trouble) with a new dog. However, as exciting as this may be for you, it’s bound to upset your existing pooch and confuse your latest addition. To avoid both outcomes, here are some highly recommended methods you should follow.

Introduce Both Dogs via Scents

Dogs communicate by scent, which is why they sniff one another in the dog park. You can help your new and old dogs recognize each other by associating their scents with your own. Wear two old t-shirts throughout the day to allow your scent to stick on them. Next, let your first dog sleep on one and give the other to your new dog. After at least one day and night, exchange the shirts to make the dogs familiar with one another.

Bring the Dogs Together on Neutral Territory

If your dogs are adults, you’ll benefit by introducing them away from home. While you can facilitate these meetings at rescue shelters, a park your dog doesn’t normally visit will be just fine. Have your pooch on a leash and let a friend walk your new dog at the same venue. Let the dogs meet and bond; if they get along, their relationship will be fine. On the other hand, if they hate each other, you may want to reconsider getting this particular dog. Finally, when you head home, give your first dog a treat and attention to reward him or her. Don’t forget to do the same to your new one to show that they’re equally loved.

Let the Dogs Meet at Your Home

Keep your new dog in one room, allowing him to get used to his new surroundings and the new scents. After a day, bring your first dog into the room and let him sniff his new brother’s/sister’s crate. Don’t point out your latest addition; instead, let the two dogs interact through the crate’s bars for 20 minutes. Next, move your first dog out of the room and reward him for his good behavior. However, make sure to ignore your new dog during this time to prevent jealous retaliation. Repeat the same steps for a few days before letting the new dog out on a leash and allowing them to interact. Gradually increase the dogs’ contact time before taking them on walks together. In the meanwhile, keep their food bowls, toys and possessions separately and constantly supervise them.

face à face du chat et du chien - westie chat de gouttièreIntroducing Your Dog to a New Cat

There’s a reason behind the expression ‘fighting like cats and dogs’. Both species are so different and their personalities are bound to clash if you don’t take care while introducing them. This is why professional dog training is bound to be very helpful. However, to help you with your role in this meeting, here are some methods to consider.

Inch Your Fur Babies’ Bowls Together

Keep your new cat with her necessities in a separate room, but feed her and your pooch on opposite sides of its door. That way, they’ll associate enjoyable things such as eating with each other’s smells. Just make sure to keep their bowls away at first to avoid upsetting them. Once they respond positively, bring the dishes closer until they can eat calmly even while seeing one another.

Lock One and Unleash the Other

If both animals aren’t showing signs of aggression, let one of them roam freely around the house while locking the other. For instance, you can let the cat explore the house while locking your pooch in her room. Doing so will also familiarize the newcomer with their new surroundings without being scared of your dog.

Seat Your Trained Dog and Let the Cat Introduce Themselves

If your pooch is already trained, you can instruct him to ‘sit’ and ‘stay’ while your cat explores him. Make sure to praise your dog and give him treats for being calm. However, don’t let the cat turn aggressive; if she does, have someone take her away and calm her down while you take care of your dog and praise his good behavior.
Again, introducing new pets isn’t easy; so make sure that you take your time with this process. You can also opt for dog training Tampa if the task is too difficult for you to handle on your own. That way, you can have a great, happy furry family.