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How to introduce two dogs to get along?

By nature, dogs are social animals. However, not all of them may be naturally friendly with each other. Their ability to socialize with other dogs as adults can be influenced by factors such as poor socialization during their puppyhood or traumas from negative experiences. To avoid unwanted conflicts, it’s important to take precautions when introducing two dogs, whether you’re planning to adopt a new pet to live with your current dog, receiving an invitation to another house with a dog, or simply crossing paths with another dog during a walk. Here are some solutions:

Teaching a puppy to socialize:

Canine socialization is crucial for a puppy’s education. It involves teaching them to coexist with their environment, which includes other dogs, animals, people, nature, as well as various situations like homes, traffic, and potential dangers. Once your puppy is vaccinated, it’s good to take them to dog parks, where they can interact daily with dogs of different ages, sizes, and people.

It’s also essential to teach your puppy to respect other animals, even if they growl, and avoid getting them accustomed to being carried in your arms, as this may have negative consequences. Let your puppy interact and play with other dogs, animals, and people on a daily basis.

Recommendations for introducing two dogs:

At home: Consider the temperament of your dogs, especially if you already have one. Introducing puppies can be more manageable, but adult dogs have well-defined personalities. Consult the shelter or adoption center about the history of the dog you want to adopt and gather information about breed compatibility and personalities, as you likely know your current dog well. It might not be a good idea to pair a calm dog with an agitated and anxious one.

When introducing two dogs, it’s best to do it on neutral ground. Choose a place unfamiliar to both dogs, where neither feels territorial. An outdoor location is preferable to prevent them from feeling confined. Pay close attention to their body language. If they approach each other too quickly, head-on, or display unusual behaviors, don’t let them get closer.

They should be calm and in relaxed postures, and if this is the case, they may approach each other from the side to sniff each other’s rear ends. This is normal and positive; don’t try to prevent it unless there are signs of aggression.

In an outdoor setting: The first impression is crucial, even in the dog world. When a dog meets another dog for the first time, it’s important that neither perceives the other as a threat to themselves or their territory.

Not all dogs are equally sociable, just like with humans or any other animal species. Accept this fact and be prepared for it. Even if your dog is friendly and welcoming, the other dog may not be excited to meet them. Avoid territorial issues by making the introduction in a neutral location.

Never let your guard down. It’s essential and entirely necessary to have both dogs on a leash during their first encounter. A tug on the leash can prevent a major disagreement. Don’t force the animals to meet face to face. Let them interact in their own way, naturally, by sniffing and playing.

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