At some point or another, your pooch will almost certainly meet another dog. It might be because you’re adopting a second dog to add to your family, or simply because you’re passing another canine during a walk. But in either case, you’ll want to know how to introduce two pups properly so that everything goes smoothly. Here are a few guidelines:
Rule number one is simple: take it slow. Just tossing two dogs together and hoping for the best is definitely not a good idea. In fact, this approach could result in fighting, injury, and worse. Let the two pooches see each other from a distance and approach each other slowly.
We strongly advise keeping both dogs on leashes during initial introductions. This is essential for maintaining control over them and making sure they don’t feel that they can do whatever they’d like. If you’re introducing two pups in a controlled environment, have a family member or friend hold one leash while you hold the other. You won’t have much—or any—control if you try to hold both leashes at the same time.
Doggy body language will be the best indicator of how well the first introduction is going. Pay close attention to this! Watching how Fido and Spot move and react can tell you whether they are going to be buddies or if you should separate them and try again later.
Some signs of a positive first meeting include relaxed body language and facial expressions, tail wagging, and play bows. (Play bows are those cute moves dogs do when they put front paws down and the hindquarters up, indicating a desire to play). If you see things like tense body language, tails tucked between legs, growling, snapping, or snarling, separate the dogs right away.
If you’re adopting a second dog, it’s important to give each pet their own sleeping and eating areas. Make sure to give each pup some alone time every day during the first few weeks. Two pooches who spend too much time together can become overstimulated and start exhibiting aggression and other bad behaviors.
When Fido meets an unfamiliar dog on the street, take things slow and maintain control over the leash at all times. If the meeting doesn’t go well, simply thank the other dog owner and go on your way.
Ask your veterinarian for help with dog training and socialization. We’re here for you!