- Ben Landkammer
From 1 to 2…
Integrating a new pup in the house can be a challenge. I recently helped good friends and prior clients who volunteered for a long term foster situation make the jump from single dog home to two.
A few thoughts:
Ease into it - simply throwing both dogs into a living room or yard to ‘figure it out’ is a recipe for disaster. Territorial issues may arise, but outside of that bringing a new canine into the home without having a strategy is a bad idea. Hoping for the best isn’t a plan. Structure and Accountability are critical to things going well, and easing in is the key. Get both dogs out of the home first thing, and show them both that the other is under control and polite. A nice long walk alternating who leads and who follows (two dogs and two handlers) is a good start. Having both dogs trained is hugely beneficial in achieving this goal.
Use the crates. Containment allows for security and lowered stress levels. The dogs can hear and smell each other, warming them up to the idea of another pup in the home, while mitigating any perceived threat of a physical altercation.
Expect and keep a high level of accountability. Use their
(and your) obedience training, especially inside the home. The climb command is king. It sets you up to hold them accountable to being chill inside the home, works the brain (great for burning nervous energy), and sets the expectation for living in your home.
Integration takes time but can be done when approached with a thoughtful eye. Think of the new dog (on either side) being a distraction to the other doing their job, which is obedience. Once this paradigm is established you are well on your way to creating a livable home with your new addition.
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