Adding a New Dog to The Family with Dogs
Your dogs need to know that they are each as individuals special to you…
Handling multiple dogs starts by creating alone time with each of your dogs.
If you had one of the dogs before adding the new dog your older dog needs to know that even though you added a friend to the mix he still has his special place.
Dogs need time to adjust to their new environment which not only includes a new family but also another dog. It is best to let the new dog meet the older family dog on neutral ground without holding them on leads.
You can have a lead attached to the dogs so that you have something to grab on too, but don't hold it in your hand as it could cause added tension.
When taking the new dog home slowly introduce the new dog to his new environment. Let the dog do it at his own pace and time.
Do not leave the dogs alone Unattended and keep socializing sessions short so that it can end well each time the interact. Take the new dog away from the older dog if he seems a bit irritated.
If one of them growl distract them by asking a behavior of it that is positive that your dog already knows. Never tell your dog not to growl, this is your only warning sign.
When you leave your home either have the new dog crated or kept separate in a part of the garden or a room.
Apart from spending time as a group, individual training should be done too at first.
Even maybe for your older dog…adding another dog to the family can let your calm and well mannered dog that you know so well change.
He has competition now and will compete for your attention. Each dog may try to be better at always being first or even start resource guarding.
When training cues like waiting at the door take one of your dogs and let him sit and stay... If you use a clicker and or a treat you will only click and treat when your dog does the wait and you are giving the cue to go through the door. At first you would click when your dog sits and move on to only when the wait is completed.
Then you can walk through the door and ask your dog to politely come to you. Repeat this until you are sure he gets it.
Do the same with your new dog. When you add them together and they seem to not remember what they learned go back to "kinder garden"- A STEP in your training as they need to learn the same behavior in the new environment which would be the added dog.
The reward for your dog here would be to be able to go through the door so he will soon learn that if he waits he gets what he wants. So you are shaping the behaviour that he knows which is to sit and using that to sit by the door and go out when you cue him.
Sit does not have the same value to your dog as bolting through the door but he learns that this way he gets what he wants. If he does walk into your space, block him with your body and back him up back into a sit.
You can even ignore him when he wants to come forward. He will see that he is not getting what he wants and the moment he reverses a step back praise him. Get him to stay until you release him to go through the door.
Only when you are certain that both your dogs can do this then add them together.
In the beginning it would be good to give them food separately. One dog fight over food can lead to a never ending dislike of each other. When starting to add them in the same environment when dinner is served you can start by having a fence divide them while eating but they can see each other.
If you do want to feed them together supervise the situation at all times...until you are certain no one will go over to the other ones food bowl.
Your first dog can take a few days or months to get used to the new dog. Be patient and aware.
Don't feel or look stressed about the situation.Your dogs will feel your anxiousness and react to that as well.
If you would like to know more on how to train your family of dogs please fill in this contact form below.
Place your order now!!
Pet Friendly Holiday Accommodation
Click on the image of the book to see the video trailer or click on the book Winter Dogs to order any of the books.
Louise Basson on the Expresso Show talking about Huskies and Husky Rescue 2012.