Introducing a New Dog into the Family
As Dog Geek reminded us recently, I am NOT Crazy. So, no … there are no new dogs at Chez Champion of My Heart, but I wanted to tell you about a new piece I wrote that went live last week on the pet health section of WebMD on this very topic of how best to introduce a new dog or puppy to your current canine pals.
Much of the advice I got from experts mirrored things we did when we nearly adopted Lilly’s best-best dog friend, Katie, the borzoi. We had to re-introduce Ginko and Katie because he pretty much tried to kick her butt the first time they met. When we gave it another go, we tried things like:
- Proximity or parallel walks, where the dogs can be together but they don’t have to directly interact
- Lots of praise and treats for calm, polite interaction, etc.
And, as you can see from this later video, the three got along just fine. Katie always deferred to Ginko, but I got to where I trusted the three of them alone outside playing.
Katie has AWESOME dog-dog skills, which made up for the fact that my 2 do not.
Future Dog-Dog Intros
It’ll be interesting down the road how Lilly might accept another dog into our home. I worry that too many dogs in shelters/rescues get tagged as needing to be an ONLY dog because of their issues.
Indeed some dogs are downright dangerous, but others like Lilly and Ginko … I think they can learn to accept other dogs. Maybe not all dogs, but the right dog into the right family.
This got axed out of the story, but Brad Phifer, one of the trainers I interviewed, had a client with a boxer who would literally jump through windows at his house so that he could chase down passing dogs.
That is scary!
So, when his family wanted another dog, Brad was like “Um, would NOT recommend that!”
But, against his advice, they indeed got another boxer puppy and their adult dog took it just fine. It probably helped that the new dog was a pup, but still.
Just goes to show. You never know.