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How to Introduce a Second Dog to your Home

Casey Morrison, from Weare New Hampshire, joined the Red Pointy Dog Training team in 2023 as our Client Care Specialist and we're excited to announce that soon she'll be taking on dog training clients in and around Weare, Henniker, New Boston, Goffstown, Dunbarton, Deering, and Hopkinton New Hampshire. If you're looking for puppy training and problem solving, basic manners, obedience, working with jumping, leash manners, recall or anything else, Casey is happy to help!


How to Introduce a Second Dog to your Home, Dog Training in Weare NH

Are you thinking about bringing home another dog, but you just don’t know where to start?

Well, you have come to the right place! 

Be sure that you are getting a second dog because the family wants a second dog. Your pup may love to have a friend, but you will be doing all the work to make sure two pups coexist peacefully together. You will need to set aside time to meet each of your pup’s needs and it is always great to give each pup one on one time to continue, or start, training. 

Finding the best match for your pup

Now that we know we want a multi dog household, let's figure out what we are looking for in a second dog. We always want to take the resident pup into consideration when searching for a second pup. You will want to look for a new pup that compliments your resident pup. Maybe you want an active pup for your active pup, or your resident pup is slowing down and you’re looking for something with more energy again. Would your adult dog tolerate a puppy? If your pup has dog friends outside of the home, it may give you an idea of what they will get along with best, but if they don’t, it can be a process of trial and error to find the right fit. This is why introductions before taking your pup home are so important! Dog meet and greets can give you an insight on how well the two pups will get along. Learning about dog body language before starting to introduce your pup will help you understand how the meeting is going. 

managing a multi dog household, multiple dogs in a home

Dog Body Language Tips

Did you know that dogs talk to us and other dogs with their bodies? Here are some tips to get to know your dog better and help them find the right friend. When introducing two dogs, keep an eye on your dog’s tail, face, posture, and stress signals.

A dog’s tail can give you a good idea of how they are feeling. When a dog tucks their tail or is keeping it low and quickly wagging, they are nervous, if it stays straight up and not moving much, there is some tension. When your dog is excited or happy, they will have a tail that wags from one side to the other that may even make their butt wiggle. You probably see this with your dog every day that you come home from work. 

A lot of a dog’s body language comes from their face, their eyes, lips, and ears. Those pieces alone will tell you a lot. If they are uncomfortable they will show a whale eye. This is when they look to the side and most of the white in their eye is seen. They may also have their ears back, lips pressed together and a stiff body in general. When they are more comfortable, their body will be more relaxed and wiggly, eyes soft, with their ears and mouth relaxed. 

Overall, there are some body postures to keep an eye on. When a dog’s hair along their back is raised, it just means the dog is aroused, but not in a negative way. If they roll over to expose their belly, they are nervous of the new dog or human. This is generally not an invitation for a belly rub. 

When the dogs are comfortable and initiate play, you will see a play bow from at least one of them. A play bow is when a dog puts their front legs down on the ground and keeps their butt up in the air. It is the best initiation of play out there! As the dogs play, the tension can build and it is always great to see that they stop and give a big, full body shake. This releases tension and lets a dog regulate their body to continue to play or take a break.

On the other hand, stress signals can be easily overlooked. Some stress signals you may see are yawning, panting when it's not hot, sweating through their paw pads or lip licking. Meeting a new dog in a new place can be a stressful event, but it is a good idea to end a meeting if a pup is too stressed and not enjoying it. 

When we decipher a dog’s body language, we need to watch every signal that the dog is giving, from their tail to their eyes. Want to learn more about dog body language to be ready for your pup’s big meet and greet? Check out our body language webinar by clicking here and save $10 with discount code BLOG.

Should you get a second dog? Training for multiple dogs

Setting both dogs up for success

Once you have found the perfect second dog for your family, setting the two pups up together properly is so important! Make sure that each pup has their own space set up before bringing your new pup home, whether that is different rooms or separate crates. Also, have your pups food dish picked up, and put away all the dog toys until you know the pups relationship better. 

When you bring your new pup home, take the two pups out for a walk together to enjoy the outdoors and get to know each other a little better. This is a great time to check out their body language and watch for them to be relaxed together. 

Use those separate areas you set up to feed your pups and enjoy toys and chews separately. Your pups should never be left alone together at first, so use these separate spaces for them when you are not home. Once you get to know them better and their relationship, you can start adding toys to see how they do. 

Lastly, break out the treats and reward each pup for good behavior. As your new pup is settling in, reward them for good choices and proper manners. Be sure to treat your resident pup as well. 

Need support or have questions?

We are here to help! We can be a great resource to help you find a good match for your pup. We can also be a support system to give you the tools you need to help your new pup settle into your home. If anything comes up, like resource guarding or your new pup needs some basic manners, we will be here to work with you. If you are interested in working with us, click here to get started. Just have a question? Click here and we'll be happy to answer it!

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