What’s the Best Way to Introduce Dogs?

There are a lot of circumstances in which you might introduce your Georgia dog to another dog. It could be at the dog park, at your home (or someone else’s) or simply when you’re out for a walk. As with people, there are some dogs that are more outgoing than others, so it’s important to be respectful and considerate when introducing dogs to make sure it goes smoothly and does not stress either animal out.

When considering how to introduce dogs in Georgia, consider the situation. We’re going to cover two common scenarios dog owners often face to help you get a better understanding of what makes for a proper introduction.

Introducing a new puppy to a home already inhabited by a dog

When you bring home a new puppy for the first time, it’s understandable to be excited and eager to introduce the puppy to all the elements of your life. Keep in mind, though, that a dog you already have in the home might not exactly share your enthusiasm.

Remember, you’re bringing a new puppy into your other dog’s established territory. Not only that, but puppies are still learning how to communicate, which means they might not understand the rules of engagement established by adult dogs.

With this in mind, it’s best to take it slow when you bring home your puppy for the first time. Your puppy’s instinct will be to try to get your adult dog to play with it as much as possible. Expect the adult dog to growl or grumble. This is completely okay—this is how they tell the puppy they are annoying them. So long as the dog does not lash out and bite, this is normal, healthy communication.

Never scold a dog for growling at a puppy—the puppy needs to learn boundaries, and this is the adult dog doing some of your training for you.

It can be a good idea to make the initial introduction with both dogs outside, so there is not an immediate intrusion into the dog’s domain. Keep initial interactions brief, and maintain some separation to prevent the adult dog from getting overwhelmed. Their early actions should always be supervised, and the adult dog should have plenty of alone time. Reward both dogs for appropriate behavior.

Introducing your dog to another dog in public

The other common situation is running into a strange dog on a walk. Dogs will naturally try to approach each other, but some are calmer than others. Before allowing your dog to get close, ask the other owner if it’s okay if the dogs interact. If you both agree, slowly allow the dogs to approach each other while leashed. It’s a good sign if they begin sniffing each other, wag their tails rapidly and appear relaxed.

Warning signs can include tails held low, shaking, yawning, attempting to turn away or hair standing up. All these signs indicate anxiety, and it’s best to remove the dog from the situation before it could become ugly.

Avoid interacting with every dog you see on walks—otherwise, your dog will never let you get a walk in without stopping to meet new friends!

For more information about when to and when to not introduce dogs in Georgia and how to do so, contact the experts at D&G Kennels today.