Introducing Your Dog to Resident Pets

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Introducing a new dog into your household is exciting! It’s also a very stressful transition for your new family member and a big change for resident pets. A slow introduction can help you avoid conflict. Follow the steps below to set your animals up for success.

What To Do

  • Allow Your New Dog to Decompress: As your new dog settles in, create a safe comfortable place in your home where he can eat, drink, and relax. Do not let your other pets bother him while he is in this area.

  • Introduce on Neutral Ground: Take both dogs for a leashed walk away from your home or yard. Allow the dogs to approach at their own pace and move the dogs away from each other if either seems uncomfortable or tense. You may need to take more than one walk for the dogs to get comfortable.

  • Bringing the Dogs Back Home: As long as the animals are calm with the above, try a supervised leashed meeting in the yard and then inside the house. Do not allow the dogs to crowd each in doorways or other close spaces. Pick up any toys, food bowls, and dog beds during the initial introduction. 

  • Giving Appropriate Breaks: Make sure to give the dogs time apart from each other. The resident dog and the new dog should each have a comfy place with a bed, crate and water dish to decompress and relax 

Monitor body language: Dogs communicate a variety of ways including stiffening, growling and snapping. If your dog growls or snaps, this is normal communication expressing some momentary anxiety or discomfort. Respect these signals and give the dogs space from each other. Ensure that each pet has an escape route and slow down the introduction. If you are unable to complete an introduction without growling or snapping, please contact behavior@utahhumane.org