Whether you are bringing home a new dog to keep permanently as a member of your family, pet-sitting a dog for a friend, or just having another dog over for a few hours, you will find this page very useful!
When bringing a new dog into your home (if you already have an existing dog) requires a few steps in order to be done successfully. While some dogs are very friendly/social and do not mind other dogs coming over to "their" house, other dogs may not be as welcoming to other dogs, and this information will specifically assist with those types of dogs.
Read our suggestions for introducing your dog to other dogs. A proper dog-to-dog introduction on neutral grounds is the first step in brining a new dog into your home.
#1- Once the fore mentioned step is completed successfully, you can then enter your house (both handlers and dogs). Walk into your house first, then let your dog follow AFTER you (good "pack leader" skills!). Next, have the other dog's handler walk into your house, and have their dog follow. Make sure to keep both dogs on-leash throughout this introduction process, so you will be able to quickly make any corrections, if the need to do so comes up. You may drop the leash on the ground once you feel the dogs appear to be okay with each other, but keep the leashes attached to their collars just in case you need to grab them quickly.
#2- In general you will always want to eliminate any potential risk factors, so before you are to have the new dog over (best to do this prior to the initial neutral ground introduction), pick up all of your dog's toys, treats/bones, and food prior to coming into the house. Your dog may or may not have issues sharing toys, etc. (which could then be introduced later on in the process), but it is better to be safe than sorry, and prevent any bad behavior beforehand, if at all possible!
#3- Every dog will react differently to a new dog in their home. As stated above, some will be totally fine with it, while others may become a little dominant, and/or protective of his "belongings" (house, toys, humans, furniture, etc.). If your dog appears to be showings signs of being protective of his belongings, make sure to keep an extra close eye on him and his behaviors to help prevent his behavior escalating to anything worse. In general, protective dogs should not be allowed to sit and "guard" their belongings. This means that the dog should not be allowed to stay by his handler/owner and show dominant and/or aggressive characteristics (tail standing straight up, hair on back standing up, trying to put their head high over the other dog's shoulders/head/neck, growling, mounting the other dog, curling upper lip, staring at the other dog in a very intense and/or statue-like manner). The dog should also not be allowed to sit/stand up on the furniture acting all "high and mighty".-- By being higher up on the furniture, the dog is working to be "superior" to the other dog, by being higher up and posing himself as more dominant.
#4- If your dog has a crate and/or is crate trained, this could also come into play with this introduction process. While your dog should NOT be asked to "go lay down" in his crate and should NOT be locked in his crate while the new dog is exploring around your dog's home (this would then set your dog up to become potentially jealous, and therefore lead to potential negative behavior), if your dog does CHOOSE to go lay down in his crate, this behavior should be ALLOWED, by all means. By your dog going into his crate, he is entering his "den"; his "safe place" that is his very own space to go to get away from everything and relax. If this is the case and the other dog goes over to bother your dog in his crate, quickly distract the other dog by calling his name and either telling him to "leave it" (if he knows that command), or just work to re-direct his attention to something else. By not allowing the other dog to interfere with your dog in his crate, you are not only allowing your dog the right to have a "safe place", but you are also working to prevent any potential protectiveness your dog may have over his crate. By re-directing the other dog away from the crate, you are not allowing for that dog to bother your dog and escalate any negative behaviors that may be happening, or about to happen. If you allow the other dog to bother your dog in his crate, you are allowing that other dog to invade on your dog's personal space and you would be basically telling your dog he has no place to go to get away from this new dog (which could then cause more problems).
PLEASE NOTE: We are not professional dog trainers and/or dog behaviorists. While we stand behind and use these methods, please use them at your own risk and understand that these methods are of our opinions and are merely suggestions to assist you in finding harmony with your K9 companions.