Introducing your new pet to a Resident Pet

Before bringing home your new dog, introduce your new pet to your resident pet in a neutral area like a park. Keep both dogs on leashes for a short time.

Be matter-of-fact about the situation but stay alert. If either dog reacts aggressively, consider getting a different second dog or none at all. Keeping two dogs that do not like each other under control is a huge and dangerous task.

After a few minutes take the leads off and let the dogs explore each other, best at this point you walk away and keep quiet.

Dogfights generally involve a struggle between an existing  Resident dogand a new arrival, often of the same gender. Dogs in the household, just as in awild pack, have a hierarchy, with one animal being the dominant one. Respectthis hierarchy when you introduce the new dog; you will cause conflicts if you treat both dogs equally.

Assess which dog is the dominant one it is usually the older pet and actaccordingly. The dominant dog generally should be first when greeting the owners, passing through a door or getting fed. But he shouldn’t mistreat the new pet in any way.

Reinforce your own position in the household by teaching your dogs the commands “down and “stay.” Giving them a “down-stay command while they’re side-by-side communicates to them that this is your house, and they will behave themselves here regardless of how they feel about each other.

How can I get my cat and new dog used to each other?
Put the new dog on a leash when he meets your cat. Prepare yourself for some major upset on your cat’s part. Do not get too concerned over a good-naturedcat-and-dog chase but do correct your dog when it happens. Ask your pup to “sit’ instead and praise him when he complies. If you feel it’s necessary, keep the leash on the dog so you can step on it to correct him mid-chase. Your cat will take awhile to adjust to the newest member of the household possibly even a few months. Help her along by ensuring she has open doors and windows to escape:

Give her a place to eat where she can feel secure and where you will not have to run interference, like a tabletop or a strictly “no-doggy area.

Keep the litter box out of your dog’s domain.

Put the dog on a “down-stay while you pet your cat; your cat will know she’s still loved, and your dog will realize the cat is not to be touched simply because you say so.

Some cats prefer to adjust on their own. Try putting yours in a room with food, water, toys, a litter box and a scratching post. Open the door after a couple of weeks and let her decide how extensively she wants to interact with the dog.

Keep a baby gate across the door to the room so she can escape when things get too hectic. You may want to consider keeping her in her crate/ carry case so the dog can sniff her and she will feel secure.

Should I get help from a professional trainer?
Don’t hesitate to seek professional assistance if you don’t feel capable of teaching your pets to get along. A professional trainer will implement methods to help your current pet cope with the new arrival. Well-trained pets adjust better to changes and are easier to control when conflicts arise.

Contact your vet or a trainer immediately if any of your animals react aggressively. They will decide if you should try to keep everyone happy or make other living arrangements for the new dog.

Keeping a happy household with more than one pet takes a lot of effort. Be alert and extra attentive while everyone’s getting used to each other and never let them forget who’s boss.

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