If you have a dog and a new one will be entering or visiting your home, there are things you can do to ensure that the meeting goes off without a hitch.
There are several ways to help your dog accept new pets; however, it could take several days and even months:
To integrate two animals successfully, you need to start slowly. First, plan to have the dogs meet on neutral ground. Choose a place where neither dog is likely to feel territorial.
If you don’t have a choice and you have to do this at home, allow the new pet to roam the place, then isolate him or her into a closed room and release your dog to sniff where the new animal walked. Do this for a day or two until they have become accustomed to the new smells in the home.
When the meeting occurs, have each dog on lead, but keep the leads loose, since tension on the leash might communicate to the dogs that you are fearful or anxious about their meeting, which will in turn make them more fearful and anxious.
Walk the dogs side by side with a safe distance between them. Then, cross paths (still maintaining that distance) and allow the pets to smell where the other has walked.
As the dogs approach each other, watch their body language closely, paying attention to the entire body.
If they have shown no signs of hostility toward each other, take them to an enclosed area, drop their leashes, step back and give them space to get to know each other.
If the dogs are getting too tense around each other, saying something in a soothing tone of voice can help them to take it down a notch, shake off and start fresh.
We must only step in and physically separate them when they are becoming too excited and cannot give themselves a break, or when it becomes clear that their relationship is headed for conflict.
Keep in mind it can take weeks, even months. The key to integrating new pets is to understand that it takes time to develop a trusting relationship.
Also, remember that some dogs will never get along with other animals; their prey drive may be too high to accept a smaller pet or their habit of defending the home is too deeply engrained. If this is the case with your dog, you might need to bring in an animal behaviorist or trainer to help you.