Introducing a New Dog to a Resident Dog

Introducing a new dog to a resident dog

A word before starting: when introducing dogs to one another, first impressions matter. How the dogs interact in their first few encounters can set the tone for their entire relationship, so care must be taken to set everyone up for success. Throwing them together in the back yard and letting them “work it out” can lead to heartbreak (if the integration fails) and occasionally serious injury. Follow these steps to help both dogs get to know each other slowly and carefully.

  1. Have the dogs meet on neutral territory first: this can be a neighbor’s yard, a training center, tennis court, etc. Have both dogs on-leash. Allow them to look at and sniff one another through a barrier, such as a fence, for up to 30 minutes. By then, the novelty of seeing a new dog has worn off, paving the way for a more positive introduction. Another option is to take the dogs for a walk together, keeping ten feet between them so that they cannot greet one another or stare. The idea is simply to acclimate them to each other’s presence without causing tension.
  2. Next, have the dogs meet off-leash on neutral territory. Avoid problem areas like gates, doorways or closely confined space: the more room they have to move, the less tension there will be. Wait 2 minutes while they sniff each other, then call them away and move around. If they start to play and it seems to be going well, let them play for a few minutes and then end the session. We want each initial interaction to end on a good note!
  3. Finally, have the dogs meet at home: first in the yard, then inside the house. Before the in-house introduction, take the resident dog out to the yard, then bring the new dog inside (bringing the new dog inside to meet the resident dog can create a negative reaction). Keep each interaction short and pleasant: if signs of tension arise, separate the dogs immediately and try again later. Remember that the introduction will set the tone for their relationship, so it’s important to set everyone up for success!
  4. Keep the dogs separate while you are away, either in separate rooms or crates. This is both to prevent injurious fights and the development of inappropriate behavior in your new dog (such as chewing and housesoiling).
  5. While the dogs can settle minor disputes with each other (such as growling the other off of a toy or their own food bowl), they aren’t allowed to limit each other’s access to you, your family and common areas of the home. In many multi-dog households, contrary to popular belief, there is neither a “dominant” nor a “submissive” dog, but individuals whose roles change depending on the context involved (ex: a dog that claims access to a favorite toy may let another dog claim the couch). Instead of “supporting the dominance” of any one dog, establish yourself as a benevolent leader, rewarding polite behavior and managing the environment to prevent conflicts from developing.
  6. For more information, see the booklet “Feeling Outnumbered? How to Manage and Enjoy Your Multi-Dog Household” by Karen London, Ph.D. and Patricia McConnell, Ph.D., available for purchase at the AHS Training School.

This material is copyright of Animal Humane Society and can only be used with written permission.

How Can I Become a Dog Trainer?

How can I become a dog trainer?

Many people express interest in the field of dog training, but are unsure of how to get started, or what qualifications are required.  This article aims to clarify the process.

Counter conditioning and desensitization

Counter conditioning and desensitization

These two techniques are often used to change unwanted behavior in dogs and cats. Just as the term implies, counter conditioning means conditioning (training) an animal to display a behavior that is counter to (mutually exclusive of) an unacceptable behavior in response to a particular stimulus. For example, a dog cannot be trying to bite the letter carrier and at the same time greeting them in a friendly, excited manner.  

Managing an Agressive Pet

Managing aggression

First things first: aggression is not a “do-it-yourself” project.  If your dog or cat has shown aggression toward people or other animals, it is critical to seek help from a qualified professional who can evaluate your dog and provide assistance with long-term behavior modification.  If your pet has bitten a person or another animal, we recommend contacting one of the following professionals to schedule a consultation:

Terri Derr, DVM (612-360-7227)

Recommended Reading List

Training School recommended reading list

Basic training for dogs and puppies

The Power of Positive Dog Training by Pat Miller. Pat Miller is a prolific writer for many dog magazines, including Dog Fancy and Whole Dog Journal, and this book is a must for every pet owner’s library.

Culture Clash (2nd Edition) by Jean Donaldson. A wildly popular and provocative book that challenges our assumptions about how dogs think and how we think about them.

Therapy animals

Therapy animals

Therapy animals and service animals have very different purposes. Service animals are trained to meet the disability-related needs of their handlers who have disabilities. Therapy animals provide people with contact to animals, but are not limited to working with people who have disabilities. For more details about the distinction, please see the Pet Partners website.

Pet behavior resources

Pet behavior resources

Sometimes pet behavior problems seem overwhelming, but many can be managed with the application of a little knowledge and a little effort. Keeping pets in their homes in a manner that's comfortable for both pet and owner is one of our many goals at Animal Humane Society.

Pet Behavior Library

This online library contains tried-and-true methods for managing many common pet behavior problems as well as tools for evaluating situations that may require additional resources. Please browse the list of titles below and study the information that's relevant to your particular situation. Try the solutions that are offered.

Pet Behavior Helpline: (763) 489-2202

Need help right away? Call our Behavior Helpline. We’re here to answer your behavior questions about your pet, and we might just be able to help you resolve an issue that will keep your pet at home, with you. All messages returned within 24 hours.

Local animal behavior specialists

Canine and feline aggression is best handled by a professional veterinarian who specializes in behavior due to the potential for serious injury. Because phone counseling is inadequate for addressing a serious problem like animal aggression, we ask that you contact the following professionals for help:

Terri A. Derr, D.V.M.
Veterinary Behavior Options
612-360-7227
info@vetbehavioroptions.com

Margaret Duxbury, DVM
University of Minnesota
612-624-0797
Dana Ashlin-Emerson, coordinator

Lorna Reichl, DVM
Midwest Veterinary Behavior Services
lreichl@midwestveterinarybehaviorservices.com
612-300-1937

Dog training class schedules

Training School class schedules

Introduction to Dog Training sessions

Attend the intro sessions in person or online.

Complete list of August 2014 classes

Complete list of September 2014 classes

Training School classes

Coon Rapids
Map and directions

 

Golden Valley
Map and directions
 
Now Boarding (South Minneapolis)
Map and directions
 
Woodbury
Map and directions
 


Questions?

Review our Training School FAQ, call us at 763-489-2217, or send an email.

Training School FAQ

Training School FAQ

Training school application and fees

Training School application and fees

Training School fees

Levels Program 2-month training pass $150
Levels Program 4-month training pass $250
Therapy Dog 10-week class $190
Reactive Rovers 8-week class $250

Discounts are available if your dog was adopted from Animal Humane Society.

Training School application

There are two ways to submit your application:

  • Complete it online and pay the full amount for your class with your Visa, MasterCard, Discover, or American Express on our Secure Site.

-OR-

  • Download and print a blank application (PDF), complete it, and mail it to us with your personal check or credit card information for payment. You can also bring the completed application to the Introduction to Dog Training session with you. 

Class registration will not be considered complete until both the application and payment are received and approved by our training staff. You will receive a confimation call to let you know that we have you enrolled in class. $20 fee for returned checks.

All students must attend the Introduction to Dog Training class at one of our locations or you may complete the Introduction to Dog Training class online.

PLEASE NOTE: Due to large demand, we currently have a waiting list for new students with dogs over 18 weeks old (we do have space in our puppy classes). Please call 763-489-2217 for more information.

 

Questions?

Review our Training School FAQ, call us at 763-489-2217, or send an email.

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