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How To Introduce New Dogs To Each Other

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How to introduce new dogs?

I suggest having a trainer assist you with this. Start off really slow. Avoid doing face greetings as they can be intimidating to some dogs. Start off by walking the dogs. Each dog has a person. When the dogs seem comfortable, go to a neutral and safe place where they can be off leash and free to run away from each other if needed. Next, have them meet outside of the house couple of times. Slowly let them into the house to play.

Do you need a trainer to introduce your new pet to you existing one?

I strongly suggest you find a trainer or behaviorist to help you with the initial introduction. This video is more of a guide after you get advice from a local professional who has met both dogs and can help you best to introduce them.

Here are some registries of behaviorist and dog trainers in your area:

Do not force the two dogs to interact with each other. Take lots of time and lots of patience with it. Always start off in a neutral place with lots of rewards and praise. You want to show that the new dog is not a threat to your dog and that they can be friends.

Step by step guide to introducing new dogs to each other:

Step One: Learn about dog body language so that you are able to identify when a dog is getting aggressive or is uncomfortable. Here are some helpful sites for that:

Step Two: Let them get to know each other slowly and carefully. Forcing two dogs to be together in a yard or in a house can lead to heartbreak and occasionally, serious injury.

Step Three: Have the dogs meet on a leash in neutral territories like a park or a neighbor’s yard or on the street up from your house.

“By neutral ground, we mean somewhere none of the dogs would feel territorial and get aggressive with the other animal. The best place would be a park you have never been to.” Sarah Zayn from

  • Take both dogs for a walk close to each other –> 10 feet or so apart.
  • Do this as many times as you think is necessary for both dogs.

Step Four: Let them sniff each other FOR THREE SECONDS during the walk and still on leash.

  • Three seconds is extremely important. Count it out in your head One Sniff–Two Sniff–Three Sniff and out.
  • Keep walking.
  • You can let them sniff each other’s butts during the walk but keep the three-second rule in the back of your head.

Step Five: Let them meet while dragging their leashes.

  • Have them meet in a nuetral territory like a park, training center, tennis court at a park.
  • Avoid areas that might make dogs feel confined –> the more room they have the better the meeting will be
  • Let them sniff each other for a couple of minutes and END the session.
  • If they decide to play and things are going good, let them play for a couple of minutes and then END the session.
  • The reason we end the session so quickly is that we want them to end on a positive note.

Step Six: Have the dogs meet at the house.

  • First!!! Pick up any toys and all food/treats to avoid fighting.
  • ALWAYS meet in the yard first.
  • Bring your resident dog out and your new dog into the house –> if you have your new dog come into the house with the resident dog there, you might have some territory aggression.
  • Keep interactions short and pleasant.

Step Seven: Do not leave the dogs alone!! Keep them in separate rooms or in a crate.

  • For about 6 months, never leave the two dogs alone unattended. This can prevent fighting while you are gone.
  • This also helps your new dog to not develop any bad habits like chewing and pottying in the house.

Additional things to remember when introducing dogs from Sarah Zayn from

Take it calmly

You found the perfect spot, and the dogs are about to meet. You might get a bit flustered, and if they feel that you’re nervous, they will be too. Stay calm, and make sure each dog is handled by an adult who knows how to do so.

Usually, you can pinpoint the moment when the dogs decide if they like each other or not. There could be a bit of growling and posturing, but that is normal, as each one of them is trying to assert dominance. But, after a moment, they will start to get used to each other, and that’s your cue to move it up a notch!

Get involved, but just verbally

In the beginning, you might find out that the dogs are still a bit nervous around each other. Don’t fret about it too much, and instead, use your words to reassure them. Be sure to be present, even when you’re trying to give them space. Be sure to monitor the interaction and respond accordingly to it with the perfect feedback. Y

But, don’t just use your verbal feedback just to tell the dogs what to do. You can also compliment them when you see that they’re getting along. A “Good boys, gooood boys!” goes a long way with dogs, believe us. Dogs crave their human’s validation, so give them some when they deserve it! And, don’t forget to give treats every once in a while, when you see that they are getting along!

On a final note

Know that not all dogs will get along. Sometimes, it just won’t work. They simply don’t like each other. It’s a trial and error, and it takes time. Which is why our last advice would be: be patient.