Introducing A New Dog To A Household With Pets

You’ve taken the plunge and decided to bring a second dog into your home. You’ve figured out the budgeting, worked out how much time you have available to meet the needs of both dogs and are confident it’s achievable.

John Woods · April 30, 2019

Introducing A New Dog To A Household With Pets

By John Woods

You’ve taken the plunge and decided to bring a second dog into your home. You’ve figured out the budgeting, worked out how much time you have available to meet the needs of both dogs and are confident it’s achievable.

You’ve bought the beds, toys, bowls and most of the pet store.

But the reality is, if you don’t manage the introduction and those early interactions between your existing dog and the new dog, you could be setting yourself up for failure.  Rather, set yourself up to succeed with our top tips.

Be Realistic

As much as we all look through rose-tinted glasses at our own pets, you have to consider the good, the bad and the ugly if you are to bring another pet into your home.

Watch the behavior of your pooch. What’s his temperament like? Is he sociable? Does he tolerate other dogs well? Is he laid back or a little high strung? Is he a little older and maybe gets grumpy if someone is in his space?

Equally, is he a young puppy who hasn’t yet learned any social skills? All these things will drastically alter how you introduce another dog into your home. Consider the temperament of the new dog? Is it a teddy bear puppy who can annoy your older pooch? Is it a nervous rescue who will get bowled over by your energetic adolescent? None of this means the introduction shouldn’t occur – you just need to think outside the box.

Prepare The Environment

The safest way to introduce dogs into a new environment is to ensure that they have plenty of opportunities to escape. Consider putting baby gates on certain doors or partitions across rooms. Is your current dog crate trained? Are you going to crate train your new dog? Crates provide a space that the dog knows is theirs – it can be turned into a den. They know it’s a safe retreat when the world is just getting a little too much for them.  Baby gates and partitions allow you to separate the dogs if you are unable to supervise their interactions at any point. If you are adding a puppy, it also provides an area for potty training and limits the amount of damage that can be done to the house while you’re sleeping.

Start Slow

Introductions are generally more successful and less stressful when you have a helper. With the dogs on leashes, start with a distance between each of the dogs. Feed them treats. Slowly reduce the distance, so the dogs are getting closer and closer. If your dog is sociable, they will show interest and will easily accept the new dog. If the new dog is a puppy, they may be timid, or they may just be excited to play with their new friend. Allow them to sniff each other, while still leashed. If the new dog/puppy becomes nervous (cowers, tries to hide, shakes, licks their lips, yawns or tries to run away), remove them from the situation and do something to distract them. Again, start from a distance and gradually move the dogs closer to each other again.

Observe And Control

How the first interaction goes will dictate your next steps. If the dogs get along well, you may let them romp and play in the yard and wander around the home together. Supervise their interactions and any signs of one getting annoyed or irritated, simply separate them for a short time. This is where baby gates and partitions come in. You may choose to separate them to sleep, just so you know both are safe while you can’t supervise. This is where crate training is handy. Watch older dogs and younger puppies – puppies have a habit of being unrelenting.

Moving Forward

The most important thing when you bring additional dogs into the home is to spend time with each dog separately. Take them for walks, on their own. Work on training, separately. Just as you want the dogs to build a bond, you also need to maintain the relationship with your existing dog and build a solid bond with your new dog/s.

Most dogs can learn to live in harmony with others.  Introductions and those first interactions are crucial. Be realistic about the temperaments of the dogs you are mixing and be patient. Set the environment up and supervise closely. While it’s easy to think that dogs will keep each other occupied and busy, quality human-dog time is imperative.    

Raw Food Tip:

Based on your pet’s nutritional needs during his or her various life stages, only the feeding amounts need to be adjusted, not the actual formula.
Puppies require more food than adults as they need the extra energy for proper body development. As your dog gets older and his or her activity level decreases the feeding amount will also decrease. At about the 12-month stage, we advise that you adjust the serving portions to avoid long-term weight issues.
Feeding your pet the BARF Diet® from puppy to adult to senior, you ensure that your pet has the best chance of a healthy and happy life. Plus, there’s the added bonus of lifelong canine/human loyalty as you continuously show your animal companion just how much you really care.
- Robert Mueller Sr.


John Woods

Founder All Things Dogs | Dog Breeds, Training and Behavior


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What is BARF?

"BARF®" is our acronym that means Biologically Appropriate Raw Food. It is a complete and carefully balanced blend of raw meat, fruits, vegetables and bone. Our formula mimics what nature has designed our pet's to thrive on in the wild. The result is a pet free of allergies, digestive problems, and full of life!