When you bring a new dog into your home, two things demand your attention: people and dogs. A mistake some pet owners make is assuming that everything will be OK with this new dog without any attention to dog socialization to his new home. Remember that the introduction can quite often be the most important interaction of all. If the introduction is a good one, it can lay a great foundation for a positive relationship. But a rocky start can often lead to a negative relationship in the way this new dog relates to people and dogs in your home. This is why introductions must be done slowly and conscientiously.
Let’s start off with the most common one, which is an owner who already has a dog and brings home another one. Before you bring your new dog into your home, take this new dog on a walk along with the dog you already have. You don’t necessarily have to let them meet and smell each other right away. Just walk for about five to ten minutes, and after that time, bring the dogs a little closer together and let them meet and smell each other. If they seem like they want to play and there are no issues, head back to the house and do the same thing in your backyard. This is a great way to initially introduce the animals because they are in a neutral area.
Before introducing new people, take the time to get to know and understand the dog. If the dog has been adopted and has some fear towards either men or women, take something like a “high value” treat and let the new person meet your dog by using the treat. Using a treat like this redirects the dog away from that fear.
If your dog likes people, that’s great! Broaden your dog’s exposure to lots of different sorts of people—old and young, men and women—so your dog stays well adjusted. Sometimes not exposing your dog to a certain gender over the course of months or years can develop a fear in the animal, especially if the dog had past negative experiences towards that gender prior to entering the animal shelter.
A bad initial meeting between two dogs can be extremely hard to get over. Take your time and be smart when introducing and socializing two dogs.