How to Introduce Your Dog to Another Dog
Two gorgeous Labrador Retrievers, one golden red and the other jet black, sitting next to one another patiently waiting for a treat for being such good doggos on their walk.

How to Introduce Your Dog to Another Dog

26 June 2023

Provided by BorrowMyDoggy member Hannah

Reviewed by Dr Jill McMaster BVM&S MBA MRCVS, Veterinary Surgeon and in-house expert at BorrowMyDoggy on 7 Jun 2023

As Dogs Trust says, “If you want a happy and friendly dog, then socialisation is key.” This is particularly important if you’re a considering owning more than one dog.

One example of this is BorrowMyDoggy member Amanda, who recently added a third puppy to her family and regularly borrows local dogs to help socialise her pack.

Whether you’re considering adding another dog to your home or want to borrow one to see how your dog gets on with another four-legged friend, have a read of Amanda’s 8 tips that she learned from her trainer to ensure the experience is happy and safe for everyone.

  • Encourage your dog to move forward with lots of praise and keep your own body language relaxed. It can help to gently touch the newly introduced dog to show your dog that it's safe to meet him. Praise them if they move forward confidently.
  • Look out for your dog’s body language to determine how they’re feeling. Make sure their tail is relaxed and wagging and that they seem calm before making the introduction.
  • Sniffing each other allows dogs to be introduced properly. Make sure that the dogs have enough room to move around each other.
  • If your dog is on a lead, they could feel restricted and may feel sensitive, so allow an easy tension on your hold. If your dog is loose, then be aware that they could run off if they feel threatened. A confident dog running up to shy dog could cause a fright.
  • If your dog has had a previous bad experience with another dog, be aware of dogs that are similar in size or temperament. You now have an opportunity to create a new positive experience without forcing it.
  • If your dog seems to be scared of another dog, do not put them face to face. Dogs interpret starring as a threat and may act out in a challenge.
  • If your dog gets on with a particular size or temperament of dog, then you should aim to improve on these types of experiences in order to build trust with other types of dogs over time.
  • If your own dog is boisterous, make sure the new dog does not see them as a threat. Try to calming them down and provide praise if they relax.

This article is for information only, and should never replace any advice, diagnosis or treatment from your veterinary surgeon. Always contact your local vet or out of hours vet without delay if you have any concerns about your dog.

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