Bringing a new puppy or rescue dog into a home that already houses a jealous dog can be a stressful situation for anyone. In this article, we will detail tips and tricks for introducing a new dog to a jealous dog in a manner that is safe for all parties involved.
Introducing a New Dog to a Jealous Dog
Maintaining a safe and calm area to introduce your dogs to is extremely important. You want to make sure that they are as happy and stress-free as possible before even letting them see one another, as dogs can build tension and aggression from just the sight of a new dog. Keep in mind that this process can take anywhere from a few minutes to multiple days, so patience is top priority!
1. The Introduction
To ensure the safety of both dogs as well as yourself, we highly recommend having both dogs in harnesses attached to a shorter leash. This allows you to have more control of the dog you are handling, and you will want to have someone else hold the other dog in the same manner.
Now, you want to keep them as calm and happy as possible during this process. If one of the dogs seems nervous or angry from just seeing the other, we recommend separating them for 15 minutes minimum and then trying again.
When the dogs are secured and controlled, you will want to slowly walk them by each other, avoiding letting their faces come too close together. Both dogs should maintain a safe distance but should be allowed close enough to smell each other.
After they have gotten acquainted with each other’s smells, you will slowly allow them to get closer. If one dog begins to exhibit anxious or aggressive behavior (raising of the hair on neck and back, snarling, growling, etc.) you will need to separate them completely, then try again.
Some dogs may enjoy meeting new dogs and want to jump right into playing, while this is a great thing, we recommend constantly monitoring both dogs to make sure that no arguments or fights happen between the dogs, which can cause major behavioral issues if not handled properly.
If your dogs seem to be too distracted, excited, or anxious to properly meet, we recommend bringing them for a dual activity. Bringing both dogs on a walk around a quiet and calm area can distract them enough to simply enjoy a walk in each other’s company.
We do recommend having separate handlers for each dog and maintaining a safe distance between them to ensure all parties’ safety. As we mentioned previously, if both dogs seem to be angry or anxious we highly recommend keeping them separated for as long as possible before trying the introduction stage again.
If one dog is very excited to meet and the other is nervous, we highly recommend spending one on one time with each dog doing their favorite activity away from the other. This allows your dog to calm down, get happy, and feel the love, which can assist in the introductory process.
Always ensure you are keeping both dogs separated until they are fully introduced, comfortable, and happy with each other. If you notice that your dogs are not getting along well, you mustn’t punish their bad behavior with physical punishments.
Dogs do not react well to physical punishments, and this method can instill fear and aggressive behavior into your dog, which we do not want.
3. Heavy Rewards & Praise
You want to make sure that every time your dogs exhibit good behavior around each other you heavily reward and praise them, so they know they are doing a good job. Most dogs enjoy making and seeing their owners happy, so let them know that you are happy with them!
When you see your pets interacting safely and healthily, you can reward them with treats, heavy praise, toys, or fun play time. If you know that one of your dogs is food aggressive, avoid giving them any treats when they are around each other to prevent any unwanted fights.
There are multiple training tools you can use instead of treats, here are a few examples: clickers for training, love or affection, and talking to your dog with a happy and calm tone of voice.
As we mentioned previously, separating your new dog from your jealous dog is an extremely helpful way to ensure safe introductory practices. Before you introduce them, you want to keep them apart from each other at all times unless they are in a controlled environment being handled with harnesses and leashes.
The last thing you want to do is throw your dogs together and have them start a very big and traumatic fight, which may cause some behavioral issues in both dogs.
Maintaining a relationship with your jealous dog is a great way to let them know that just because there’s a new pet in the house, it doesn’t mean that you’ve forgotten about them.
Bringing your dogs for one on one walks, runs, hikes or playtime are simple activities you can incorporate into your dog’s daily routines.
5. Professional Help & Resources
If your new and jealous dog don’t seem to be getting along no matter what you’ve tried, it may be worth a shot to reach out to pet professionals who know how to properly handle these situations in the best way possible for you and your dogs.
Professional trainers are widely available across the globe and can be found at a variety of price points, and your primary veterinarian may have helpful suggestions as well.
If you need more immediate assistance, professional trainers upload very helpful and instructional videos that are free online, and veterinary professionals have endless articles that are also widely accessible for free on the Internet!
In this article, we discussed a variety of tips and tricks to assist you in introducing a new dog to a jealous dog. We want you to remember that patience is key, and to keep them separated for as long as possible until they are able to interact safely.
We hope you find these helpful, and can successfully introduce your furry friends!