Teaching Two Dogs To Get Along

You’ve decided to get a companion for your dog. Much like roommates, dogs have their individual quirks and habits. Every living thing with a brain comes with some sort of “personality baggage” based on how and where they were raised. As with people, making sure two dogs get along takes effort and patience. The Association of Professional Dog Trainers offers some helpful suggestions to ensure your dogs become life long pals.

The Neutral Ground “Greet & Meet”

Many dog owners will be so excited about their new dog that they’ll bring it home to meet his or her new pal. But bringing a new dog straight home if you already have one is usually not a good idea. Most dogs are territorial. Your other dog may resent the intrusion into his territory and regard the new arrival as a threat. Better to take both dogs to a park and leash them firmly, with each dog controlled by a separate individual—friend or neighbor that your current dog is familiar with. This will allow both dogs time to size each other up from a safe, non-threatening distance. If they don’t bark at each other, give each dog some slack on their leash and let them walk toward each other. Both handlers should be ready to pull back their dog, should aggression set on either side.

Observe Dog Postures

You should be keenly aware of both dogs and note their body postures. Some defensive body postures include bared teeth, hair standing up the back, deep growls, a stiff legged gait or a prolonged “mad dog” stare. If either dog assumes these postures, voice a stern command to sit or stay and comfort them. Allow both dogs to “dial down” and slowly become accustomed to each other. Gradually shorten the distance between both dogs. And remember to generously reward good behavior with lots of “attaboys” and a tasty snack.

Walk Them Together

You may not be able to walk them together right away, but after a successful meet & greet, take them for a walk on separate leashes with separate handlers. Let both dogs explore each others’ scents. After a few such walks, both dogs should play nice together—but do keep them on their leashes.

Homeward Bound

After your dogs have grown used to each other, played well together, and explored each other scents and behaviors without mad dogging or other defensive postures, bring them home. Taking separate cars is best, as you’ll want to be sure nothing happens while you’re driving. When you arrive home, it’s usually a good idea to let the new dog enter your home first. This prevents your old dog from feeling the need to “protect his turf.”

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49 comments

Siyus Copetallus
Siyus C3 years ago

Thank you for sharing!

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Siyus Copetallus
Siyus C3 years ago

Thank you for sharing!

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Jonathan Harper
Jonathan Harper3 years ago

ty

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Dennis H.
Dennis Hall3 years ago

Good advice. I think this would work with people, too. :P

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Maggie W.
Maggie D3 years ago

This is the way I've heard it should be done.

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Glennis Whitney
Glennis Whitney3 years ago

It just time for them to know each other, just like humans. TYFS

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Glennis Whitney
Glennis Whitney3 years ago

Just take it slowly till they get to know each other, patient is a virtue. TYFS

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Glennis Whitney
Glennis Whitney3 years ago

Great article, thank you for caring and sharing.

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Tanya W.
Tanya W3 years ago

Thank you

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Karen F.
Karen P3 years ago

I like the idea of introducing them on neutral turf, like a dog park. Thanks for info.

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