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Top 10 tips for introducing a new dog to your home

Posted on November 14, 2015 at 11:50 AM

Introducing a new dog is an exciting time, but care and consideration needs to be taken in order to make it go smoothly. First impressions count!

Here are our top tips for introducing a new dog to your home.


1. Choose your new dog carefully

Before choosing a new dog to introduce to your home, think about your existing household and how this may change the dynamics. Be sure to choose a personality which should be a good match.

2. Go for walk separately

Draining some initial energy will make the situation less frantic when they come to meet, bringing down levels of tension.

3. Go for a walk together

Meeting on neutral ground is best for everyone, ensure both dogs are kept on lead to begin with and wait until they're calm to progress to them meeting. Keep walking and avoid stopping for long periods of time, taking careful consideration of body language which may suggest either dog is uncomfortable.

4. Keep things relaxed and fun

The goal is to make sure that both dogs see each other positively, so keep your body language and tone of voice calming and positive. Calm your dog by using long, gentle stroking and calm praise, instead of excited fuss.

5. Take them into the garden

Providing things have gone well when out on a walk on neutral ground, take both dogs to the garden and allow the progression into the home. Pay special attention to any signs of stress from either dog, and take time out to reduce any tension.

6. Don't leave high value resources around

Put away things like toys, bones and food when introducing a new dog into your home, to reduce the likelihood of competition leading to fights. Feed the dogs separately.

7. Try a plug in diffuser

These diffusers emit a calming pheromone which eases stress. Try the Adaptil Diffuser. Adaptil diffused in the proximity of a dog mimics the natural dog appeasing pheromone, as a reassuring message. As a consequence, it helps relieve stress or fear-related behavioural signs.

8. Keep dogs separated when you're not around

Be sure to keep dogs who don't know each other well separate when you're not around, for safety purposes. Crates and baby gates are great ways of separating dogs within the home for times to calm down and relax.

9. Be patient and sympathetic

Dogs are individuals and all have different needs and will take different times to relax. New dogs may not get along like best friends straight away, it could take days, weeks or months in order for them to adjust to a sudden change in the home.

10. Work on training

Trained dogs are happy, relaxed dogs. Training dogs separately and together builds bonds within the family, and a good level of physical and mental stimulation through training ensures a healthy dog.


If new introductions are not going smoothly, it is important to get in contract with an experienced and qualified behaviourist who can help you and your dogs. Always be very careful, as dog fights can cause serious injury to both dogs and humans caught in between.


Categories: Behavioural Advice