Making Introductions

Thinking about adopting a new pet for the holidays? If you already have pets it is important to make them feel safe and secure while bringing a new pet into the mix. If pets aren’t introduced to one another the right way you risk the chance of something happening like a fight breaking out. To make sure the process goes well and everyone stays happy take into consideration these tips from
Have new dogs meet one-on-one
Group introductions can be a bit challenging even for a well-adjusted dog. For a dog who struggles in social situations, meeting multiple dogs simultaneously can be so overwhelming that it could damage the new relationships. Dog parks like Leawoof Dog Park in Leawood, Kansas or the Swope Park Off Leash Dog Park in Kansas City make great places to introduce dogs.
Choose the location of the meeting carefully
Off-territory is best so that neither dog feels like the other is the intruder. And conduct the initial meeting outside rather than inside. Often during meetings, a dog will urinate and then walk away, especially if he is feeling overwhelmed. That gives the other dog an opportunity to get to know the stressed dog by sniffing the urine without coming into close contact with its source. If dogs are inside where urinating is a no-no, their options are limited.
Avoid gates, fences, doorways and other tight spaces
They tend to make dogs tense, and a tense dog is unlikely to be at his best. In general, dogs feel more relaxed and are more likely to exhibit desirable behavior when they don’t feel confined, so do your best to keep both dogs in open space and away from narrow passageways. For example, try to conduct the introduction in the middle of the yard rather than along the edges.
Don’t crowd the dogs
Like narrow spaces, having people too close can also make dogs feel uncomfortably confined. For many dogs, being crowded by people is worse than being crowded by inanimate objects and tight spaces because it puts a lot of social pressure on them. Resist the urge to lean toward them or hover over them. It’s natural to want to move toward the dogs if you perceive even the slightest sign of tension or trouble, but ironically, it can make things worse. Moving away is far more likely to lower the arousal or tension level and prevent escalation of the situation. If you see tension, use a cheerful voice to say something like, “This way,” or “Let’s go,” then clap your hands and walk away.
Keep moving
This is a great way to help an introduction go smoothly. It not only prevents you from crowding the dogs, it also keeps their interactions with each other from developing intensity. If humans walk purposefully, dogs will often follow, allowing them to avoid greeting or interacting more closely than they’re comfortable with.


Don’t forget all the new items you’ll need when bringing a new dog home! Brookside Barkery has everything you’ll need from beds, collars, food and even holiday themed toys!