Introducing A New Member To Our Pack


As a pet sitter, I am always introducing a new dog to my pack, and I was recently asked by a pet parent how do I go about doing such introduction, so I decided to share this information and experience with other pet parents and perhaps get some feedback as well.

This evening, after dinner, Cynthia and I took Alex, our dog, Walter and Dexter, furry boarders, for a nice walk.  Walter stays with us very often so he is used to Alex, but Dexter, a Boxer mix, is the new kid on the block, therefore we needed to do a proper introduction.

Dexter

Dexter

I started by taking Dexter for a long walk as soon as his mom dropped him off.  I walked him for about 10 minutes, and I then asked Cynthia to bring out Walter to join our walk.  After about 25 minutes, during this time they were not allowed to interact with each other for all I wanted was to walk as one pack, we went to a grassy area so they can sniff each other and observe their body language while they are both on a leash.  They were both relaxed and curious about each other which is what you want to see.  I asked Cynthia to now bring Alex out while I walked Walter and Dexter.  Once Alex and Cynthia joined us, we walked for another 20 minutes.  Before heading home, we let them go to a grassy area to do their “business” and sniff each other again, and then proceeded to go straight home.

Alex, Dexter and Walter (from left to right)

Alex, Dexter and Walter (from left to right)

The walk we do as a pack is extremely important when I am introducing a new dog to my pack and this is what I do every time a new dog joins us.  I also like to observe their body language during our walk and while they are interacting with each other for any signs of aggression.

intro2

They were all tired after our walk and decided to take a well-deserved nap.  What a hard live my canine companions have, don’t you think?

22 responses to “Introducing A New Member To Our Pack

  1. So enjoyed this! We, just 3 weeks ago brought in our home a ‘rescue rottie’ He’s about 2 yrs. old and don’t believe has had much in the way of training or ‘how to’ in the house manners department. Also, wasn’t sure about aggression towards our 10 yr. old female rottie, Ursa.
    So, yesterday we took the two of them on a walk to the river. Like you say, we were also able to watch how they interacted and the stances made. Such a wonderful way to introduce a newcomer. Thanks for confirming we did it the right way!:D

    • You did an excellent job introducing the new kid on the block to Ursa. You have a couple of positive things going for you: one, the 2 dogs are of different gender; two, you did the walk and watched their body language; and three, Ursa is the older dog and the one that can teach the new comer manners:) I am glad you enjoyed my post, thanks:)

  2. Oh how I wish we lived closer to each other!! My three bark way too much, habit as much as anything for youngest, she didn’t bark inappropriately till here about a yr. with other noise makers. Have one terrified to walk on leash outside safety of our yard. Rescue so maybe still carrying issues. Thanks for the visit!

  3. That’s great advice!

  4. lisatenzindolma

    What a great introduction, Marcela! 🙂

  5. Marcela, this is extremely helpful! I never knew how to properly introduce Dudley to other dogs, and he was usually a horse’s patoot when he met a new dog. I have arrived at BlogPaws . . . it was not a fun drive!

    • Lol. I don’t mean to laugh at your comment, but you are truly funny. The walk is extremely important because you are doing this as a pack. A lot of times people just put dogs together without a proper introduction and the outcome many times is not a very good.

  6. Thanks so much for this explaination of canine introduction. I do a similar introduction with horses I’m going to turn out together.

    • Wow! I didn’t know that. I think horses are gorgeous creatures just like dogs:)

      • Yes, they are. Of course, I also have a 14 year old blind and deaf Heinz 57 that looks like a large Sheltie and thinks she’s my mother. She’s super smart and used to be great at Agility. And she’s happy to share her bowl with the 6 cats, although she sometimes has to gently nose the kittens (who get too exuberant at feed time) out of the bowl before eating. GOOD DOG, Rally!

      • Ok., now I am even more amazed than before:) Yes, really good dog:)

      • It’s probably about time I posted a story about her, complete with video or photos. Thanks for making me think of this!

  7. Perfect method for introduction. Most of the time, it seems like people just throw two dogs together and expect them to get along, when in reality, that kind of introduction can be very stressful on them. While this way definitely takes longer than that, it’s the right way to introduce and to observe behaviors and your hard work shows!

    • Exactly. Sometimes people wants a quick fix and to me that is just a recipe for disaster. I’d rather put the time necessary to introduce a new member to my pack than running to the vet because they got in a fight. Thanks:)

  8. It’s the long way, but it is definitely the right way. You can tell that your work/method pays off in the long run.

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