So, you and the family have been thinking about getting a second dog for some time now. You’ve been looking at different breeds and/or available rescues, maybe you’ve even considered getting two puppies from the same litter. Options have been weighed, discussions have been made and you have finally selected the right dog for your growing household. Congrats, this is an exciting time!!
Dogs are clearly social creatures and there is no doubt that dogs learn from each other. Dog to dog communication can be fascinating amongst well-socialized dogs, especially in a multiple dog household. As good dog owners, we should sometimes look to these socialized dogs and take cues from them when welcoming a new dog into the household.
When we (humans) bring a new dog or puppy into the house we immediately give him/her tons of attention, we can’t keep our hands off of the dog, we allow them on the couch and bed, and it’s all about the dog! This is to expected as the novelty of a new dog can be very exciting. On the other hand, a well-socialized dog will greet the new dog and immediately start to establish boundaries, correct inappropriate behaviors, teach manners, and will set the tone of the relationship from the start.
I am not saying that you can’t gush over a new dog, heck, I do it! However, soon after the dog is in your home (by soon I mean the very same day) your relationship has to transition into a better balance of affection and structure. We often run into problems when the balance in the relationship is off. The first hours of the first day is a great time to start doing to right thing. Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
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