Introducing a new dog to your existing household can go down like a dream, or it can be a complete nightmare, especially introducing two potentially different dogs into the household.
Before the Dogs Meet
Before you bring a new dog into your household it is vital you have introduced them and your existing dog otherwise you run the risk of the existing dog(s) becoming aggressive in defending their space.
For the most success, all of the dogs should meet in neutral territory and spend time outside with each other. Then, the humans enter first, followed by the dogs that live there, followed by the new dog.
This way you are letting all the dogs bond together as an invitation and not an invasion into the existing household dynamics.
If it’s too late and your dogs have already had their first fight, don’t panic. Your reaction is key to improving the situation. It’s important never to shout or raise your voice when stopping a dog fight as this will only encourage the aggression. You can be loud with your voice but always remember to remain calm to diffuse the aggression with your assertive energy.
The second most important thing to do is handle the situation the right way: which means not holding a grudge against the situation or the wrong doers.
Dogs in a group fight because they don’t have someone in charge to tell them otherwise. This is why establishing rules, boundaries, and limitations for the whole family is important. If all of your dogs are looking to you as a leader, all of them will know where they stand.
The worst thing you can do if you have dogs that fight is to isolate them as this will only encourage territorial behaviour, since your dogs will be able to tell which separate areas each other have been in. Put together in those spaces will potentially cause fights.
Even the most well behaved dogs occasionally have their spats. The important thing to remember is that you are in charge and to handle any conflict with calm and ease. Break the fight up calmly, and then redirect their attention with a nice walk or something distracting.
Don’t focus your attention too much on whether or not they are going to fight as this will only cause tension and dogs pick up on your mood and behaviours. Remember to reward them when their behaviour good, and correct them when they are not.