DOGGY INTRODUCTIONS: “Host dog” and “Guest dog”
During the summer holidays in a tree hut (post that you can read here), Colette finally met her “French cousin” Sissy, a lovely one-year-old Westie. They did not just meet, also lived under the same roof for a week. It was the first time that Colette was going to live with another pet, so to avoid rows, we took seriously from the beginning how to introduce each other to get along well.
In today’s post, we will give you some tips to take into account in the doggy introductions, which worked really well for us, and that we hope they will help you too.
- Introduction place: So that no dog feels invaded, the first contact between both should be on a neutral ground, for instance a park not familiar to either dog.
- Introduction moment: Walk your dogs on loose-leash to allow them some movement freedom, approach, sniff… without intervention unless you notice tension or signs of fighting. In that case, separate them gently and go for a little walk with before trying to introduce them again.
Remember that introductions should be brief, and don’t lose faith if they don’t become close friends immediately.
- At home: If there has been connection in the introduction on neutral ground, you can go home walking all together. After this little time of coexistence, they should be ready to get into the house together, for sure, the first dog to get into must be the dog who lives there, which we call “host dog”, and after that, to let the “guest dog” explore the house quietly.
Right after it is important that you observe the attitude of both dogs, through their body language.
Signs that doggy introduction is going…
|“Host dog” is sniffing the “guest dog”, with ears relaxed or held slightly forward.
|“Host dog” rushes up to the “guest dog”, starting a chase in the house.
|“Host dog” is in the yoga pose “play bow position”, that is, with front legs on the floor and butt in the air.
|“Host dog” is staring intensely at the “guest dog”.
|“Host dog” is walking stiff-legged.
|“Host dog” growls at the “guest dog”.
|If the “guest dog” is the Pom, its tails falls down as a sign of being scared.
So if the doggy introduction is going well at home, continue with the daily routines of the “host dog” concerning meals, walks, etc. to avoid that he/she feels invaded his/her space or feels jealous towards the “guest dog”.
Keep the “guest dog” from eating out of the “host dog’s” bowl. They will decide themselves in a natural way when to share the bowl as they become friends.
If the “guest dog” is a Pomeranian, don’t hold him/her on your lap while leaving the “host dog” on the floor.
In any of these moments that we have described, you can reward their respect and approval with compliments, and even give them treats.
In short, we must try to make the dogs to build a friendship, or at least a coexistence relation, on their own, without intervening too much if possible, and showing tranquility, even if some dogs get a little nervous.
Yesss, I know that it is easy to say, especially when our Pomeranians are tiny, that is why we hope you will find these tips useful to tackle the doggy introduction moments at ease.