How to Help Dogs Get Along

November 11th, 2015

unnamed-1If you’re thinking about bringing another dog home, there are some important tips to remember when thinking about how to help dogs get along. The last thing you need is a fight, chaos, and a bad first impression.

It doesn’t have to be this way. Here are 3 steps you can take steps to prevent this problem before it happens or solve it if it does.

1. Meet in Neutral Territory 

Avoid bringing the new dog straight into your home and into the space of your other dog.

By bringing a new dog straight into your home, you run the risk of aggression, fear, and out of control behavior if your older dog feels the need to defend his territory.

Bring the 2 dogs to meet and take a long walk with them both before bringing them home. When you get home, make sure you walk through the door first, then the dog that lives there, and the new dog enters last.

2. Break up Fights Quickly

If at some point, the 2 dogs get into a fight at home, break it up quickly and calmly. Move toward the dog that’s exhibiting the bigger behavior and redirect him away from the other dog by pulling up on his collar instead of back.

Never shriek or yell — this can make things worse — but you can use a deep loud grunt as a verbal correction.

The important thing to do after a fight is over is to forget that it ever happened, because in a minute, your dogs will have, too. Treat the situation like it was a one time thing, and it’s possible that will be just the case.

2013_12_happy_hound_0355@2x3. Be a Strong Alpha Leader

Dogs who fight often at home do so because there’s no established pack leader. It’s your job to establish rules, limits and boundaries for both your dogs. If you do that, the dogs can relax knowing that you’re in charge.

Another tip to build camaraderie between your dogs is taking them for walks, making sure they walk side by side. Exercise helps them burn off excess energy that could lead to aggression, and a walk gives them a common goal instead of focusing on each other.

They key to success..

is you. Remember, you are in charge. Conflict may happen, and if it does, break it up quickly, redirect their attention to something else, and take them for a walk together. Give both dogs lots of praise and affection, reward good behavior, and they should be friends in no time.