Few deeds are considered nobler than rescuing a dog that has been abused or neglected by previous owners. Dog lovers often adopt these pups with the goal of providing them with a new lease on life. However, introducing a rescue to your home can be a challenge if you already have other dogs at home.
If you are interested in helping your rescue dog integrate with your existing pack the right way, here are some tips to follow.
Pace the process
The process of introducing a rescue dog to your other canine companions should be done gradually, as your new pup may be sensitive to interactions with others. The effects of long-term abuse or neglect tend to manifest in different ways, so your rescue dog may behave unpredictably around others during their first few weeks in your home.
Your new addition may fare well in their interactions with the humans around your household; however, their experience interacting with other dogs could go differently if the right precautions are not taken.
Interactions at home
Before bringing the rescue dog into your home, you should remove your other dogs’ possessions from the vicinity. These include dog toys, food bowls, and beds.
New dogs are likely to fight over possession of these items, so it’s best to remove them from your home temporarily. These items can be reintroduced after a few weeks once the dogs have become acquainted with one another.
The first time you bring your rescue dog home, you should consider keeping them confined behind a see-through barrier. This allows your existing dogs to become familiar with their presence in a non-threatening manner.
Check their body language
Each of your dogs should be on a leash during their first meeting. This allows you to control the distance between them and break up any interactions that are going negatively. You will need a friend or a dog walker to help you manage each dog in this situation.
Allow your dogs to walk close together and sniff each other for a few seconds during their first encounter. You could help them view the interaction as a positive event by cheering or giving them treats if they are behaving calmly.
When the interaction is going well, your dogs’ body movements will appear loose and playful. Their mouths will also appear relaxed, as a sign that they do not feel threatened.
If your rescue pup is exhibiting signs of anxiousness, you should separate them from your other dogs immediately. Signs of anxiousness include stiff body movements, prickly fur, a tensed mouth, and growling.
When you feel that an interaction is getting too intense, you can redirect their attention towards you by using obedience commands.
Get help from a professional
If your rescue pup isn’t getting along with your existing pack even after weeks of trying, you may have to hire a professional dog trainer. This is a good option if the interactions between your dogs have not improved since their first meeting.
Professional trainers may be able to help your rescue dog with socialization and get them to interact with others healthily. However, past trauma can be difficult to overcome, so it’s important to understand your new dog’s limitations when it comes to socialization.
Most rescue dogs can improve over time, but their socialization could still be impeded by past experiences. Despite these challenges, your rescue dog should still be given the same love and attention that your other dogs receive.
You can’t erase the bad experiences that your rescue dog went through in the past, but you can ensure their future is spent under the care of a loving owner.
Hire a dog walker
Similar to humans, all dogs need regular exercise to stay healthy. Dogs that are walked regularly tend to be calmer and better behaved than dogs that receive insufficient exercise. However, walking your dog regularly can be a challenge for owners that have busy lives.
For such owners, hiring a dog walker can be a useful solution to ensure their dog’s exercise and socialization needs are met.
If you’re interested in finding a dog walker to help you manage your dogs, check out Little Friends Pet Sitting in North Carolina.