If you’re thinking about welcoming a dog home, and you already share your life with one, it’s likely you will be thinking how you can prepare.
What to think about
First things first
Does your dog get on well with dogs?
If you are thinking of welcoming a dog home in an attempt to get your current dog to like other dogs because they are aggressive/nervous around other dogs this could be very dangerous. Flooding is a term that means you place a dog in a situation that they are scared of in an attempt to make it less scary – this can heighten the stress response and lead a pet to shut down emotionally. While the behaviour may stop in that instance, the stress can intensify and be dumped in the body. This can lead to trigger stacking whereby emotions can overload and lead a dog to bite in times that it may not have done under other circumstances. Perhaps you can think of a time that you snapped at someone that you wouldn’t have done normally, was that a cause of an overload of stress – you can think of it as a stress bucket .
Image from: mentalhealthuk.org
Image: The Emotional Cup, Lili Chin. Sarah Owings.
If your dog gets on well with dogs at home and in the garden and out and about then read on. If they don’t, please reach out to a behaviourist.
How to prepare
Ensure that there is an abundance of resources for both dogs this means:
- Ample beds
- Separate sleeping spots.
- Separate feeding areas (even if a dog eats next to each other it doesn’t mean that they want to!).
- Provide lots of suitable toys and chews.
- Baby gates to get away from each other if needed (this is especially important with puppies).
- Allow them to meet for 3 seconds on a loose lead to begin with then take a step back to read both dogs body language. Things like lip licking, whale eye (showing the whites of the eye), tail tucked under the body, freezing, can all be signs that the dog is uncomfortable.
- It’s not advisable to let your dogs travel in the boot together for the first time. This can be stressful for them.
If you’d like more advice, please reach out email@example.com .