Some dogs will integrate into a family with other pets better than others. Fizz lives with 6 other dogs and has settled in but we have taken our time to introduce them (you’ll find videos in the playlists).
Minky our elderly Staffy obviously has less energy than the Malinois that bounces off the walls so we manage the environment to make sure she gets her quite time. One of the best bits of kit that has helped with this is a really sturdy puppy pen from Store For Paws. It allows me to have Minky out but is a great way of teaching Fizz to be settled in and around the other dogs without micro managing her every breath. My trainers at Blue Buffalo have always stressed that introducing a new dog can sometimes be dangerous for all parties involved so it’s always a good thing to start them off on the right foot.
We used a neutral area (a big open space) & had lots of treats to reinforce good interactions with each other. When the time came to bring them home we made sure there was nothing laying around like chew toys that might cause conflict. She already had a familiar area in her pen for eating, sleeping and down time and we kept taking them out for short walks and play dates so the rest of the pack (yes I said pack, remember it’s not incorrect to describe a group of dogs as a pack but it is incorrect to ascribe a group of dogs with wolf pack like behaviours. Leave it. More on this later) could get to know Fizz.
Luckily she gets on with all the dogs. Her best friend is Zeus the Dobermann, they are great playmates. This relationship like all others is fluid and can grow or die so I try and keep interactions fun. There is no telling if dogs will become friends although they seem to be better at it than humans but I don’t think it’s something we should leave up to chance. Letting them work it out doesn’t always end well.
If you have any tips on introducing a new dog in to the home share it with everyone else here!