Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Thank you for your advice!

Last week I wrote this blog post asking my fellow bloggers for some advice.

In the next few weeks we're moving into a house which has two resident dogs. They've met on numerous occasions before, but I was worried about Del adjusting to living in such a busy house, as opposed to just him, myself and my partner. 

Some of you left some wonderful tips on how to integrate Del into the new household, so I thought I'd put them together for anyone who finds themselves in this situation in the future...

Meet in a neutral place before making the move- suggested by the lovely Jackie from Pooches Smooches.

Although Del has met Archie and Ellie on a number of occasions (and has even slept over at their house), it's important that if the dogs haven't met that they meet beforehand on neutral territory. Take them somewhere different that neither dogs go frequently. This will be a good indication of whether they get on or not and should let you know how much work you've got to do.

The lovely Mindy from Noble Beast Dog Training, suggested:

"Off the top of my head, you do want the dogs to meet on neutral territory, have them engage in a fun activity together, then take them to the home.  Prior to that though, if you can, schedule as many outings as possible to allow the dogs to get to know each other in stress free environments.  Oh and before they meet face to face, be sure to walk them together and do some butt sniffing first.  Lots of praise and love for allowing each other to get so close.  This means you will walk ahead of the dog Del is going to meet, and then once the dogs has sniffed Del's butt,  you switch and allow Del to do the sniffing.  Then when the excitement of each other has died down you slowly start walking side by side.  

Once they are home, be sure to look for insecurities in the dogs such as resource guarding, showing anxiety in small spaces, or status concerns.  The best way for dogs to come together is SLOWLY.  Feed them separately, have them sleep separately, be very equal to the love and attention you give, even when it comes to Del.  Do not allow them to guard items, and if they guard something to the extreme where it makes others feel unsafe, don't let them have that object..."

This is really great advice. Mindy is a dog trainer, so certainly knows her stuff. We'll be sure to follow the advice about small spaces and status concerns. We will feed, sleep and walk separately at first like you suggest, just try and keep some normality for Del at the start. It's a lot of change for him. 

Mindy also recommending this webinar by Patricia McConnell. I'll definitely be using this more than once before the big move! 

Thank you so much to Jackie and Mindy for offering some advice, also those who left comments wishing us well.

Hopefully, if anyone else has to integrate their dogs with another household, these tips will come in useful. 

I will be sure to keep you posted about how we get on:)