Introducing Your Pooch to a New Pooch

I’ve been asked many times what I look for when adopters bring their dogs to meet the dogs we have here.  Well, it’s pretty easy to tell you first what will result in a no-go and work my way back up to where I’d be happy with a placement.

First is the worst scenario.  Two dogs meet, one or both either snarls, growls, snaps or actually lunges.  Posturing, or stiffening up, is also a sign of non-acceptance of the other dog.  One dog may walk stiff legged or put it’s hackles up to show the other one who’s boss or one may mark the territory over and over again to “claim” it.  There may be varying degrees of this – either with one dog or both dogs but, in any case, there is definitely not a match here.

The second scenario is that either or both dogs LOVE the people but completely ignore each other.  Now, some may say that’s ok but it actually isn’t.  Dogs are much like children.  Each will vie for the owner’s attention, and if there’s a competitor for that attention, that dog will act out.  Often times it’s soiling the house or doing damage at some point.  This is not a love match, but a parallel existence.  The other dog doesn’t matter and they will probably not be great friends.  I’d still say no on this type of meeting.

The third scenario, and actually the one we look for, is the I LOVE YOU scenario.  Each dog acts as if the other dog were its life-long buddy that has been away for Sooooooo long. There’s a lot of tail wagging, happy wrestling, ball sharing and spit swapping going on.  Each dog’s posture is relaxed and playful and it’s an obvious match.

Now, there are variations of each of these scenarios, but in the end, we look for the last one to be the most prevalent. Some dogs take longer to warm up which is why it is a good idea to plan on about a half an hour for the dogs to be together (unless you see obvious aggression).

So happy meet-and-greets!!!

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