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We are stronger together than we are alone!

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100 8753While adopting a shelter or rescue dog has some amazing benefits, it can be an extremely stressful experience for you, your current dogs, or your newly adopted dog.

There are several methods you could try, to have a successful introduction. It is especially important to be diligent if one of the dogs has ever shown dog aggression. Even if you have a dog with aggression issues, it is not a lost cause.

It's important to introduce the dogs on neutral territory. This can be a neighbor’s yard or even the park. Try walking them together as this can decrease some of the tension.


The dogs may not be buddies immediately and this is ok. Time is your friend when adding a new dog to your pack. It can take up to 3 months before a dog learns the family routines and what is expected of them.

The method I most often use is the "2 week shutdown". This method involves minimal contact between new dogs and existing dogs for a period of two weeks. It's important to keep the new dog crated in a living room, or any room where he can monitor the activity of your household without becoming stressed. More information on the two-week shutdown can be found here:



If you do notice some aggression between dogs it is very important to keep them apart until you have enough adults to supervise them safely. Crate rotation is a way to keep them separate while being able to spend time with them one at a time.


You will have to decide what crating schedule works best for your family and stick to it. When you feel comfortable trying to introduce them again, be sure you have someone there to help. With my own two dogs, I woinabmar2014uld hold one dog on a leash while my husband had the other dog leashed. They spent time together but couldn't get close enough for a fight to break out. We would usually sit at opposite ends of the sofa with the dogs so they could get accustomed to being around each other. Fast forward six months and my two dogs are absolutely inseparable.

One of the easiest ways to ensure your dogs don't get into a squabble is to pick up all food, toys, and treats. The dogs should have their own bed, food dishes, and toys. When dogs are just getting to know each other, these items can quickly cause tension between them. It will be fine to give their stuff back in a few weeks when they have begun to form a good relationship.


The biggest thing to remember is that most situations will work out peacefully if you are diligent and patient. Adopting a new dog is a great experience for everyone in the family. Take the time to get to know your new dog and love him and he will be your loyal friend the rest of his life.