How do I introduce a female dog to a young male dog? I'm planning to buy a female companion for my Golden Retriever and I am a bit nervous on how it plays out first.
In most cases, female and male dogs get along very well, to the point where the male dog may allow himself to be dominated by the female. That said, one (or, ideally both) of the dogs should be spayed or neutered, as an unwanted litter of puppies will almost certainly be in your future (no matter how closely you think you can monitor the two dogs).
When you bring your new dog home don't go directly to your house, take your current dog and the new dog outside to a neutral area, such as a park or an empty parking lot, or someplace he hasn't been to, and do the introduction there. You'll need another person to hold the new dog's leash. Keep both dogs separate and on their leashes, use a happy tone of voice, and give out treats liberally to both dogs. When both dogs seem fairly happy in each other's presence, let the calmer of the two dogs slowly approach the other dog. At that point, take a walk with the dogs (still on their leashes) , walk side-by-side but far enough apart so the dogs canít interact while on leash. If they get too excited, wait until they calm down before you move forward once more. Take your time, this process can take upwards of 10 minutes.
When the dogs seem comfortable with one another, bring them into your house. Your first dog should come inside off-leash, but the new dog should be left on her leash and allowed to explore your home room by room. If the first dog seems comfortable and accepting, you can set the new dog loose.
For the first couple of weeks, always watch the interactions between the dogs. Don't leave them alone together until you are sure they are comfortable with each other. Remember your first dog has established habits, so take both on walks, feed meals, and play with them at the usual times. This will help your first dog see that the new one is not a disruption to his normal day. Be sure to spend time with each dog, apart from the other. You want their primary bond to be with you, not the other dog, so be sure to get in some quality one-on-one time every day.
You can read more about introducing a second dog into your household here:
I hope I've been a help. Best of luck!