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Question
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.

Thanks!
Lawrence

Answer
Hi Lawrence,

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:

https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/virtual-pet-behaviorist/dog-behavior/introducing-your-dog-new-dog

http://shibashake.com/dog/second-dog-introducing-a-second-dog

I hope I've been a help. Best of luck!
Patti

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Patti

Expertise

To date, I've owned 7 dogs, all of which have lived into old age. Having cared for them in all stages of life, I feel I can offer sound advice to other pet owners, and people considering getting a dog. I am knowledgeable about the AKC (American Kennel Club) dog breeds, training and exercise, caring for sick and elderly pets, feeding, as well as many holistic treatments pets can benefit from. My only request is that you write me using standard English and punctuation.

Experience

My life experience in this field is more like "on the job training" rather than an actual degree in animal welfare. You may benefit from my experiences over the past 30 years. Aside from the dogs I've owned, I'm also involved in "breed rescue" and have fostered several dogs, all of which have been adopted to wonderful "forever homes". I find helping people who want a dog very rewarding.

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Real life experience, based on over 30 years of dog ownership.

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