[frame src=”http://www.thatmutt.com/web/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/How-to-slowly-introduce-two-dogs.jpg” target=”_self” width=”620″ height=”330″ alt=”How to slowly introduce two dogs” align=”center” prettyphoto=”false”] Note: This post is sponsored by Droolers treats and Pipeline Pet Products.
Today I’m writing about how my older dog Ace needed a slow introduction (over several weeks) to our new puppy Remy.
With dogs, the question “Is he good with other dogs?” should never have a yes or no answer.
I hear this question with shelter dogs all the time, and it’s not a fair question because it sets them up for failure.
The answer should always be, “It depends.”
For example, here’s how I would answer for Ace:
“Is he good with other dogs?”
It depends. Ace is friendly with other dogs in public and has good social skills with familiar and unfamiliar dogs. However, he will snap at our puppy in our apartment if the puppy tries to jump on him, take his toy or barge up to him. He’s grumpy!
I’ve had to slowly introduce my old dog to living with a puppy.
We’ve had puppy Remy for a little over two months and today the two dogs are loose in the same room for about 20 minutes a day under supervision. The rest of the time they are separated by a gate or leashes.
Rather than throwing the puppy into my senior dog’s life, I realized the two needed a slow transition to living together.
A big help is having some highly valued treats I can stuff into Kong toys to keep both dogs occupied and calm.
Thank you Droolers treats for helping my dogs learn to live peacefully under one roof!
How to slowly introduce two dogs that will live together
1. Introduce them outside in neutral territory
If your dog has a tendency to “guard” your yard, driveway or even your street, introduce them further away from your home such as at a nearby park.
With older puppies and adult dogs, it’s also best to keep moving and go for a short walk vs. letting them barge up head on right away. (This causes some tension and often leads to a snap or scuffle.)
2. Walk the dogs together immediately.
If possible, it’s ideal if you can walk the two dogs (with another adult to help) with one in front of the other and eventually side by side if all seems to be going well.
Walk for 40 minutes or so, if possible. This gives them some time to get used to each other, burn energy and crate a positive experience as a “pack.”
3. Create positive experiences together!
Each day I try to do something fun with my two dogs together. I give them each a Kong toy stuffed with treats while we hang out watching TV. I take them on walks together because they get along well outside.
Or, I work on simple obedience training where they are both given treats for sits, stays, downs, etc. They both like this because it’s simple, and they’re less focused on each other and more on me and getting their Droolers treats!
4. It’s OK to keep the dogs separated.
I originally wanted my two dogs to spend as much time together as possible in an attempt to force them to accept each other. I soon learned it’s much better to keep them separated most of the time (with gates) while we go about our normal routines.
This removes pressure from them (and me) so when they are together I have the energy to focus and make it positive.
5. Use dog gates as needed.
You may need to invest in a high-quality gate, but we have a cheap baby gate that works. I section off different areas, allowing my puppy to be out of his kennel but unable to harass my senior dog.
The gate is positive because it allows the dogs to spend time together with boundaries. Sometimes one will lounge on each side with the gate between them.
Just make sure the gate isn’t causing tension such as if one dog is always barking at the other through the gate.
6. Tether one or both dogs.
Keeping our puppy Remy on a leash and tethered to something sturdy (our heaviest dumbbells) has been helpful because it allows him to be in the living room with us in the evenings without being a complete pest to our senior dog.
[quote_center]We give our puppy a Kong toy stuffed with Droolers treats to keep him occupied.[/quote_center]
We give our puppy a Kong toy stuffed with Droolers treats to keep him occupied and prevent him from getting frustrated. As with the gate, you want to make sure the leash isn’t causing too much frustration for either dog.
Remove opportunities for failure. Don’t give them too much freedom together, remove any source of resource guarding like toys, bones, beds, etc.
Reward calm behavior from all dogs; calm dogs get praise and food.
Accept there will be setbacks, very rarely can two dogs live together and never have at least some minor scuffles. They’re dogs. This is normal.
Always be working on training and always be setting goals (no matter how small).
Let me know what else you’d add to my list.
Giveaway: Win Droolers treats for your dog – 10 winners
Droolers is giving away a bag of treats to 10 readers of That Mutt.
To enter, just head over to my review post and leave a comment there.
I’ll choose 10 winners at random on Friday June 24. Must have a U.S. mailing address to win.
I’ve never had pet insurance for any of my pets, but … times have changed. I decided I am signing my weimaraner puppy Remy up for pet insurance, and I’ll tell you why.
Why I’m getting pet insurance for my puppy
1. Peace of mind. I don’t want to worry about something happening to my dog or how I’m going to pay for it. I don’t want to make healthcare decisions for my dog based on whether or not I can afford it.
2. I’d rather pay monthly premiums than a large vet bill. Since we don’t have pet insurance for my senior dog Ace, I’ve paid thousands out of pocket for his vet bills and medications in the last 8 months. It’s been difficult, and I hope to avoid that with puppy Remy.
3. It’s not necessarily about saving money. I used to value pet insurance based on whether or not I would “save” money long term. I don’t look at it that way anymore.
It would actually be ideal if I lose money on pet insurance for Remy over his lifetime because that would mean he’s lived a long, healthy life. (See peace of mind, above.) On the other hand, pet insurance definitely would’ve saved me at least $5,000 with Ace even after factoring in the cost of monthly premiums.
[quote_center]I don’t want to worry about something happening to my dog or how I’m going to pay for it.[/quote_center]
4. Cost of veterinary care is increasing. In my opinion, the pet healthcare system is (unfortunately) becoming a lot like the human healthcare system. It’s good there are a lot of options for treatments and for extending a pet’s life and quality of life, but the costs are also increasing.
I could not believe some of the quotes I was given for Ace in the last few months, and I never in my life imagined I would spend the amount of money on any pet that I’ve spent on Ace.
But like I said … times have changed.
My own values, when it comes to my pets, have changed.
In the last year, I’ve learned the limits on what I will spend on a pet are much higher than I thought. (There are still limits, don’t get me wrong.)
My experience with Ace is what helped me decide pet insurance makes sense for me and my new puppy Remy.
The pet healthcare system will most likely continue to change in Remy’s lifetime, but for now anyway, pet insurance makes sense for us.
How to choose a pet insurance company
You may remember I wrote about a site called Pet Insurance Quotes last fall. Pet Insurance Quotes is an independent pet insurance agency that offers plans from the top providers in one place. It offers a free tool that helps you pull up quotes from different companies in seconds.
I went back and used Pet Insurance Quotes again to find the right pet insurance company for my puppy Remy.
I simply entered my basic info like my dog’s age and breed, my zip code and my email address.
Once I received my quotes, I could go in and edit details like the annual deductible I want to pay ($500) and the reimbursement level I am most comfortable with (80%).
This helped me find the right monthly premium cost for my budget. (Around $35/mo.)
For me, the top three companies recommended were:
Once I’m ready to sign up, I can do so directly through Pet Insurance Quotes.
What questions do you have about pet insurance?
I was on the fence about pet insurance for a long time, and one reason for that was because I had a lot of questions.
Below are some of the questions I had about pet insurance, and Pet Insurance Quotes was able to answer them for me.
In the comments, let me know what questions you have about pet insurance and I’ll get them answered. You can also learn more about pet insurance in general here.
My questions about pet insurance:
Q:Are medications generally covered by pet insurance?
A: Yes, all medications related to illness/accident are covered by any standard pet insurance policy. You can add a wellness care plan that will cover supplements, flea & tick, etc.
Q:Do the monthly pet insurance rates go down if the pet is spayed/neutered?
A: With most companies you get a 5% annual discount if your pet is spayed/neutered.
Q:Is it easy to change or cancel a pet insurance plan?
A: Yes, you can change, upgrade or downgrade with any company. Just like home or auto you can cancel at any time.
Q:Do the monthly rates generally increase each year?
A: Yes, all companies change rates annually, the average is 5-10% per year.
What questions do the rest of you have about pet insurance?
Let me know in the comments! I’m also curious if you have pet insurance for your pet and why you decided to sign up.
A slow 20-minute “stroll” once or twice a day is a good rule of thumb for most puppies. Read on for my longer answer.
There’s a lot of fear right now about walking a puppy or young dog too far and potentially damaging the pup’s developing joints. While it’s good to be cautious, this is too often taken to the extreme.
Before you read on, you should know that I have been a professional dog runner since 2008 and I train for half marathons. My general approach to dog training is a tired dog is a good dog.
I lean towards exercising all dogs (including puppies and seniors) as much as I can within reason. I tend to exercise dogs in general more than the average person would be comfortable doing.
Why it’s good to be cautious when walking a puppy
The reason it’s good to be cautious when exercising a puppy is because a puppy’s growth plates don’t close until they are around 12 months old (it varies quite a bit, depending on breed), and some vets say puppies that experience heavier exercise are more likely to develop joint issues at some point.
It’s good to lean on the side of caution and not overdo it with a puppy’s exercise.
However, it’s also important to consider:
1. Puppies that get out for walks are getting socialized.
3. Sitting in a kennel/crate all day is not healthy for a pup’s developing joints either!
4. Puppies that get more exercise are generally better behaved & easier to train.
5. Many of the young dogs in shelters are there for behavioral problems related to poor socialization and too much energy.
6. Genetics and other factors like early spaying/neutering play a strong role in a dog’s likelihood of developing joint issues.
How much exercise is too much and what kind of exercise is safe?
The math equation: Multiply 5 by your pup’s age in months
I’m sure by now you’ve come across “the math equation” about multiplying your puppy’s age in months by 5 to get some magic number. So, 10 minutes of walking for an 8-week old puppy. 15 minutes for a 12-week-old puppy, etc.
There’s no way I’m following that!
I have a weimaraner puppy, and this dog would be at the humane society by now if I had to follow that equation.
How far can I walk my puppy? Each puppy is unique!
I am comfortable walking my puppy Remy for about 35 minutes at least once a day. Ideally twice. (And let’s just say he’s not at all tired after this.)
In addition to that, Remy should ideally be getting the opportunity to run and play at his own pace off leash for 20 minutes or so each day.
I’ve talked with my puppy’s vet and my puppy’s breeder and this is what works for us. It doesn’t mean it’s right for your puppy. I’ve received some unkind emails warning me I’m doing everything wrong. 🙁
My puppy is bred for endurance!
Remy’s parents and grandparents are working, competitive bird dogs.
There’s no way I could live with a working weimaraner if I could only walk him 20 minutes a day.
For me, keeping Remy’s walks to 35 minutes or so (around 1.6 miles for us) is my way of limiting his exercise.
Despite what some people think, I am actually worried about my puppy’s joints and that’s why I limit his exercise to 35-minute walks or so.
I don’t run with my puppy, and I don’t encourage him to jump on or off obstacles.
How far should you walk your puppy?
A slow, 20-minute stroll should be safe for most puppies 8 weeks or older. By that I mean you’re letting the puppy set the pace. You’re stopping and letting him sniff, etc.
[quote_center]you know your puppy better than anyone else.[/quote_center]
Beyond that, I would discuss it with your puppy’s vet and with your puppy’s breeder (if you have a breeder pup). They are the experts and can give you the best advice. It also doesn’t hurt to talk with more than one vet as veterinarians don’t seem to have a clear consensus on this issue. No one really knows.
What it comes down to is you know your puppy better than anyone else.
I personally lean on the side of providing as much exercise as possible, within reason. But as with everything else in the dog world we all have to make our own decisions.
Other factors to consider:
1. Puppy shots. If your puppy is not fully vaccinated, he has a greater risk of catching parvo or other diseases on walks. Another post all together.
2. Breed. Some breeds are more prone to joint issues than others.
3. Genetics. Genetics are a factor for predicting whether or not a pup will develop hip dysplasia/elbow dysplasia. Other factors include weight, overall health, diet, etc.
Healthy, grain-free dog treats made in the United States
Note: This review is sponsored by Droolers and Pipeline Pet Products.
Leave a comment below for a chance to win a bag of Droolers soft treats for your dog. There will be 10 winners. Click here.
What are Droolers?
Droolers are small, soft treats perfect for training or rewarding your dog.
They are about the size of a penny and come in five recipes such as duck, kangaroo and salmon. Yes, kangaroo! Woo!
I love the name “Droolers” because, well, if you know my black Lab mix Ace you know he has a bit of a drooling problem. I’ve found drool on our ceilings! It’s like these were designed with Ace in mind. 🙂
Droolers Treats Review
That Mutt has partnered with Pipeline Pet Products to feature the company’s brands (with giveaways!) over the next few months. One of those brands is Droolers, and you might also remember Green Bark Gummies.
The bottom line:
[quote_right]Droolers treats are perfect for training because they are small and soft.[/quote_right]Droolers treats are perfect for training because they are small and soft. You can easily tear them into smaller pieces if you wish, which is what I do.
Both my weimaraner puppy Remy and my Lab mix Ace are interested in the Droolers treats.
I bring them to Remy’s puppy training classes. I also stuff them into his Kong toy to keep him occupied when I’m trying to watch TV without him pawing at me!
The cost of Droolers:
The price for a 4-ounce bag is $4.99 online.
There are around 50 treats per bag. (I counted them.) The whitefish-flavored variety has slightly smaller treats, so those have about 70 treats per bag.
1. Good value. Pipeline Pet Products says on its website that one of its goals with all of its brands is to provide healthy treats at an affordable price.
2. Unique protein varieties. With Droolers treats, dogs with an alternative to the standard “chicken based” treats (chicken is a fairly common source of allergies in dogs.) Some of the Droolers varieties include whitefish, kangaroo and duck.
3. Droolers contain Omega-3s and chia. Droolers are also manufactured in the United States.
Pros of Droolers:
No corn, soy or wheat
No artificial flavors
Source of Omega-3 fatty acids
No chicken (a plus if you think your dog might have an allergy to chicken)
Manufactured in the United States
They keep the attention of my puppy who has the attention span of a goldfish
Droolers also interest my senior dog who is picky these days
(This one can hardly control himself.)
The treats do get a little messy when you shove a handful in your pocket like I tend to do for training classes. Not such a big deal if you use a pouch for your treats.
The treats come in one size (4 ounces). Some people might wish they could order a larger bag.
Would I buy Droolers treats for my dogs?
I would definitely buy Droolers if we were running low on treats. My dogs love them, and I prefer to buy soft treats I can use for training. Droolers are a good value and a good product.
Would I recommend Droolers to others?
Yes! I highly recommend you try these treats for your dogs if you’re looking for a soft, highly motivating training treat.
You can order them online or enter our giveaway below. We’re giving away a bag to 10 readers of That Mutt.
Blogger Lindsay Stordahl Lindsay Stordahl (with her mutt Ace) is the blogger behind That Mutt.
Blogger Julia Thomson Julia Thomson (with her mutt Baxter) writes regularly for That Mutt.
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