If you are old enough, you will remember the ‘70s television show called “The Brady Bunch”. It was about two families coming together and living as one. One of the major plot lines focuses on how the kids have to work out the issue of “you” becoming “us”.
For us (humans), “family” is an extremely important bond. “Family” means trust, support, safety, health, wellbeing, and much more. When the makeup of your family changes, it can be a scary thing.
Our dogs have this same sense of importance in family (or pack) as do we. They have established a pecking order and a sense of trust among the other dogs in the group. This is even true if you only had one dog and were thinking of bringing in another. A change is taking place and that could possibly be detrimental to your current dog or dogs.
We need establish appropriate preparations so that our dogs are comfortable with the arrival of a new dog before it even takes place. Our dogs need to be reassured that we are their boss and everything we do is in their best interests. The new dog is “no big deal” and will just be another great playmate for all of them.
As with most “social-related issues”, the most important thing to remember is that there should be no surprises. We always like to say “Keep it slow is the way to go”…
Robin and I have a great dog training article that explains all of this. Please check out our article titled “How Do I Introduce a New Dog to My Current Dogs”.