THIS ARTICLE FIRST APPEARED ON PROUD DOG MOM.

I grew up with six poodles – all different ages. Today, I have a three-year-old Chihuahua and a one-and-a-half-year-old toy Poodle. To put it simply, I’ve introduced a lot of dogs throughout my life! I’ve seen introductions go very well and I’ve also seen them go really bad. A lot of people ask me about introducing a new dog to their home and I always say first impressions matter. Check out these six steps to help make the transition easier for your current dog, your new pooch, and yourself!New-Dog

1) Introduce On Neutral Territory 

I’ve made the mistake of bringing a new dog into my home and starting the introduction process in my living room. BAD IDEA. My current dog became extremely territorial and felt like the new puppy was intruding on his space. This is a normal reaction for dogs. That’s why a proper introduction is done on neutral grounds. 

For the first meeting, enlist the help of a friend or family member. You will team up with your current dog and your friend will team up with your new pooch. Meet at a place you don’t regularly walk your current dog, like a park, tennis court, or friend’s yard.

2) Introduce Slowly

The whole idea is to introduce the two dogs slowly — some will take longer than others. Start by leashing up both dogs (as long as the new puppy can walk on a leash) and going for a walk. You and your current dog should be a good distance away from your friend and your new pup. You want to be close enough to see each other, but far away enough so the dogs don’t feel tension. This will help the two acclimate to each other’s presence. 

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