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Resource Center — February 6, 2012 10:24 pm

How to Introduce Your Dog to a Guest Dog

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If you already have dogs in your home and plan to open up your home for dog boarding in Southern California, you may be a bit nervous about introducing your guest dog to your resident dogs.  Luckily, this is easier than bringing a new dog into your household, as you will have an understanding of the temperament of your own dogs and that of the guest dog.

Hosting a dog in your home may also have some health benefits for both you and pooch; research has shown that interacting with dogs can help reduce stress and strengthen the immune system, and your dog can get exercise and increase their social skills by having a friend in the home; but, remember that doggy introductions are very important.

Puppies and younger dogs tend to get excited easily when meeting other dogs, which can lead to an older or more reserved dog feeling overwhelmed or territorial.  It is a good idea to give the younger dog a chance to explore your home and garden before introducing the dogs.  Invite the guest dog and their owner over at a time when your dogs will not be home.  Keep them on a loose leash and let them explore.  This will also leave their scent in the house, so your dog has a chance to smell the dog before meeting them.

Remember that a dog’s sense of smell is 1,000 times stronger than a human’s, so dogs need a chance to get used to the smell of a dog visiting for dog boarding services. If the guest dog is not able to come over before boarding, you could ask the owner for one of the dog’s toys or blankets to bring into your house before the guest dog comes to stay.

Try to introduce the dogs in neutral territory, such as a park.  Dogs are pack animals and can be very territorial of their space and family.  Keep the dogs on loose leashes if it is a safe environment, as some dogs feel vulnerable on a leash. The dogs should recognize each other’s scent and feel comfortable getting to know each other in a neutral, safe, and enclosed environment.

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