Canine Communications: Dog Introductions

How do you know if two dogs are likely to get along when they first meet? This webinar will hone your skills in making safe dog introductions to help you:

  • Co-house shelter dogs
  • Introduce shelter dogs to adopter's own pets
  • Introduce dogs at a dog day care or dog park
  • Introduce new foster dogs to your own dogs
  • Learn when and how to intervene if two dogs get into a disagreement

This free, 60-minute webinar is suited for anyone who ever has to introduce dogs to other dogs, including shelter and rescue staff and volunteers, dog daycare workers, and foster care providers.

If you are already a Certified Behavior Consultant-Canine (CBCC), you are eligible for 1 CEU credit from the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT) after you watch the recording in its entirety; to get your credit submitted to CCPDT, email your CCPDT number. We will submit CCPDT information once per month.

This webinar recording has been approved for 1 CEU by the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants(IAABC). To receive credit after you watch the full live session, email us a request.

Top Tips from this Webinar

Home Sweet — and Comfy — Home
Have adopters introduce potential new dogs to their current pets at home, and not at the shelter. Because the shelter can be an overwhelming and stressful place for the animals to meet, you'll get a much better read on how the dogs will get along at home, and it will save your staff time as well. Send the adopters home with your observations on their dog-dog interactions in the shelter. You should also give the adopters tips on doing safe introductions themselves, such as:

  • Having the dogs meet in a neutral area
  • Parallel walks, gradually getting closer
  • Using an ex pen or baby gate in the house
  • Keeping dogs separated when unattended at first

Hey, Roomie!
Co-kenneling dogs can be wonderful enrichment for sociable animals and allows adopters to imagine what the dogs would look like cuddled up with their own pets. Ideal candidates for canine roommates are similar in age, size and play style. Just note, it's important to separate dogs at feeding time.

Step in When?
It isn't always easy to tell the difference between two dogs playing or fighting. Here are some signs to look for when determining when to intervene:

  • One dog continually chasing another with no role reversal
  • Bared teeth, ears forward
  • Head or tail remain high and stiff
  • Body is stiff, not loose and wiggly
  • Escape, avoidance, or hiding behaviors

If you're not sure whether both dogs are having fun, try leading the more excited dog away, and see if the other dog follows playfully.

What NOT to Do in a Fight
When dogs fight, prioritizing your own safety is best for both you and the dogs. Do NOT

  • Pick up dog
  • Grab collars
  • Put your body in between the dogs
  • Put your hand near dog's mouth

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