Multi-Dog Households

Multi-Dog Households: From First Date to After the Honeymoon

Every newly adopted dog who moves into a multi-dog household sets a story in motion – even before he or she leaves our care.  Will the dogs get along?  How do we know if they will or won’t, and what can we do to facilitate a harmonious household once the initial introduction goes well?  What if the dogs are not getting along, in spite of the best efforts of the family and consulting professionals? 

Helping families create a compatible and peaceful relationship between resident dogs is essential to our work as animal welfare professionals; it is as important to the well-being of the human members of the family as it is to the dogs themselves. That is why this webinar, directed especially toward shelters and rescue groups, focuses on adopting dogs into homes with a resident dog or dogs. We’ll discuss helping adopters manage expectations, guiding them through the early periods of settling in, and supporting and helping them if the new canine resident ultimately isn’t a good fit.  Specifically, we’ll talk about:

  • How initial dog-dog introductions can set the stage – for better or worse – for the rest of the relationship.
  • Whether the shelter is or isn’t the ideal place for new or resident dogs to meet.
  • Practical ways to help adopters conduct safe, humane and informative introductions on their own.
  • The evolution of a new social structure – milestones, setbacks and how to help adopters navigate through transition periods.
  • When to say when – how to determine when a canine relationship isn’t in the best interest of either the dogs or the family.

You’ll leave this webinar with an enhanced understanding of how to set dogs and people up for success and how to become an advocate and supporter to your adopters. This 90-minute webinar is open to animal welfare professionals and volunteers, including foster parents.

This webinar has been approved by both CCPDT and IAABC for CEUs. Send us a request for CEUs.

Additional Resources

Dr. Patricia McConnell is known worldwide as an expert on canine and feline behavior. Patricia has seen clients for serious behavioral problems since 1988, and is an Adjunct Professor in Zoology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, teaching "The Biology and Philosophy of Human/Animal Relationships."  For fourteen years she dispensed advice about behavior problems, and information about animal behavior research, on Wisconsin Public Radio's Calling All Pets, which was heard in over 90 cities around the country. She is the author of the much-acclaimed books The Other End of the Leash (now published in 13 languages), For the Love of A Dog: Understanding Emotions in You and Your Best Friend and Tales of Two Species.

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