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Healthy Dogs

Introducing A New Dog to Your Cat

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Introduce Gradually continued...

1. Have the small pet settled in one room, at the far end from the door, attended by your assistant. Bring the dog in the room and remain by the door. Sit down on the floor with the dog and engage the dog to interact with you. Ask the dog to sit, stay down, and any other commands he might know. Keep his interest. Praise him for paying attention to you. Stroke him if this helps him to relax. If the dog is more interested in the other pet and will not attend to you, use treats to entice the dog to turn away from the pet to face you.

2. With the dog paying attention to you, have your assistant entice your small pet to walk a few feet back and forth. If the pet will not move willingly, the assistant can support the animal comfortably and hold him just above the floor. Move the animal a short distance. Permit the dog to look, and then try to redirect the dog back onto you. Use treats if necessary. Help the dog to stay calm and relaxed, even while watching the pet move about.

3. Move the dog one to two feet closer to the pet. See that the dog stays calm for five minutes, and then have the pet move around a bit. The dog should look at the pet while remaining calm, and then, turn and listen to you while you talk to him. Praise and/or offer him a treat. Allow the dog to look at the pet again and gain his attention back to you. Continue until the dog is comfortable looking at the pet and looking back at you, all the while remaining calm and controlled.

4. If possible, allow the pet to move freely about the room. Do not do this if the pet is inclined to approach you. Can the dog still remain calm and relaxed? Can the dog see the animal moving about and still switch his attention back to you? If so, great! If not, stay at the previous step longer. If, at any time, the pet attempts to approach within the dog’s range, have the assistant move the pet away. To be safe, you do not want the dog and pet sniffing for the first time while the dog is sitting or lying next to you, especially if he knows there are treats nearby.

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