"PRACTICAL TIPS FOR HELPING YOUR VELCRO DOG ACCLIMATE TO A NEW DOG"
By Susan Deren & Carol Thompson
Some people are very selective as to who they spend time with often preferring the company of just a select few. In contrast, some are happier with a variety of people in their lives. Then others prefer to spend most of their time with just one person, like their spouse or significant other. So, which category would you say your dog falls into? This personality factor can play a major role in how well they will accept a new animal into the home.
Traits of the Velcro Dog
Have your friends nicknamed your dog "velcro"? Is your dog always at your side no matter where you are in the house? When you take your pet to a dog park, is socializing with the dogs not his priority? You know what I mean, he'd rather just be with you. If you live with others he may want to be with all of you, but isn't too accepting of visitors or friends.
This would be considered a true human pack animal, devoted to his humans, loyal to them. If you have a dog like this he views the small group of people in his life as his dog pack. He'd rather socialize with human family than other animals.
This type of dog may have a hard time accepting another animal into his home. In fact, he may have an easier time accepting a new human into the house than another animal. A new pet may be viewed as a threat to the bonding he has with his humans.
If you decide you want to bring another dog into the house, let's look at some of the issues that can arise and steps you can take to help "velcro" acclimate to the newest pack member.
Just Like Bringing In A New Child Into the House
Remember, animals are very similar to humans. Like us, they have personalities and emotions. This situation is no different than when a new baby arrives in the household and your oldest child begins acting out in protest to the new addition.
His version of a temper tantrum may be evidenced by:
- withdrawing from activities from you or your family
- aggressive behavior attacking or biting the new dog or you
- depression or anxiety
- obsessive pacing or licking
- loss of appetite
In Susan's readings, some of these animals actually used phrases the owners were using to address the new dog: "I used to be the cutey." "Why are they calling her precious? They used to tell me I was precious." Some animals even asked, "Am I not enough for them?" So, understand that they, just like human children, are watching how you behave with the new addition.
Let's go over some steps to help this dog understand they they are still special to you.
Helping Your Dog Acclimate To The New Dog
In nature, younger dog pack members always treat the older dogs with respect and reverance. You must observe this innate canine behavior in all of your activities. You are in charge of the pack, so it's best you know what rules dogs follow out in nature. Dogs will acclimate much easier by utilizing the following practices.
1. In the mind of the canine, the senior dog is above the new dog, this would include those that were members of the pack first. This respect is shown by always attending to the senior dog first.
2. Feed this dog first, before you feed the new dog. Dog packs follow this practice.
3. Greet and pet this dog first, before you do the same with the new dog. Again, you are honoring the elder member here. If the new dog tries to cut in, push them aside and tell them they must wait.
4. Make sure you do not share your dog's toys with the new dog. Susan has actually had clients where the senior dog attacked the new dog when it started playing with its toys. This is a territory violation. Give the new dog its own toys. Make sure they each have their own toys in separate piles. It's similar to when you were a kid, did you really want to share your Barbie with your sister? You didn't want her to touch any of your stuff right?
5. Tell your dog that "you are very important to us, we love you." Yes, talk to your dog. Tell them you thought he would want "some company" so you brought in another dog. It's important to let this dog know that they are still special to you. So, try not to spend extra time on the new dog. No one likes it when their brother or sister gets all of the attention. No favoritism, treat and love both of them the same.
If all else fails, Susan offers Animal Readings via Phone, Facetime, Skype, or in person in the New England area. 95% of her readings are via Phone, Facetime, and Skype. She does not need to physically be with an animal in order to communicate with it.
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