We have had our current dog, Louis, for a few years. He has lived in five different homes with us across three states. He loves other animals. It doesn’t matter what kind. He befriended cats, kittens, bunnies, and even baby possums. So we decided to surprise him with a new sibling.
So now I am happy to introduce all of you to Louis’s little brother, Henry. Henry is about 9 months old and what we are guessing is a dachshund rottweiler mix. Everyone who sees his face says he has to be part rottie, but his long body is all doxie.
Now I say we surprised Louis with a new sibling, but when introducing a second dog into a household, you never want it to actually be a surprise. We searched for months to find the right dog and the right rescue. We went with a rescue that was not only responsive to us (quick to call or respond to e-mail) but was taking really good care of the dogs they had and didn’t try to white-wash any potential issues. If you feel like the rescue is piece feeding you details about a dog, that is probably a bad sign. If they can’t answer basic behavioral questions (which can change between a rescue and forever home setting!), that is a red flag.
When we found a dog that we thought would be a good fit for us, we set up an appointment to meet them first. Sometimes, even when a dog seems like a perfect fit on paper, they aren’t a perfect fit when you meet in person. Searching for a dog is akin to trying to find a date on tinder. You might swipe right on those adorable photos on the rescue page, but the chemistry fizzles when you meet them for the first time.
After we identified a dog, and met them, we wanted to make sure to introduce Louis to them before finalizing the adoption. Meet and greets can usually be scheduled by the rescue or foster group, and give you an idea of how the dogs will interact. The first meet and greet we had for Louis and a future sibling did not go well. They way they interacted and behaved towards each other gave us a sinking feeling in our stomachs.
After meeting our dog though, the rescue had a better idea of who would be a good fit for Louis. Based on their recommendation, we introduced him to Henry. I think for Henry it was an instant bond to Louis and Louis was like…okay… I can put up with this one.
When bringing a new dog home, its important to remember the rule of threes. Three days, Three Weeks, Three Months. These are approximately the milestones when your dog will start demonstrating new behavior as they become more comfortable in your home. This is why it is important to not force or expect your dogs to start playing and acting perfectly together right off the bat. The new dog needs to adjust to being in their new home and your old dog needs to adjust to sharing what was once only their domain.
It can be a few days or weeks before they interact with each other. We really lucked out that our boys loved playing with each other, and by day three were egging each other on to play tug or chase. Henry loves to try cuddling with Louis, and Louis puts up with it for the most part.
So this post is starting to get a little long, so I will wrap it up with this. We’ve now had Henry for a month and while having a new puppy can be exhausting and at times frustrating, it is completely worth it.
He is also incredibly difficult to photograph because he is constantly moving, so 90% of the non-blurry picture I have of him or of him asleep or falling asleep.