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How to introduce a new dog to existing pack members

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Tinkie had to make yet another trip to the vet yesterday having picked up an unidentified tummy bug.  In the waiting room, while Tinkie tried her best to befriend everyone in the room (human and canine alike), I got chatting to a lovely woman who had an emaciated and shorn Spaniel on her lap.  She had just rescued it and was about to introduce it to her resident dogs. One of them was a little minpin cross and a tyrant and she was worried about the initial meeting turning sour.  I'm not an expert in these things (I would be really happy to hear from anyone who is) but I have successfully introduced 2 sets of dogs, 4 sets of squirrels and 2 sets of sugar gliders to each other .... so I told her that the bit of advice I received early that had always worked out well for me .... was ... introduce your animals in a neutral environment that smells of NO-ONE in particular and which none of the pets claim as theirs.  The first time around (when Druss and Bindi first met)- I used Melkbos beach.  The second time (when Druss met Tinkie)I used a vacant lot of land nearby.  This works in two ways - one, there are so many interesting smells and sounds in this new environment that the dogs simply can't focus on each other too much.  Secondly, there are no issues with "ownership" since nobody has "claimed" the space as theirs.  Obviously - you also have to monitor subsequent interaction between the new housemates very carefully and give them all regular "breaks" from each other (absence makes the heart grow fonder and all that! ) All I can say is that it worked like a bomb for me and mine.... the lady at the vet liked the idea and thought she'd try it .... then she asked for my advice on how to break the news to her husband that she was bringing another dog home and NOT visiting her grandchildren as he thought ... I was really pleased that the vet called our name - before I had to rack my brains for an answer to a much more tricky question!

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