At this time, McKamey Animal Center will be putting a HOLD on hosting “Meet and Greets” between dogs available for adoption, and dogs currently owned by the family interested in adopting due to a recent outbreak of Canine Influenza in our community. We at MAC are attempting to minimize the exposure of the animals in our care to those who may have come across Canine Flu outside our facility.
Please understand that even with this effort in place, MAC cannot be held liable for any exposure of Canine Influenza, or other infections viruses. Even with our hold on Meet and Greets, we still want the best possible chance for all of our animals to find their new homes. Below will be some tips for successful introductions between your new MAC adoptee, and any dogs already existing in the home. Our Behavior Team is also available for guidance and tips on making this process easier for all involved.
Conducting Home Introductions
When introducing your new dog to your dog(s) at home, we highly recommend that all initial introductions happen in a more neutral atmosphere, and outside if at all possible to reduce stress that can come with initial meetings between new dogs. We highly advise that during this introductory period that you have a friend or family member available to help make the process easier for all involved. Keeping both dogs on secure leashes (not retractable leashes, as it is more difficult to redirect a dog on a retractable leash), take them for a short walk around the neighborhood, or around the outside of your property together, side by side so they can adjust to the other’s presence. During this time, they may sniff at each other and interact slightly.
Once they have walked together, give them a chance to “get to know” each other more by allowing them to come closer together while still secured on their leashes (take care to keep the leashes from tangling up, as the dogs will likely spin to sniff and explore each other). During this time, watch their behavior and see how they interact – Do they seem interested in each other? Are they expressing playful behavior (play bows, pawing at each other, etc.) towards one another? They may need a little more time getting to know each other this way, or they may be ready to jump right in to a playdate! Like people, all dogs are different, and express themselves differently when meeting new friends.
What to Expect
If the leashed greeting has gone well, we recommend keeping their leashes attached, but allowing them to fall to the floor, so long as everyone is in a secure environment at this time (a fenced in back yard, or an open area of the home works best). Dropping the leashes, but keeping them attached to the dog(s) collars/harnesses allows them to move around unrestricted, but gives the owners a chance to pull the leashes quickly should the dogs get into a scuffle. We recommend that all treats and toys to have already been removed from the area so the dogs may take time getting to know each other without distraction.
While the dogs are investigating both their surroundings and each other, keep in mind that slight grumbles and corrective behavior is normal in dogs (i.e. if one of them jumps up on the other, even in play, the other dog may give them a stiff bark or a grumble to show that the aforementioned behavior was not appreciated, and/or will not be tolerated). It is important to allow them to spend time getting to know each other, but also keeping an eye on them during this time to ensure that their interactions go as smoothly as possible. If there are multiple dogs in the home, the same steps can be taken individually with each dog and your new MAC adoptee; after which, assuming all interactions have gone well, you can bring all dogs together at the same time to see how they all interact with each other.
Adjustment Periods Vary
During any adoption process, there is an adjustment period for a dog entering their new home. Patience and time go a long way towards successfully bringing in a new family member, and understanding that all dogs adjust at their own pace is important. We at MAC understand that these adjustment periods can take time, and we are available for questions and guidance post adoption. Remember, we aren’t just here to place animals in new homes. We want to do what we can to make sure they stay there, and are set up for success!
Please understand that these tips are just a general guide for introducing new dogs, and that MAC is not to be held liable for injury caused by these interactions.
Thank you again for adopting your newest family member from MAC!
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Do you have pictures of your dogs
We do! Our website keeps a running list of all animals available for adoption and it is updated in real time. You can filter this list by species, age, etc. Click here: https://mckameyanimalcenter.org/available-pets-at-mac/