Pet Socialization

Socializing your pet to accept new dogs into the household is not always easy. The dog usually has ideas of its territory and home and is generally not a generous creature regarding sharing but would much rather chase the intruders away. We have to reprogram the dog’s thinking to make it understand that chasing the cat, iguana, or whatever other pet you may have, is not acceptable.
To start, make sure that the new animal will be safe. Place the new pet in a pet carrier or some other sturdy structure that prohibits the dog from physically contacting the animal but allows both dogs to see, smell, and hear each other. This provides a way for both dogs to acclimate to each other in a safe, possibly a bit stressful, situation. In later steps, gloves might be advisable to avoid scratches from a nervous pet.
After the dogs have both calmed a bit, give them each a small reward, such as a morsel of some favorite food. Be sure to provide the dog with lots of verbal praise and affection when it is not barking or trying to get to the new animal, as this will show the dog that you are accepting of the new pet’s presence and expect him to be also.
One last point to remember is that, like humans, not everyone will get along. There will be days when the dog and the cat are going to feud, or the iguana will get cantankerous and slap the dog with his tail for fun. Some dogs were just never meant to live in harmony, but with a lot of patience and a little direction, you can make your household fairly peaceable most of the time.

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