No matter how friendly your Shiba Inu is, remember they are still territorial animals, and introducing a new dog at home can be challenging.
Most fur parents make the mistake of not giving dogs enough time to adjust to each other and simply deciding that two dogs in the house will not work. However, it can sometimes take weeks or up to a month for the old and new dogs to accept each other’s presence.
Introducing two dogs to each other is a process so don’t expect any overnight besties. There is an adjustment period, but once you’ve overcome this hurdle, your old and new dogs will surely enjoy each other’s companionship.
How to Introduce Shiba Inu to Other Dogs
How your dogs meet the first time is the most crucial part of the process. You don’t just walk into your home with a new dog in tow, expecting your old pooch to simply accept it. Naturally, it’ll feel as if the newcomer is an intruder. Their guards will be up and their territorial instincts will kick in.
So to make the introduction as smooth sailing as possible, here are the things you need to know.
The dogs’ compatibility
Some dog breeds are more friendly than others so if you have two that are welcoming to new housemates, then the introduction is a bit easier. Aside from temperaments, also take into consideration sizes and ages.
If one dog is bigger than the other, this can cause unintentional injuries. An older dog and a new younger dog might also not be a good match considering younger pooches have tons of energy that senior dogs will not tolerate.
Introduce on a neutral territory
Make sure your Shiba Inu and your new dog’s first meeting goes well by introducing them on neutral territory. This means an area neither dog has ‘claimed’. If possible, the area should be quiet with little to no people or other dogs. This could be the backyard of someone you know or the park during off hours.
If the option above is not possible, a spacious outdoor area that will allow the dogs to roam on leash will also do.
Each dog should be walked separately on a leash. At first, walk the dogs at a good distance where they can see each other but not too close where they are threatened by the other’s presence. If there are not showing any negative behaviors, reward each with treats. Repeat often.
Remember to put away anything that will cause a fight, like dog toys, bones, and beds.
Look at each dog’s body language
Your Shiba’s body language says a lot of its current feelings. And when introducing a new dog, you should pay attention to each of their body languages.
If your Shiba Inu and the new dog is displaying happy body languages, such as wagging tails, no hard stares, and no tense postures, this means they are interested in knowing each other.
And this is a good start and you can begin closing in on their distance.
However, if one or both dogs are showing negative or defensive behavior, such as teeth baring, growling, and hair standing up, then immediately interrupt the eye contact and distract your dog with other things.
If your Shiba is trying to get away from the other dog, don’t send him back. This might mean that he needs a break from the interaction.
Walk them together
After the initial introduction, parallel walk with both dogs. This is better done with another person walking the other dog so you can maintain a good distance, just far enough that they are still aware of each other.
Walk both of them in the same direction. Then, turn back and trade dogs with the other walker. This gives each dog a chance to scent where the other dog has walked.
Urine-sniffing is one of the way dog know information about other dogs so allow each to look into potty spots.
If your Shiba and the other dog are displaying relaxed, social behaviors towards each other, slowly decrease their distance while continuing the parallel walk and try to avoid a direct face-to-face approach.
Let them interact off-leash
If you see that the dogs are now comfortable with each other, go to an enclosed area, take off the leashes, and allow them to interact. Give both dogs time to sniff one another.
After a few minutes, they could still be sniffing each other or might start playing. A dog’s invitation to play is putting its elbows on the ground, its rear end in the air, and its tail wagging.
Still, pay attention and make sure they are peacefully playing, without signs of aggression.