So our vet managed to sweet talk the DH and I into adopting a dear sweet young female rottie that was turned into them. (All I wanted was my coggins and rabies... haha)
We already have a fantastic male rottie, who has just fit into farm life ever so brilliantly. He has all his jobs to do everyday (fetch feed buckets, help me lead the patient school ponies out, find lost crops and fly masks, help check the fencelines and trails, test out any new jumps set, water down groundhog holes, etc). He truly loves the horses and his kitty, but I think he is ready for a live-in friend of his own species. He has had lots of play days with his k9 buddies around our farm, over at a friend's farm, and at holidays with the family, as our family tradition dictates a crazy holiday with all the kids both human and dog in one location. Other than a strange love affair between him and my cousin's male dwarf yellow lab which we had to put an end to one x-mas morning haha, he is great with other dogs.
But.... the big but.... this will be the first time another dog will end up in our house... I am not anticipating any major issues, but want to have some plans A, B, C, and D at the ready, to try to do my best to insure this goes successfully.
What routine do you prefer for introducing a new dog to the family?
Pick up all food and toys from inside the house, so there won't be any resource guarding issues.
I usually take my dog for a long brisk walk to get out any excess energy, and do the same with the new one. Then go get my dog, and walk them both briskly together, not really letting them stop and sniff each other, but just moving forward. Then I will keep one on a leash, and drop the leash of the other one, and just walk around the (fenced)yard, moving forward, so the other dog can sniff the other dog's butt as we're walking. Then drop the other leash. And step away from them.
I make sure they are fed away from each other, to avoid issues with food, just in case. Also, any treats are soft, easily gulped treats at first, so their aren't crumbs that the other dog may try to go get. No long lasting chews, unless separated by a number of feet, and I am positioned in the center to keep them from trying to steal the other's.
I wouldn't trust a new dog off leash outside in unfenced areas, until you know if she has a solid recall. Certainly not unsupervised. In fenced areas, check daily to make sure the new one isn't trying to dig out/under the fence, or jump the fence.
I try to keep canned pumpkin on hand and add a couple of heaping tablespoons to the dog food for a few days, to ward off stress induced diarrhea.
That was about what I was thinking... Tire out my guy with a good gallop around the fields, take her for a long walk with him contained as soon as she gets home, both out for a leashed walk on our trails for the first 1/2, than keeping the new girl on leash for the second part of the walk, as that is normal for my guy since he heels beautifully off-leash and has an excellent recall at any distance, so we walk the trails all the time with him off-leash. Figure long walk together than I will drop her leash when we get back into the closed barn aisle. My meathead respects the horses' high tensile hot fence, but until she learns that lesson there is no trusting that, so I'm thinking barn aisle for the off-leash meeting. I don't have much history on the new girl, so she will be fully re-trained from scratch before she is allowed off-leash at all outside.
He is really excellent about other dogs around the farm and in the barn, so I expect that part to go off without a hitch. But then once they are settled, should I bring her into the house first, him into the house first, or just let them both in together?
Was planning on the toys/bones/chews pick-up of the house, and feeding separately. Really good tips on the crumby treats and pumpkin, I wouldn't have thought of that!