Dogs Get Jealous Too
Right now, I’m sitting for Tootsie and Roscoe, both miniature schnauzers. It’s not been an easy year for Tootsie. Her mom got married and Roscoe joined the household, too. These were big changes for Tootsie, an older dog used to her routine and having her human all to herself.
Although this is a period of adjustment for everyone, there are some things you can do to make the transition to a combined household easier for your pet. Here are some suggestions:
- Introduce new people and their pets appropriately. Introduce your dog to the new person and dog slowly, preferably on neutral ground. If you have a dog park near you, that would work well for the introduction. Take treats and reward your dog for good behavior. Don’t force the dog to be “friends” with the newcomers, it’s best if it happens gradually. Make the first introduction short, gradually increasing the time together until your dog feels comfortable.
- Keep up one-to-one time with your dog. If you have activities you do together, be sure to keep up with them. Keep the routine as normal as possible, and once your dog feels confident, introduce him to new destinations so he will get used to experiencing new things. Another idea would be to try a new activity, maybe something like agility to stimulate your dog’s mind.
- Don’t reward negative behavior. If your dog continues to act out, don’t reward, and thus reinforce the bad behavior. Negative attention, though not as good as positive, is still attention. If your dog starts whining, for example, ignore him. Dogs are much like children this way, if they find something that works to help them get their way, they’ll do it!
Combining households can be fun, but challenging too. Taking steps to help your dog through the transition will help him, and you, enjoy the new family even more!