Many people have a dog, some have more than one. I personally have eight, four Rottweiler’s, one Doberman, and three German Sheppard’s. While I enjoy bringing a new dog into my pack, I realize that there is the possibility that one of my pack, or the new member, may not enjoy this interruption to their usual routine. You see dogs like routine, meals at the same time, familiar smells that give comfort and the security of being in a well balanced pack. When you add a new stimuli to the mix, for example an unfamiliar dog, then you must do it in such a way as to minimize the unstabilzing effect it may have on your pack.
First and foremost you must, and I mean without doubt, be in control of your dogs, in other words unless you are positive all of your dogs see you as pack leader, and will respect and obey your commands you will not be respected and the dominant dogs in your pack will dominate the new dog if it shows any instability, i.e., barking, rushing around, rude sniffing, or dominant posturing, i.e., standing with head over another dogs neck. This kind of behaviour will almost always end in a fight.
If you are already experiencing trouble with introducing new dogs to your pack, you must concentrate on the source of the problem. The dog who is showing dominant aggression, clearly does not see you as pack leader. In order to regain control you must rehabilitate the dominant dog, he needs to understand that he can be around other dogs and not feel like he must maintain the packs balance, and that is what he is reacting to, the sudden unbalancing of his routine. Without strong and consistent leadership the dog will feel it is his job to stop the instability.
When I bring a new dog home, I have already established my leadership with the new dog prior to putting him in my car. I do this by putting a leash on him and going for a walk, during this walk I bond with the dog, and they are always willing to yield to assertive energy. No dog wants to be the pack leader, its a heavy responsibility.
When I come home, I have my new dog on leash, and I open the door a crack, to see how he will respond to my dogs on the inside, and how they are responding to him, if there is any excitement, such as whining, barking, pulling, from the new dog, I close the door, and bring the new dog back to a calmer state, i.e., in a sit position.
I know that my personal dogs will obey me on command so in my case, my only concern is about the new dog.
When I am sure the new dog is calm and submissive, I open the door and this time I walk inside.
I immediately stop, and let my dogs and the new dogs sniff each other, this is the way dogs say hello and check each others energy and history.
As long as there is no obvious negative energy, and all dogs are calm, I take the leash off the new dog and let him go because he needs to explore his new environment. I always observe this process for at least 3 hours to make sure all dogs have excepted the new pack member, and they understand that I am in charge, and I take care of everything, all they need to do is be a dog.
In order to change any unwanted behaviour you have to take control of the four basic areas of your dogs behaviour.
4. Social Interaction
If you are not sure how to regain your status as pack leader safely, then I recommend getting a professional trainer to help you. Be sure to research trainers carefully, it is easy to say things and much harder to prove.