President Barrack Obama and family just welcomed a new addition to their presidential household. Sunny is a one-year-old female Portuguese Water Dog. Sunny joins the Obama's four-year-old dog Bo. The two dogs get along very well, however when bringing a new and younger dog into the family, that is not always the case. For many families, they add a second dog to the family because their first dog has behavioral problems like separation anxiety. They believe a second dog will magically solve these problems, but studies have shown that adding another dog does nothing for the situation; dogs who suffer from separation anxiety are solely focused on their owners.
A dog should never be adopted to help cure the household problems of another, older dog. While a new dog can become a much-needed companion for an older dog, they are no replacement for human companionship. Regardless of what one thinks a new dog will accomplish for their family, another dog should never be taken in unless it is completely wanted and the family can split the love to give the new dog it's fair share. However, one solid benefit of getting a new dog when you already have one is that once the two canines accept each other, the older one will help cement appropriate behaviors in the younger one. It is infinitely easier to house train a second dog when they already have a well-trained role model.
While there can be a lot of benefits to bringing a new dog home, it can be difficult to do so. Resident dogs are territorial and bring a new dog into their territory can cause them to become aggressive towards what they believe is an intruder. A common response especially among male dogs is urine-making. These are unwanted, but common side effects of purchasing a second dog. To help reduce aggression and territorial behavior, the two dogs should be introduced in an area away from the home as neither dog will hold territory there. Keep them both on a loose leash and allow them to interact with each other, but be able to pull them apart if things get aggressive.
The biggest tool in helping two new dogs get used to each other is time. If your dogs are aggressive and territorial at first, keep them apart. Eventually they will realize that this new presence isn't going anywhere. It is shown that new dogs kept in separate parts of the house after meeting have an easier transition time rather that both being thrust in together creating a stressful and hostile situation.