We recently welcomed another dog into our family. She was not a replacement for our beloved Labradoodle who recently passed away due to heart disease. She was a dog who needed a new home and we were a home seeking a friend for our other two dogs who were noticeably saddened by our loss.
We were looking for an older female dog and it was not an easy search. We wanted a Labrador Retriever or another Labradoodle or Goldendoodle since those were the breeds our male dogs took to. The dog had to be housebroken and good with children. Size and weight were not issues for us.
Our new dog, a 3 year old Labrador Retriever is a joy.We first met her outside our home so our dogs could check her out and then she joined them in our yard. To our surprise, neither of the dogs were bothered by her presence. We then came into our house and she ran from room to room checking things out. Again, our two dogs had no reaction. We have taken things slowly. None of the dogs were forced on each other. The two boys are fed separately now since our female has weight to lose and will finish all of the bowls if left to her own devices.Our Shih Tzu, Gizmo has gone back to sleeping in bed. When Lila came, he opted for a dog bed. Lila, Gizmo and Ezra have played chase and Ezra will try and play with her from the safety of our couch. This way he is the same height that she is. Lila was also used to going potty in her previous owner’s backyard while our dogs use our yard for enjoyment. She has now begun to copy the other dogs so our bushes that were newly planted last year may still survive. However, until she gets accustomed to going potty on walks, we are keeping a watchful eye on her while she is in the yard so that any poop may be immediately cleaned up.
Lila has also learned that a greenie is an after walk treat and that she must take her place in line. What are we working on? Wait and sit! Lila wants to go first-first into our kitchen, first up and down the stairs, first out the door and in the door. These things are improving daily. She now lets us leave and enter our house without trying to rush outside.
Integrating a new dog into a household is an ongoing process. The most important thing is to take it slow. You do not know this dog nor how it will behave with your present pets. Even if the new dog has lived with other dogs, cats, adults and children, this is still a new situation.for them. New noises, new people and untold number of new situations.  You should also check with your veterinarian before adding any pet to your household. They can advise you on how to proceed. Good luck!

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