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Here are some things to keep in mind to help you make the transition from one pet to more than one:
Adjustment takes time. You may bring a second pet home and have instant harmony, but don't count on it. Give your pets a few weeks to get used to each other. They may become fast friends, or they may just tolerate each other.
By Catherine Forman
Before you bring the new puppy home, make sure you have reduced the possibility for accidents.
Introducing a dog into your home:
By VeronicaHB from Asheboro, NC
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This summer I adopted 2 dogs from Craigslist, not rescues, really, but a very similar situation. One of them was still a puppy, and is very, very playful. The other was 6 years old, and does not play. He also wasn't friendly with my roommate - at first. He seemed to be a little bit scared of men.
Well, my roommate would lie down on the ground and let Dallas come to him. Dallas was hesitant, but just at first. James let Dallas come to him with no pressure, and this worked very well. Dallas just loves him to pieces now.
Dallas was very set in his ways with bedtime, too. He would go to the foot of my bed and stay firmly put. Well, I started lying down at the foot of the bed, and he was so happy! Now he waits for me every night, and is so happy he dances! He is also starting to play a couple of different games, one of which he made up himself. For Dallas, at least, this technique did the trick, and is still paying off.
Since you don't know what your dog has been through - at the least, he was abandoned. So give him as much time as he needs and try whatever you can to help him feel comfortable - on his own terms. He may never be playful - some dogs just aren't. But plenty of love and security should do the trick. Bless you for saving him!
Schyresti's last paragraph says it all!
Be patient and also don't fret because sometimes it takes a few months for a rescued pet to completely trust, relax and be themselves. The day your baby does feel at home it will be something so simple and so subtle that he/she does that will bring you to tears and your hug of appreciation at that will seal the deal :-)
One of the many cats I've rescued absolutely despised everyone including me. She would spit and hiss if you tried to pet her and most of the time she hid in the basement. She wasn't a jumper so when the winter weather passed I let her out in my tiny fenced yard, when I was home with the back door left open for her to come in and out, so that she could at least enjoy something more than being couped up in the basement or avoiding everyone.
It was about a month later when one day she came inside and dropped a little bird at my feet and looked at me with such satisfaction. It was the look on her face and that she was just standing there staring at me that let me know she finally felt safe. I truly believe that little bird was her gift to let me know she was happy and content and from that moment on she was definitely at 'home'.
I just got her today. How do I get a Chihuahua to like someone or let the kids or us play with her?
She'll be scared and bewildered at all the changes in her tiny life, so gentleness and patience is the answer. If the children are older they will understand this and co-operate, but if they are tiny themselves they will need to be supervised when with her.
You want a loving, secure and playful little dog. Just treat her as one of the family with her own special needs: she'll tire easily, fall asleep where she sits, and need peace to eat her food. Very gentle play when she has settled in a bit.