How To Intro A New Fluffball To Your Family

Q. Hi Jordan,

I was wondering how long it took for Lucy to accept Virgil [after you brought him home]. Are they buddies now? Did you do anything special to introduce your two dogs?



A. Not gonna lie: the Lucy/Virgil integration was a bumpy road full of very grumpy animals and much yowling. Moments after their initial meeting (which you can see on video here), Lucy realized that Virgil was a dog and not a stuffed animal that we had brought home for her to play with, and took a vacation to Crazy Town for awhile. She more or less lost her mind if he came anywhere near her, and for about three months existed in a little cocoon of general resentment while glaring out at her new housemate from various corners.

But now:

She loves him.

They’re totally best friends, and it’s adorable.

They even dress alike.

While a lot is dependent on the personalities of the dogs you’re dealing with, there are some things you can do to coax the relationship along; I wrote a post with lots of tips for intro-ing a new dog to an older one here. We didn’t really follow any of those tips with Virgil (he was a surprise), but I think it’d be advisable to do so (see: aforementioned panic and resentment). Also, because some of the advice is similar, check out this post on how we introduced our (real) baby to our (dog) babies.

  • Sara

    I love your dogs! I have a very similar type of dog from the looks of it (bichon shihtzu). I read the post on how you introduced your dogs to your adorable son, but how did the dogs do with toys? Like how do they know which toys are theirs, and which are your babies? Is it just a non-issue or did you do some training? We don’t have kids yet but when my nephew comes over with his toys, my dog has stolen and destroyed a few, so we’re expecting to do some extra training.

    • jordanreid

      it is SO WEIRD – they have never, ever touched a single one of the baby’s toys. from day one. and we’re talking about toys that are small, squeaky, and virtually indistinguishable from dog toys. if a baby toy and a dog toy are on the floor next to each other, they just seem to know which is theirs. they’ve also never set foot on his activity mat, which looks exactly like a dog bed. i guess they sense the difference?

      • Sara

        I might be calling you when we have kids! 🙂 No my sister said the same thing, the only time her dog destroyed her son’s toy was when they weren’t home for a few long stretches when they’d normally be home, he seemed to know and got mad and shredded a couple books. I just need to have more faith in my dog! 🙂