If you are the owner of an Afghan hound adding a new pet to your family will have to be carefully considered. Not all animals are well suited to share a home with this breed of dog, particularly animals that are much smaller than he is. Before you bring home that furry new bundle of joy, there are some things you need to think about.
Afghan hounds are bred to chase and seeing small animals running often brings this instinct to life. You probably already know this and have taken precautions to keep your pet from chasing other neighborhood animals. It's important to remember that your dog won't know the difference between a new family pet and a neighbor's pet. To him it's just something to chase.
Choosing a New Pet
Some types of animals will be more easily incorporated into the household. A kitten or even an adult cat is probably not going to be the best choice. I'm sure that there are households who have Afghan hounds and cats but in most cases the cat was there first and the Afghan grew up knowing it was off limits. Toy dogs are probably not a good idea either as they are much smaller with no way of defending themselves should your Afghan get carried away with play or chasing.
Your best option would be to adopt another dog of similar size or even another Afghan hound. This way there would be no worry about one pet mauling the other one or the constant chase and nipping that would be likely to result were you to adopt a smaller animal.
Introducing the New Pet
When bringing your new pet home for the first time it's best to make the introduction in a neutral location so that your Afghan won't view the newcomer as a territorial intruder. It's also a good idea for each pet be handled by separate members of the family in the beginning so that there will be less jealousy between the two.
Allow your pets to investigate each other by sniffing and circling. This is the way animals learn about each other much like humans greet one another. After this brief introduction give each pet a treat and praise so that they will come to except positive reinforcement for good behavior. If problems do arise reprimand the offender sharply then separate the animals immediately. You can try again later after each has had a little time to adjust to the idea of the other.
Keep your dogs' routine as close to normal as possible during this adjustment period. As the animals become used to one another slowly introduce the new pet into the routine. You might want to gradually move their food into the same room, on opposite sides at first and watch for any signs of aggression. Begin to introduce fun activities such as playing in the yard or going for walks as they become more accustomed to one another.
Afghan hounds are not overly aggressive by nature but their instinct to chase as well as their normal territorial instincts make introducing a new pet a little tricky. If you are observant and cautious you should have a happy household in no time!
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