Meet Ike: How to introduce a new dog to your service dog

August 7, 2018



It has been a moment since my last post, but my husband and I rescued a new doggie. His name is Ike and he is 8 years and 3 months old. Our friend is going through a divorce and she had to rehome her dogs. If they could not be rehomed, they were both headed to the pound.


This broke my heart because Ike knew only her. She got him from a breeder as a puppy. The other dog was a small yorkie and was quickly claimed, but no one claimed Ike.


I talked to the hubby and we reached out and told her we will take him.


When  you have a service animal or any other dog it is important to do several steps to ease the transition for both.


I researched a lot on how to do this and this is what I did:


  1. Ike was very well taken cared off. So I requested his shot records and rabies tag to give the information to our vet.

  2. I learned Ike’s temperament and socialization with other dogs. He always lived with a second pet and is very friendly.

  3. I also took his bed, toys, food/water bowl, brush from his previous owner, so he had recognizable things with his smell to bring to our house and help with the transition of change.

  4. Due to the nature of the quick need to rehome, we did not get a chance to have Roxy meet him first, but we made sure the day we picked up Ike, she was already at the groomers getting pampered and preened.

  5. My husband met me at a park location that Roxy or Ike never been too to meet on a leash. With some distance between them we let them look and check each other out.

  6. Moving closer on a loose leash, we let them explore each other and sniff.

  7. When going to the house. We made sure Roxy went into the house first followed by Ike.

  8. Establish a routine!!!! That is so important.

  9. Make sure to love on both doggies to prevent any jealousy. (to me this is common sense)

  10. And look for signs of depression. If you suspect, call your vet right away.

  11. Lastly, within 30 days (per Ohio law) you must license your new pet with the state. A yearly license cost 18.00 and can be done online (so no excuses people). And make a check up appointment with the vet and we got Ike groomed professionally.


Now having a guide dog, there is another level we had to have Ike get used too. They are:


  1. When on harness, no playing. I did this by practicing. I would place Roxy in her harness and in a soothing voice correct both if they were in play mode. It did not take much. After two days of training, Ike and Roxy basically ignore each other with she is in harness.

  2. This part breaks my heart. Obviously, Roxy is my guide dog and can go places that Ike cannot. I try to make these trips as brief as possible. Such trips such as going to work is routine but I go to work early so I can leave at 3pm so he is not alone too long. Also, I try to find places that are pet friendly so they can both go. Doing that, I find that Ike is okay when we do have to leave him behind.


It has been three weeks and he is a huge part of family. They both get along and we have done several adventures together already. So if you are considering getting a new pet, just do your research, prepare to train, do obedience and just love them:)




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