Introducing a New Puppy to Your Current Dog
If you’re already a dog owner, you know how much love a dog can bring to your life. Caring for and being loved by another can make your heart grow in ways you may have not thought possible.
Raising a dog is so rewarding, that many people soon find themselves eventually introducing a new dog into the mix. But how do you go about introducing a new puppy to your current dog?
Hopefully your current dog has been well socialized. If so, they should hopefully have an easy time making a new friend. Regardless, there is always a “get to know you” period where you have to work extra hard to make sure your first dog accepts and gets along with your new dog.
Today, we’ll be discussing how to introduce a puppy to your household successfully.
Before Introducing a New Puppy to Your Current Dog
There are a few things you should do and considerations you should make before introducing a new puppy to your current dog. One consideration is who is this new dog really for. Are you getting a new dog because you feel the need to raise another dog, or possibly to help take a dog from a shelter? Is the new dog supposed to be your current dog’s friend?
You should consider who you’re getting a new puppy for because introducing a new dog to your household really can be difficult even if you take all precautions beforehand. Once you’re certain that you want another dog, you can begin preparing for it.
You should also give thought to your dogs’ everyday life. For as much as possible you’ll want to keep your current dog’s lifestyle like what they already know, though small concessions can be made.
With two dogs, you should consider:
- Where will they sleep?
- Where will they eat?
- Is your current dog’s routine going to change?
- Will their diet change?
- Will your amount of time with them change?
Once you work out the actual logistics, you can start thinking about the real meeting. This should be done in a neutral area where your current dog will not have territorial claim over. This can be a park, a friend’s home, or even a room of your home. Just make sure that the room is relatively clear of clutter. You don’t want the dogs running to places you can’t get to or hiding behind furniture.
While Introducing Your Two Dogs
Introduce your dogs together with the help of another person. You can hold one dog while the other person holds the other dog. Walk the two dogs on leashes to meet each other as though you were just meeting another dog on a walk. You should allow the two dogs to get to know each other, or if things seem to be going well, they can get off leash.
At this point, your job is just to make sure everything goes well. Usually the younger dog will submit to the older dog by showing their belly. If the dogs are closer in age, or if the younger doesn’t submit, they will go through the process of asserting dominance with a series of yaps, nibbles, jumping and barks. You need to let this happen, otherwise the dogs will never assess which is the top dog. Remember, dogs thrive on hierarchy, so this needs to happen. The only time you should step in is if the dogs start to fight.
After Introducing a New Puppy to Your Dog
Bring the two dogs home and allow your first dog to come in the house off-leash. The new pup should be allowed in second and on leash. Bring your new dog to some of the rooms you’ll allow them in. If your first dog seems comfortable with the new dog, you can let them off leash as well.
For the first two weeks or so do not allow them to interact without you. You want to be sure that they will be fine without your intervention.
You’ll also want to make certain to keep your dog on established routines. They will expect food, exercise, and attention at certain times, so try to work your new dog into their schedule. This means making sure BOTH dogs get attention. You don’t want to have your dogs grow jealous of the other.
Here are a few tips you can consider when introducing a new puppy to your current dog:
- Do not let your older dog bully or otherwise antagonize your new dog.
- Dogs who are getting to know each other should not be confined together in a crate or small room until they have had enough time to become comfortable around each other.
- Make sure you distance your dogs when you feed them. If one eats faster than the other, a fight can breakout if they try to snatch up some extra food from the other’s bowl.
- It’s okay to break up fights. While dogs get to know each other by play fighting, if the fight turns serious, the dogs risk injury. Step in but be sure to do so with extreme caution.
If you follow these tips, you should be quickly on your way to accepting a new pup into your family.