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How To Introduce A New Puppy To Your Dog - Tips And Guide

By
 Ashly 
on 
May 16, 2021

I am so excited!!! After a long, hard wait I finally have a puppy.

She is a sweet thing that loves to snuggle and makes everyone in my house smile, but how do I introduce my dog to the new dog? It can be done and it isn’t as hard as you think.

Just follow these simple steps and you will be fine!

Introducing a Puppy to Your Adult Dogs: What To Expect

Sibling rivalry

Getting a new puppy is exciting—at least for the humans in the family.

Sometimes the dog of the house doesn't think the pup is a welcome addition, however. Many people believe that adding a puppy to the family will be harmonious, and that their current dog will be a good dog "mommy" or "daddy." They are disappointed when that doesn't happen.

Often, expectations are unrealistic, but in most cases what the human family members see instead of those expectations is completely normal.

Knowing in advance what to expect can help families, and the existing dogs, make the process of introducing a new puppy to the household as easy as possible.

What to expect

I've had the unique experience of welcoming 15 puppies into our house over the last 12 years. As puppy raisers for a service dog organization, on average my husband and I welcome a new pup each year. The new pup arrives when he is about 8 weeks old. He is away from his littermates, mama, and his familiar surroundings for the very first time.

We have three dogs (permanent family members) and each new puppy addition has taught us more about how adult dogs and puppies integrate. We're working on puppy #15 and here is what I've learned so far:

  • None of my dogs has ever welcomed a puppy with open arms (paws)
  • All of the dogs growl and snap and move away from the pup
  • NONE of the dogs has ever hurt a puppy

These observations are pretty normal. Every new puppy has had the same welcome, year after year, from my dogs.

While the occasional dog will delight in welcoming a pup into the house, in my experience most dogs don't open up the "welcome wagon" when a new pup enters the family.

During the Introduction

Your older dog considers your house his house. In order to prevent territorial aggression, find a neutral area to introduce the older dog to the new puppy.

Put your older dog on a leash while another person holds the puppy on a leash. However, let them sniff and meet each other; there’s no need to hold them tightly to your side. You don’t want them to feel restricted.

The initial introduction should be relatively quick.

Stay calm throughout. Your dog can sense tension within you and is more likely to be stressed if you are. Your dog will take your emotions into consideration throughout the introduction.

He looks to you to understand how he should react to a situation.

Training An Older Dog To Accept New Puppy

Before you plan on bringing a puppy home, make plans for introducing the new puppy to dogs that already live there. 

Adult dogs often welcome a new canine buddy, but it's important to try to choose pups that are compatible. It's important to remember that a resident dog naturally protects its turf. Your puppy may either feel uncertain in strange surroundings or act like a clueless clown who hisses off The mature canines. Proper introductions help ensure both pets start off on the same positive paw.

Neutral Ground

The first meetings between a puppy and an adult dog should take place on neutral ground, such as a neighbor’s yard, training center, or tennis court.

That way, your older pooch doesn’t feel fearful, threatened, or protective of your house or yard. Instead, it can get down to the business of making friends with the puppy. If a neutral place isn’t available, visit a park that a variety of dogs frequent. Your resident dog will have fewer territorial claims and feel more willing to meet the new pup.  

Fence Meeting: Start Here First

Dogs can read your tension if you’re the least bit wary. When this elevated excitement combines with a leash restraint, then fearful aggression could develop.

That’s why first dog-to-dog meetings should take place between unleashed dogs. For safety’s sake, however, let the dogs meet through a chain-link fence or tennis net, so they can sniff each other while the barrier keeps them separated. This helps the "new dog" novelty wear off before a true nose-to-nose meeting. It’s also important when there’s a size difference between the resident dog and the new pup. Even friendly adult dogs could accidentally injure the youngster with over-exuberant greetings.  

Parallel Walking: Also Try This

Take both dogs for a walk, parallel to each other, with a different person handling each dog. Keep the leashes loose and give the dogs room to move, so you reduce the potential for tension. At first, keep the dogs out of the nose-sniffing range, and use a treat or toy to keep doggy eyes on the human (no challenge-staring at the other dog allowed). Walk them together for 5 or 10 minutes before allowing a head-to-head meeting.  

Sniffing Opportunities

Once the dogs show a happy interest in meeting, let them come together while keeping the leashes loose. Choose an area with open space to reduce tension.

The dogs will sniff each other's body, including rear ends, which is proper canine greeting etiquette.

First greetings should be kept to only 10 minutes or so to keep the dogs from tiring. Make a point of calling each dog away from time to time to give a treat or toy.

This will prevent any escalating tension and maintain a happy mood.

Entering Your Home

For the first week or two, the older dog and puppy should be continuously monitored to ensure the dogs are comfortable with one another.

Follow your older dog’s regular routine. Begin establishing a routine for the puppy as well, to provide necessary structure.

Watching your dogs’ body language for the first several weeks will help you gauge how they’re reacting to One another. If the puppy is young, he may not understand the body language of the adult dog very well. For instance, the puppy will likely want to engage in playtime even if the older dog is showing signs of Discomfort.

What body language should you watch out for?

  • Raised fur on the back of the neck/back
  • Prolonged stares
  • Growling
  • Snarling
  • Display of teeth
  • Hunched back

Do's And Dont's

Don'ts

  • Do not allow the older dog to bully the puppy
  • Do not, ever, allow the two dogs to fight
  • Do not hold the puppy in your arms during the introduction
  • Do not force them to be together
  • Do not allow them to share a crate. Purchase a new crate for the puppy so both dogs have their own space

What Should You Do?

  • Do allow them to get used to one another at their own pace
  • Do introduce them in a neutral area
  • Do allow them to escape to their crate if desired
  • Do feed them in separate areas
  • Do spend quality time with them separately
  • Do allow them to interact positively if desired
  • Do allow them to play with supervision
  • Do supervise them at all times for the first several weeks

Here's Some Other Tips You Can Follow On How To Introduce Your New Puppy To Your Current Dog. 

Give some thought to choosing a new dog who can be compatible with your present dog. In our experience, conflict is least likely to occur between a male dog and a female dog. Male with male is the next best combination, female with female is the combination most likely to result in conflict. When you choose a new dog, consider your present dog's needs.

For example, try not to bring a very active young dog into a home with an older dog who already has health problems such as osteoarthritis. If you do get a puppy or young dog, be prepared to "protect" the older dog from her. You will have to spend plenty of time with the new dog and offer distractions to keep her from harassing the older dog.

  • Try to introduce the new dog at a time when you will have at least a weekend to be home. You will want to observe and supervise closely at first. It is best not to leave two newly introduced dogs alone before they have become acquainted and the new dog is at least somewhat comfortable in his new home.
  • Introduce the dogs in a neutral area rather than your own home or yard.
  • Both dogs should be on leashes for control, but try to allow them a little room to maneuver. They may be calmer if they don't feel completely restrained. You will need one adult for each dog.
  • Have the person walking the new dog approach from the side and "catch up" to you and your dog as you walk. Pick an area where you can walk together with a little distance between the dogs. As they walk they can look at and sniff each other, but there will be other things to catch their interest as well. Try to do this in an area without a lot of other people and dogs so that neither dog is over-stimulated. The walk should end at your home.
  • If you have a yard and the weather permits, it may help to bring the dogs into the yard before going into the house. At first, allow them on a long leash until you notice relaxed and "wiggly" body postures and interest from both dogs. Once they appear relaxed and interested in a friendly manner, you can allow the leashes to drop so that they can interact.
  • When you first enter the house don't let the dogs jostle each other in an entryway. Try to get both into the house quickly so that one doesn't react to the other's entrance later.
  • Make sure there is an environment of plenty. There should be more than one water bowl and more than one comfortable place to lie down. There should be plenty of toys, especially of kinds your dog likes, so that there's no reason for the dogs to have a conflict over access to them. If your dog has a history of guarding his toys, they should be removed for the initial introduction period, which may take a few weeks. This all needs to be arranged before you pick up the new dog.
  • At first, feed your dog the way you always have done and feed the new dog in a different room. Your dog should not have to worry about feeding time, leading to problems feeding the dogs. The new dog has no expectations of your home, so he shouldn't be upset by whatever feeding spot you choose. A very food-motivated dog will eat well from the start, but some dogs may need a person with them for the first day or two.
  • Wait until you feel confident that the dogs are comfortable with each other before offering valuable treats such as real bones, rawhide, pigs' ears, etc., and supervise when you do. If your dog is reactive with these, you may have to separate the dogs before giving them these items. If your dog never gets these kinds of treats because he is aggressive over them, that should be the rule for the new dog too.
  • Your dog may try to keep the new dog away from things that are very important to him. He may block the new dog from approaching you, from resting places like dog beds and furniture, or from rooms like the family room or the bedroom. If the new dog is very anxious, he may do the same, trying to keep your dog away from him in certain locations, or even sticking with a family member and trying to keep your dog away. Do not scold or punish the dogs if this happens. Instead, get up and move if it looks like you will be the center of contention, and distract either dog if he seems to be invading a place where the other is resting.
  • Keep both dogs away from areas where food is being prepared or eaten at first. If either dog is anxious about the food, there could be a conflict.
  • Don't change your dog's sleeping arrangements. If he sleeps in your bedroom, you'll have to decide whether the new dog will sleep there too. That may be the only way to avoid a lot of distress on the part of the new dog. He may have to be crated, though, at least in the beginning, to avoid problems during the night when you would be unprepared to intervene.
  • Very few dogs coexist without disagreements. A stare, a lifted lip or a growl is a normal dog signal that he’s uncomfortable with something another dog is doing. Often the recipient of these signals will stop and move away—this is appropriate. There is likely to be some of this at first. As the dogs become more comfortable with each other they should do less of this, but punishing them can have very negative results. It can turn uncertainty into fear and aversion and result in ongoing conflict between the dogs.
  • Supervise and distract as needed to make sure serious conflicts don't arise, but don't punish this sort of behavior. Examples of serious conflicts I include staring that cannot be interrupted, hard stiff muscles and posturing that lasts more than a few seconds, or full-contact fights. Please also monitor for excessive "bullying" behavior from one dogs towards another. If you notice that one dog is repeatedly avoiding eye contact and interactions, rolling over onto his back, or attempting to escape from the other dog. This can be an indication that one dog is uncomfortable and fearful and that the other dog is not appropriately responding to his avoidance cues.
  • Don't leave the dogs together when they are alone in the house until you're reasonably sure that they are comfortable with each other. The new dog especially may be very anxious when left with your dog at first. If they can be crated, fine; if not, perhaps they can be gated apart. It may be difficult to separate them behind closed doors. Leave them for very short periods at first to make sure no problems arise when you're gone.
  • Supervise play between the dogs at first. Dogs who are not well acquainted may do some rough play at first and this can result in growling or snapping. Be prepared to distract and redirect the dogs to another activity if play becomes too intense. As the dogs become more familiar with each other they usually learn to modulate their play.
  • Any situation that raises the level of excitement in your environment should be avoided at first. The More time the dogs have to become acquainted before they have to deal with visitors or other Disturbances the better. If you have children, do not let them or their friends interact with the two Dogs without adult supervision.
  • Remember that the new dog will have no idea at first how to signal that he needs to eliminate. Treat Him as though you were beginning to housetrain him until he understands your routine. Try not to let Him have accidents in the house; sometimes one dog will mark over the elimination of the other Leading to house soiling problems.
  • As time goes on you'll learn more about the new dog's personality, but be careful at first of Overwhelming him. People should not hug or kiss him, and there should be no rough play.
  • Especially at first, avoid doing things to either dog that require restraint, such as grooming or Bathing, in front of the other. A dog may attack the restrained dog if he is anxious about him.
  • When using treats during daily activities, be sure there are plenty for each dog. You might start out With less attractive treats so as to avoid aggression over them.
  • Be patient and keep in mind most dogs get along well once they are accustomed to each other.

How To Introduce A New Puppy To Your Dog - Tips And Guide

The arrival of a new puppy into your home can be a stressful time for everyone. It's an exciting and happy Event, but it also means your dog has to make some adjustments. You'll want to do all you can to Minimize the stress and give your dog the best chance for a happy, healthy relationship with your new Puppy. When you bring your new puppy home, keep him in a separate room from your dog. This way the Smells of the new puppy don't overwhelm your dog and cause him to feel threatened.

(I hope this article might help you. Share your thoughts in the comment section below )

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Ashly

Hey yaa! Im Ashly and I love pets. Growing up in a house with 2 dogs, a cat, a parrot and many furry rodents; it was natural for me to have a profound affection for them. I created GenerallyPets.com to create useful guides and articles on looking after your furry friends. The advice given on this site is our views and expertise, please consult a VET prior to testing anything. Hope my site helps you :)

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