Adopting a new puppy is an exciting time for a pet parent, but if you have an adult dog at home, you may be wondering how to introduce them. Puppies won’t see the world in the same way as your older dog and it can be tricky predicting how they’ll get on together. The key to a successful introduction is preparation and patience to ensure your new puppy and your older dog have the best start together.
Our handy guide looks at the best way to introduce your new puppy to your other dogs to ensure they become pawsome pals.
Preparing for the Introduction
Before bringing your puppy home, you need to make plans to safely introduce your new pet to your older dogs. While some adult dogs welcome canine companionship, others may not be as welcoming to a puppy. To find out which dog breeds are better suited to a multi-pet household before adopting, why not take our Dog Breed Decider Quiz?
Some of the steps you can take to prepare your older pup for the new arrival include putting away their favourite treats and toys to minimise territorial behaviour, creating safe spaces in your home where both dogs can escape if they need to, and buying separate food bowls to prevent possessive aggression. It’s also important to make sure that both dogs are up-to-date on their vaccinations to avoid the risk of disease.
During the Introduction
Your dog will see your home as his house and may show territorial behaviour towards a new pet. To limit this aggression, find a neutral area to introduce your new puppy to your older dog like a park, a neighbour’s house or training centre. The initial meeting should be relatively quick and it’s important to maintain a calm temperament as the owner. Your older dog will be able to sense any tension and may be more likely to show stress or aggression as a result.
Be sure to keep your older dog on a lead and have a trusted friend hold the puppy as you get set up, although you should let them sniff and interact with one another where possible to give them a chance to bond. Don’t restrict either of them too tightly so they have the chance to get away if they need to.
Entering your Home
Once your dog and puppy have met in a neutral space, you should repeat the introduction at home in your garden, off the lead if it’s fenced. Be sure to call the puppy and dog apart if you see them getting too overexcited, and reward both with treats for a positive meeting. If you’re looking for a tasty treat to give to your puppy, why not try our Webbox Dream Treats Stuffed Twists?
For the first week or two, both dogs should be carefully monitored to make sure that they are comfortable with one another. Be sure to stick to your older dog’s feeding and exercise routine and begin establishing a schedule for your puppy to provide the necessary structure. Watching your older dog’s body language carefully during this time will help you determine whether they’re getting along.
Your new puppy won’t understand your older dog’s body language just yet, so you may need to intervene if you sense trouble. Some of the signs you need to look out for include raised fur, prolonged stares, growling, snarling, bared teeth and a hunched or raised back. It’s a good sign if your dogs want to play together, with some encouraging body language including a wagging tail, happy barking, licking each other’s faces and rolling on their backs.
Introducing your puppy to other dogs: What not to do
X - Don’t keep the puppy in your arms during the introduction, as they need to be able to get away if needed
X - Don’t force them to spend time together before they’re ready
X - Don’t stop spending quality time with both dogs separately
X - Don’t let them share a crate or toys and make sure both dogs have their own space
X - Don’t ever let the two dogs fight or allow the older dog to bully the puppy
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