Adding a puppy to the home is exciting for pet parents.
If you have an older dog, you may have a problem thinking of how to introduce the puppy to the “old guard”. Puppies have a lower understanding of the dog world.
However, with the right tips and some preparation, you can make sure their meeting goes as smoothly as possible. The following are a few proven tips you can use to your advantage.
Before The Introduction
The best way to start avoiding territorial behavior is putting away your older dog’s favorite toys and chews.
Create spaces in and out of your home where each dog can go to get away from the other dog. Possessive aggression should be prevented by ensuring each dog has its own food dish. Vaccinations should be kept up to date for each dog.
All this should be done before you bring the new puppy home.
During The Introduction
Your older dog considers your house his house. A neutral area to introduce the new puppy to the older dog is recommended. Hold the puppy on a leash and the older dog on a leash. Make sure you let them sniff each other, while they are on a leash. Hold them loosely, but by being careful. You don’t want to hold them too tight or too loose. The first introduction is relatively short and quick.
Make sure you are calm all the time. Your old dog is able to sense your tension. It is more likely to get stressed when you are tense. At the same time, the old dog will consider your emotions all through the introduction. Generally it reacts to a situation depending on your emotions and behavior.
Entering Your Home
For the first two weeks, the puppy and old dog should be monitored continuously. This will ensure the dogs are comfortable being in the same environment. Stick to your older dog’s routine. As for the puppy, you can establish a new routine. This will provide structure for the puppy while preventing a sudden change of routine for the older dog.
Watch each dog’s body language during the first several weeks. It will help you estimate how they are coping and reacting to each other. An old dog may not understand the language of a puppy and vice versa. For example, the older dog may show signs of tiredness or discomfort which the puppy may not understand during playtime.
Body language you should watch for include:
- Hunched back
- Display of teeth
- Prolonged stares
- Raised fur in the back or neck
What You Should Do
- Supervise the dogs at all times, especially during the first few weeks
- Allow them or play with supervision
- Positive interaction should be allowed and encouraged
- Spend quality time with each dog
- Feed them in separate areas
- Allow them to go to their crates when they want to
- Make introductions in a neutral area
- Let them get acquainted to each other at their own pace
What You Should Not Do
- Do not let your old and new dog share a crate. Make sure the puppy has its own crate to ensure each dog has its own space
- Never force the dogs to be together
- Avoid holding the puppy in your arm during introduction
- Never allow the dogs to fight
- Make sure the puppy is not bullied by the older dog