How To Introduce A New Puppy to an Older Dog
Before you plan on bring your new puppy home try as much as you can to choose a puppy breed that is compatible with the breeds you already have. Bear in mind that any dog in your household considers the house to be his territory and so a new addition must be handled with care.
My Bodagero that I brought back from Spain and who does not allow the other 2 dogs into our bedroom is testimony to that!
Doing this correctly from the beginning will ensure an easy landing from day one.
It might be an idea to do the introduction on neutral ground so your resident dog does not feel threatened and territorial. For example a neighbors garden or yard and if either of these are not available then a park, field anywhere that is close and easy from the house.
As dogs are very good at picking up our emotions they will pick it up if you are tense and so it is better if they meet off the lead. Also when a dog is on a lead this can result in a fearful aggression especially if he or she feels that the lead will prevent them getting away from the new dog. If you can put some sort of barrier between them then it leaves time for the novelty factor to wear off before they come nose to nose.
This would be especially important if you were introducing a small dog such as one of the small terrier breeds to a great Dane as one friendly flip from the great Danes paw in his excitement could break the other dog’s back.
If you cannot find a neutral place then take them on a walk together with 2 different people handling each leash. Give them enough room to move but not enough to get into nose sniffing range in order to keep the tension of pulling on the leash low.
Have treats with you and if any eyeballing starts make sure you distract the dog with the treat. Do this for about 10 minutes before you allow any contact.
Once the dogs seem happy in meeting and no tension is in the air then allow them to touch and sniff each other and keep the leads loose. They will do the usual sniff greetings and watch them at all times to make sure that no conflict starts to rise. As they are sniffing in all sorts of places call each dog away for a treat and this makes sure that the mood stays calm and no tension develops.
If one of the dogs shows signs of playing then great news. The usual signs are when the front end goes down and back end up.
If the dog yawns the signal to the other dog is “I am no treat”
Of course with a new puppy the puppy may lick the other dogs face and mouth and might roll over to his back telling the other dog that he is no threat.
Let them play for a short while and then cut the meeting.
Once they have met in neutral territory then take them to the house or yard and repeat above.
Of course it makes common sense that if you have more than one dog do this one at a time.
In addition if you are bring the new puppy into the house make sure all your other dogs are out of the house so that they find the puppy there when they come in.
Dog will work out their social status pretty quickly and as long as you are there to supervise then all will be under control.
Personally if I was not there I would leave the puppy closed off from the other dogs with a dog gate or something similar as jealousy can cause dogs to react and you need to be around to control this.
There are many of people who feel that getting a new dog is a great idea to keep their other dog company and then what happens is that fights start and behavior issues raise their ugly head.
It is a good idea to get another dog but make sure you but do it properly.
Here is a list of Do’s and Don’ts
• Take both the established dog and the new dog to a neutral setting. This will reduce any territorial issues
• Keep both dogs on leashes and approach slowly. If you do not have a friend to hold the other dog, keep one dog confined in a car or crate.
• If all is going well, bring the dogs home, but leave them outside for a while but make sure you watch them for any signs of territorial marking.
• Allow the dogs to establish their pack order without your intervention.
• Do NOT try to force sharing of toys, beds, or dishes. Each dog should have his own place and when you feed them feed and the dominant dog first.