DOG / training & behavior
Introducing Your Dog to a New Puppy
How to help new pet introductions go smoothly
Patience, commitment and consistency are the keys to introducing a new puppy to your current dog. Not to worry, we’ll help you make the new arrangement a happy one.
Dog, meet puppy. Puppy, meet dog.
- Avoid territorial disputes. Try to make the first introduction between old and new dogs in a neutral spot, like a park. Keep each pet leashed and let them get to know each other for a few minutes. Lastly, walk the dogs home together with you between them.
- Cut down on jealousy. Your older pup will naturally feel possessive of their own toys, bones and other “personal” items if the newbie tries to take them. So until the puppy is more settled-in, put your older dog’s prized possessions away. Over the next couple of weeks you can sneak them back over to your older pooch, away from the new puppy. Give the puppy his or her own special treats and toys.
- Let your older dog lead the way. Dogs have a natural pack hierarchy and dynamic. Let your older dog teach your new puppy the house rules.
- Break it up. If your dogs fight, put a stop to it by making a loud noise or saying “No!” forcefully. If that doesn’t work, separate your dogs by putting a chair another large object between them. (Never try to separate your dogs with your hands because they may accidentally bite you.) If one dog is bullying the other, give the bully a time-out for a couple of minutes.
- Provide alone time. Make sure each dog has their own private space, such as a crate, to which they can retreat. It’s also important to give them some regular one-on-one time with you. You love all your fur children equally, after all!
- Reward good behavior. When your dogs play nicely, give them lots of praise. Soon the household will be harmonious!