Dear Dog, meet Dog.
So, you’ve decided to get another dog! This golden delicious ball of fluff is going to make a great addition to your family and you are excited to introduce them to your other fur baby! While some dogs may openly welcome a new forever friend in the home, other dogs may be a bit trepidatious and wary. Here are a few ideas that may be helpful for when you introduce your puppy and dog to make the transition go smoothly!
First off, it’s important to have realistic expectations for both your dog and your new puppy. Just as a child may not be excited to have a new brother or sister at first, your dog may feel the same way towards the new puppy. While both dogs are a part of your family, there may be an adjustment period for your dogs to learn how to love and appreciate each other.
Before your dog and puppy meet each other for the first time, we highly recommend getting both your
puppy and dog’s excess energy out separately. Take them out for a long walk, let them run around in a park, play a fun game of fetch or tug-of-war, whatever they enjoy really. Wearing out the dogs will help to keep them a bit calmer for the new change.
Once the dogs are good and tired, we recommend introducing the dogs to each other on neutral ground. Neutral ground means a place that neither dog considers to be theirs, including inside the house, and the front or backyard. This will prevent your dog from feeling territorial and invaded. Also, keep in mind that a dog park is not a good place to have your dogs meet. There will be too many distractions (smells, other dogs, new people, etc.). A place neither dog is super familiar with and where the dogs can focus on each other is best.
While both dogs are learning how to love and live with each other, your dog may growl, or in their own way, let your puppy know that what they are doing is unacceptable. They are simply letting the puppy know that they need to stop what they are doing now, helping the puppy to learn social skills. While this is not necessarily a bad thing, just be sure to always supervise your pets and if necessary, separate them to avoid any potential problems. If you ever feel like your dog is getting aggressive or unfriendly in trying to teach your puppy social skills, intervene, separate your dog and puppy and give both of them some space away from each other. Crate training is a great way to give your dog and your puppy their own safe place.
Overall, the most important thing is to make this a positive experience for both you, your dog, and your new puppy. Positive language, affection, and even treats can go a long way in introducing your dogs together. Be sure to let your new puppy know that he is loved and welcomed and your other dog that she is loved and not being replaced!