Introducing New Puppy To Older Dog

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Introducing New Puppy To Older Dog

by Michael Royce

If you?ve got your heart set on a new puppy but you?re worried about introducing your new puppy to your older dog, here?s some advice that can ease your mind a bit. All you need is a little bit of understanding and a plan. Then you?ll be fine.

Lay The Groundwork

Before you bring that new puppy home, make sure you've already set up his living space. He's going to need separate quarters from your older dog so arrange something that can belong to just him. Having a large enough carrier or crate can be very helpful in defining that space. Even an old box can do in a pinch. Just make sure it?s set up ahead of time.

Set aside enough time for the big event. You?re not introducing two businessmen and walking away you know. You?re introducing two carnivores to each other. You might have to stick around and handle some issues. Don?t underestimate the time commitment. At least have an entire free evening to work with. A free weekend would be even better.

Make The Introduction

Expert trainers will tell you that introducing a new puppy to an older dog should be done on neutral ground; something your older dog doesn't feel he owns. You don't have to drive out to the beach, but you shouldn't make the introduction in your older dog's favorite napping area either. Find something as neutral as possible (even if it's your apartment kitchen or bathroom) and go from there.

Include a friend to help if you can. It's great to have someone to hold each dog when they first meet. Then the two amigos can both be stroked and soothed and kept calm. And just in case your older dog has an overly aggressive first reaction, the dogs can be easily and quickly separated.

When the dogs first meet, let them sniff each other as much as they?d like (remember to keep your eye?s skinned for signs of aggression though). If the sniffing goes well, you can give them a little more freedom to move around each other and make their initial ?doggie-hello.? Depending on their behavior, you can let this exploration go on for several minutes. It?s up to you. At some point though, I think it?s a good idea to whisk the puppy back to his space and keep him there while you spend some extra, quality time with your older buddy.

Work Through The "Getting To Know You" Period

Keep repeating the introduction from above. Over time (days probably) your new pals will start to get used to each other. Dogs are, after all, pack animals and so they?re sort of engineered to get along on some level. And most dogs accept puppies pretty easily. So you should see them adjust and accept each other pretty quickly.

While they?re going through this adjustment period, your puppy will be learning how to interpret all the signals your older dog sends out to him. Sometimes these signals will be growls or snarls; this is perfectly natural so don?t worry. It?s just your older dog?s way of letting your puppy know his place in the pack.

As they get more comfortable with each other, you can increase the time they spend together but make sure to supervise it closely until you?re comfortable that they?re getting along well. Reward whatever good behavior they exhibit towards each other to help that along too.

It?s also a good idea to feed them separately during this time. Your puppy probably won?t be able to tell the difference between his food and your older dog?s food and if he wanders over to your older dog?s bowl, it could incite an aggressive outburst by your older buddy. Better safe than sorry.

Last But Not Least

Lastly, remember that you?ll need to spend some extra time with your older dog. He?ll need it emotionally because he?s the one that feels a little left out. That attention will make him happy and it will have the added bonus of helping him accept the puppy that much more quickly.

Introducing a new puppy to an older dog isn?t rocket science; it?s just common sense. Take your time, be smart, and enjoy. Owning two dogs can be fun!

Hope this helps and thanks for reading.

Did you know that introducing new puppy to an older dog is just one of many issues a dog owner may need to face? Need help facing some of the others? Then check out

Introducing New Puppy To Older Dog.

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