Are you bringing a new puppy home to your older dog? Here’s how to handle this the right way and ensure the pup is accepted
When you’re introducing a pup to an older dog, you need to make sure that you are taking a few steps before the first meeting. Put your current dog’s toys away and this will help avoid territorial behaviour. You also need to make sure there are spaces available for both dogs to be separate and get two food fishes, one for each dog. Crates are a good option for providing separate space where both dogs feel secure.
Keep Things Neutral
Remember, to your dog, your home is their territory. Any dog entering this territory is always going to be seen as an intruder. While some dogs are completely open to pups invading their space, you can’t assume this will be the case. Let them meet outside with both on leads. Don’t hold them back or pull them away. Allow them to sniff one another. It should be a quick meeting and you need to stay calm. If you are stressed, your dog will be too and might perceive the new dog as a threat.
Keep A Close Eye
Once the initial meeting is over you can bring both dogs inside. They need to be monitored for a couple of weeks and shouldn’t be left alone together. The problem here is pups don’t always recognise social signs. So, they may want to play when an older dog wants to be left alone. You should be prepared to break up any potential scuff but be aware sometimes dogs will play together. It might seem aggressive when in reality it’s bonding.
You do however have to be wary of bullying by the older dog or acts of dominance by the pup. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is holding the pup in your arms. This is going to make an older dog envious and potentially more aggressive.
Reward Good Behaviour
As you watch the two, make sure that you pay attention to what can be considered good behaviour. Praise signs of affection such as licking or nuzzling and potentially consider providing treats like the ones available from https://barkingheads.co.uk/collections/dog-treats. As they become familiar with one another, you can play with them together and train them together. You can make sure that they feel as though they are both important members of the family and guarantee that they both get attention.
As well as spending time with both together, you should make sure that you are spending solo time with the two as well. This includes both walks and play. Both dogs should be able to develop an individual bond with you and maintain this. You also want to think about providing them with individual toys and playthings too.
Dogs will quickly learn what is theirs or what is someone else’s and this type of behaviour can also be trained.
Finally, do make sure that you feed them in separate areas of your home. It’s important to do this to avoid territorial behaviour and ensure that neither feels threatened at what can be a vulnerable time.