How to introduce a new puppy to my dog: Very few experiences compare to the thrill of getting a new dog. However, bringing a new canine to a home with a resident dog can be challenging. That’s especially true if the resident dog is considerably older than the new addition to the family.
But following specific expert tips can make the introduction easier and help the two strangers get along much faster. Read below for a comprehensive guide on introducing a new puppy to an older dog.
Getting the Right Pup
The most crucial step on how to introduce a new puppy to your dog is to start by adopting the right pup. There are two key ways to go about that.
First, you’ll need to choose the right dog breed. This mainly entails selecting a breed that gets along well with your resident dog.
It’s undeniable that any dog breed can live harmoniously if adequately trained and socialized early enough. However, certain breeds are predisposed to aggression and territoriality. Such canines may find it difficult to get along with one another. Examples include the following;
- German Shepherds
- American Staffordshire Terriers
- Cane Corso
- Perro de Presa Canarios
- Doberman Pinschers
- Chow Chows
- English Bulldog
- Great Dane
If you already have any of the above dog breeds as your resident canine, you’ll do well to get a puppy of the same breed. Otherwise, extra training and socialization will be required for the two canines to live harmoniously.
The next step is to ensure both dogs are up-to-date on their vaccinations. That’s because certain canine illnesses are easily transferable from older dogs to younger ones, even if the former had already been vaccinated for such diseases.
Vaccination also ensures the new pup won’t grapple with parasites like Coccidia and Giardia, as well as internal worms. Besides, it prevents you from incurring costly treatments for entirely preventable diseases.
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The Introduction Procedure
- Let the Two Dogs Get Acquainted First
When it’s finally time to introduce your new puppy to your older dog, the first thing to do is to let the older canine get acquainted with the new family member. There are several ways you can go about that.
For instance, you can have both dogs in separate cages but close enough to each other. This allows them to pick each other’s scents and sights. You could also have the dogs in different rooms in the same house. The older canine will be able to pick up fresh scents and vocalizations and know that there’s a new addition to the family.
There’s also the option of giving the older dog something that belongs to the new puppy, such as a blanket or toy. Allow him to sniff the item so he can get used to being in the presence of its rightful owner.
- Go To a Neutral Location Outdoors
After the initial stages of acquaintance, the next thing is to take both dogs to a neutral location outdoors. Ideally, this should be a spot that the current dog holds no claim to. Examples include the furthest ends of your backyard, a secluded spot in your flower garden, or even outside your compound.
Picking a neutral ground will mitigate any territorial behaviors by the older dog. It allows the two animals to engage without feeling like their personal space is being encroached upon.
You might consider introducing barriers (such as a playpen or gate) for a more controlled introduction. You could also have the older pet or both animals on a leash.
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- Take the Introduction Inside
Once the two dogs have met outside, it’s time to take the introductions inside your house. The goal is to have both pets understand that they’re members of one household.
But just like the outdoor introductions, select a neutral place indoors. An open space in your living room would do.
Avoid your bedroom because the older dog somewhat already lays claim to it. Also, remove the current dog’s items – toys, feeding bowls, bedding, etc. – from the room to avoid territorial behaviors.
- Go Slow On Sharing
After thorough introductions outdoors and indoors, it might be the best time to get the two dogs to share their stuff. Well, not so fast.
You want to go slow on sharing to avoid violent confrontations.
Ensure each dog has their feeding bowl, litter box, toys, crate, and playpen area during the first few days. Continue with neutrality as you gradually introduce the two pets to sharing.
- Insist On Regular Exercise
Regular exercise helps tire dogs down by allowing them to release their pent-up energy. Like humans, workouts can also guard against certain chronic diseases in canines.
Studies have shown that exercising with your canine could also benefit your physical and mental health.
The trick is to hit the trail with both dogs, not just one. With more time spent working out together, the two canines will eventually become more comfortable in each other’s company.
Photo Credit: Pixabay.com
Introducing a new puppy to an older dog is easier if you only follow the above tips. As a bonus point, establish a hierarchical system, where the older canine is fed, bathed, and groomed first. He won’t really mind who gets the first treatment on a long enough timeline.