Bringing home a new puppy or adult dog is an exciting time—but if you already have pets, walking through the front door with your new dog can be a disaster if you’re not careful.
Continue reading to learn how to introduce a new puppy to your existing dog to ensure things go as smoothly as possible.
How do you bring home a new dog?
Luckily, bringing home a puppy isn’t the world’s greatest challenge. Take these measures to set yourself and your pets up for success:
- Introduce them on neutral territory: Even if your dog doesn’t seem particularly territorial, you should still introduce your new puppy to your dog on neutral ground. Take them both outside to meet each other instead of in the house.
- Walk the dogs together: After they’ve met for a few minutes, put them both on a separate leash and go for a walk. Keep them a safe distance apart, but make sure they’re parallel with one another. Try to separate them if they’re too fixated on one another.
- Let the dogs determine the introduction pace: There’s nothing worse than trying to force a friendship when you bring home a new dog. Let them meet each other at their own pace. Hopefully, they have fun playing from the get-go, but don’t be afraid to step in if one dog gets too aggressive.
- Pay attention to dogs’ body language: You can tell a lot about how the introduction is going by watching both dogs’ body language. Hair standing up on a dog’s back, teeth baring, a stiff-legged gait or a prolonged stare are a few signs that something’s not quite right.
Daily life after introductions
The work doesn’t stop after your dogs have met for the first time. Follow these tips to ensure their new lives (and yours) are as comfortable as possible:
- Monitor mealtimes: Even if your dogs seem to be getting along, you’ll need to be careful when they’re eating. Put the food bowls in different rooms, or set up a barrier in between the food bowls.
- Give each dog their own bed: Dogs can get highly territorial of their sleeping space. Even if one dog bed is big enough for both, give them their own bed to sleep in.
- Bring toys in slowly: You should’ve already hidden your dog’s toys before bringing the new one home—but be careful when you get the toy chest back out. Watch for defensive signs like standing over a toy or nipping to guard a toy.
- Separate when you’re away: The getting-to-know-you period can be stressful for dogs when you’re not in the room. Keep them separate when you’re not close by, even if it’s just for a few minutes.
Do you need some professional help?
By following all of these steps, you should have a happy home. But if you need help, bring your dogs to Canine Country Club for dog training. From standard obedience to how to introduce a new puppy, our licensed team knows everything about training.