Adopting an adorable new pup is exciting for every pet parent, but it can be a stressful situation when you already have a senior dog in your home. If you’re introducing a new puppy to an old dog, you can do a few things to make their first meeting as smooth as possible.
Tips For Introducing A New Puppy To An Old Dog
Before the Formal Hi and Hello
It’s normal for dogs to manifest protective behaviours, especially when a new puppy is around. They can freeze, growl, lunge, and be aggressive. Large breeds can throw their weight around, and if the old dog is a tiny breed, the bigger breed puppy can hurt the senior dog when they play.
Before introducing a new puppy to an older dog, research whether their breeds are a good fit. Ultimately, as a pet parent, you’re familiar with the temperament of your senior furbaby, so proceed with the introduction, but with caution.
Ensure Vaccines are Up To Date
Take both dogs to the vet to ensure they don’t have ticks, fleas or other contagious diseases.
Before Bringing Them to Your Home
Find Neutral Grounds
Take them to neutral locations such as a park, training centre or a neighbour’s garden to avoid territorial behaviour.
Use a Leash/Fence
Keep both dogs on a relaxed leash to get familiar with each other’s scent. Alternatively, you can take them to a fenced outdoor area. Give them space and time to socialise but pay close attention to early signs of aggression.
Take Them for a Walk
Walking both dogs is an excellent way for them to recognise each other’s presence. Ensure they are on a leash long enough to have some distance between them.
Follow their Lead
Watch their body language and only loosen the leash when they look at ease with each other.
Welcoming the New Puppy to Your Home
Start at the Outdoor Areas
Let them play in your garden, which is not neutral ground anymore, so move slowly and be attentive to their behaviours. Make sure they’re still relaxed and separate them calmly at the first sign of anxiety or aggression.
Inside your House
Once they get familiar with each other enough outside the home, bring them inside the home. Closely monitor how they interact. Young pups tend to be super playful and curious, which can irritate older dogs. Ensure you have a way of separating them, such as pet gates or different rooms.
It’s lovely to see your older dog and your new pup getting acquainted, but it’s still necessary to have their own belongings – their own food and water bowls, toys, beds.
Introducing a New Puppy to an Old Dog: Patience is Key
When introducing a new puppy to an old dog, take your time and do not rush the process; Patience is definitely necessary! Proceed with caution and pay attention to each dog, especially your senior fur buddy. Focus on them a little more, especially during the first few weeks, to prevent territorial behaviour, anxiety and jealousy.
The adage “You can’t teach old dogs new tricks.” may be true in some cases, but you can still train them to love a new pup as the family’s newest member.