Introduce a New Puppy to an Older Dog
Introducing a new puppy to an older dog can be a delicate process.
When you decide to add a new puppy to your household, there could be some problems if you have an existing dog. Your resident dog, who has received all the attention up until now, might not like having to share your love and affection. If you do not know how your current dog will react to a new puppy, you need to take precautions when making the dog introductions.
If you have an existing dog with some behavior problems you may want to address those problems before bringing a new dog or puppy home. Some bad behaviors can transfer to the new pet. Dogs learn by example from other dogs pretty easily. If aggression seems to be the problem it may be jealousy. The nature of the aggression must be identified before you can address it. You may also want to take into consideration the physical condition of your current animals. If you have an old dog with health problems, he or she may be too fragile to be around a new puppy. People will sometimes go into shelters or pet stores looking for a puppy to motivate their older dogs. Older or calm dogs are pretty content as they are and may be annoyed and very unhappy with a puppy's rowdy behaviors. A personality and energy match for your current pets is the best match, but if you do end up with a puppy and older dog, here are some suggestions we can offer.
Separation is a good idea at first. Having the new puppy in the house is enough for your older dog to get used to, let alone having to deal with the puppy nipping, barking and playing with their toys and bed. Try to have the puppy be in a room that your adult dog doesn’t spend a lot of time in at first. Bathrooms tend to work well for this because the older dog is probably not used to hanging around in there much. You can even use a crate or kennel. One important thing to remember is to train, feed, and play separately. You must remember to give equal time to both pets to keep the jealous behavior to a minimum.
To be sure that your pets stay healthy, it’s very important to have the new puppy examined by a veterinarian before introducing them to the older pets. A veterinarian can examine the pet and lessen the threat of disease to your existing pets. You can also treat for fleas and other parasites before bringing the new pet into the home.
To introduce the new pet, pick a neutral area. Somebody else’s yard, or even have someone meet you walking down the street. Both of the dogs must be on leashes and under control. If you have more than just the one dog already, introduce them one at a time to the newest puppy. Start with the friendliest of them. You can start by having a friend and not a family member hold the puppy in their arms and letting your adult dog take a sniff. Separate the dogs and put the puppy down and let the dogs approach each other at their speed. You must remember to stay relaxed during this process. The dogs can sense if you are anxious. Verbal support, such as “good boy/girl!” reinforces any good behavior. If there is any aggression from either side you, will have to take a break and try again a little bit later. If the aggression continues, consult a guide or trainer. Allow the dogs to spend five to ten minutes together at a time and then proceed. We have put together some tips for introducing your new dog to an old dog.
Always start with small romps. Allow the dogs supervised access to one another for the first week or so. Slowly they will form a good bond and can be trusted alone. Depending on the dogs, these romps can be five minutes to an hour or longer. Pick the largest play area possible so the dogs have room to move around. I like to use the yard. If the older dog repeatedly shows signs of fatigue or aggravated behavior such as to avoiding the puppy, growling or snapping. Remember to remove all toys from this mutual play area to avoid possible aggression over these toys. The puppy is still a baby until they reach one year and because of this they don’t always recognize the signs of aggression.
Introducing a new puppy to an older dog doesn't have to be a bad thing, but you need to worry about your new puppy picking up on bad behaviors. Puppies learn from other dogs better than humans, which is another reason to limit time at first with the older dog. The dog must learn from us the good and bad before they learn from the other dogs. Although the other dogs can teach the puppy things that we can’t it is better to supervise most of their time together. Walks in the park, around the neighborhood and dog parks together can reinforce the positive “fun things happen when the dogs are together” thoughts in both dogs. Puppies before the age of 4 months may not be familiar with subtle body gestures from adult dogs that are signals they have had enough. Well-socialized adult dogs with good temperaments can set limits with puppies with a growl, bark or snarl. This behavior should be allowed to happen. Adults that are not well socialized, or who have existing behavioral problems of fighting with other dogs may attempt to set limits with more aggressive behaviors. Biting which can hurt the puppy should not be allowed. Always supervise the two dogs if this is the case.
For the most part, older dogs adjust to puppies pretty easily since the penalty of problem behaviors can be severe it is wise to follow a slower introduction process. To ensure all goes well with adding a new puppy to your home always take it slow and remain calm. A good dog training guide is the best way to accomplish this task. We recommend Secrets to Dog Training. We have used this guide to train many dogs and it works wonders. Do yourself a favor and check this guide out if you help to get yor old dog to take to the new puppy.
Good luck with your new puppy!
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