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Do you have a new puppy? How to introduce him/her to your other dogs?

April 10th, 2019

If you’re thinking of adding a new dog to your family, think of your motivations: do you want another dog to have a bigger family or do you expect that the new member will be a good companion for the ones you already have? Be sure that your intentions may be the best, but the result is unpredictable. However, here are some tips to make the introduction of the new dog a smooth experience:

  • Try to make the introduction during a weekend, when you will be available for the whole day. It’s advisable to observe and supervise and not to leave the dogs alone before they can get acquainted to each other and feel comfortable;
  • Consider which type of dog you already have, when choosing a new one. For example, if you have an old quiet dog with health problems, a very active puppy it’s not a good match. One dog wants to rest and the other is very energetic. You’ll have to “protect” the older dog from the puppy so that he/she doesn’t disturb the older one;
  • Think about the sex of the new dog. Some people say that females get well with male dogs, and male with males. But sometimes the combination female and female is most likely to result in conflict …
  • It’s better to introduce the dogs in a neutral area, rather than inside your own home. You’ll need an adult for each dog. Both dogs should be on leashes for control, but try to allow some room, so that they don’t feel completely restrained. Walk for a while, with a distance between the two. The walk should end at your home. Try to enter with both quickly, so that one doesn’t react to the other later;
  • Make sure you have a bed for each dog and individuals water/food bowls too. Feed your older dog as he is used to and the new dog in a different area;
  • It’s common that your older dog may keep the new one away from things that he regards as important such as his bed, the family room or even yourself. The new dog can also try to keep the older dog away from him.  Don’t punish the dogs! Instead, be a kind of mediator, trying to accommodate their needs.