(The quiz is below.)
You are bringing a puppy into your home and you want to introduce it to your current adult dog.
The steps below are similar to the steps in the ‘Dog Meets Dog’ quiz but take into account that one dog is a puppy.
Of course, the steps are a rough guide because every puppy, every dog, and every dog owner, is different.
Step 1. Before you bring the ‘new’ dog home:
– hide your current dog’s toys if you think there might be conflict. (Or, buy so many for the puppy that there will be no conflict.)
– have plenty of tiny treats ready.
– have a separate feeding bowl ready for the puppy.
Step 2. Introduce the puppy to its new home. Do this as a weekend begins. While the puppy is exploring its new home and getting used to your dog’s scent, have someone take your current dog out.
Make your puppy’s exploration a pleasurable one by being friendly and by letting it find the occasional treat. And, give it opportunities to toilet because it doesn’t know where the exits are.
When the puppy finally appears to be comfortable in its new home it’s time for Step 3.
Step 3. Take your puppy out to meet your current dog. (Avoid parks if your puppy is not yet fully vaccinated.)
Put each dog on a leash and have them meet and sniff each other. Then leisurely walk them together. Get them used to each other’s company.
If you can tire the puppy out, do so.
Step 4. Bring them both home.
Let them roam your house and yard, but keep them together so they don’t forget that the other one is there and then later get a surprise. There is a good chance the two dogs will want to stay with one another.
Keep them supervised, even if you are sure your current dog won’t harm the puppy. In unusual circumstances, dogs can surprise.
If your current dog stiffens and stares at the puppy, distract it with a word. If necessary, give it a warning. If that doesn’t work, place your old dog on the lead and separate them.
If the puppy is bothering your current dog, restrain the puppy.
If your old dog gives the pup a snarl or a growl, that’s fine. That’s normal. It’s teaching the puppy what is expected of it. Hopefully, the puppy will respond (for a little while, at least).
Step 5. Keep supervising them to ensure the puppy doesn’t bother the old dog too much, and to ensure the old dog doesn’t become aggressive. Even though your old dog might be coping well with the puppy, it might become aggressive when it realises the visitor is here to stay.
To begin with, feed them in different places. (When you do finally choose to feed them together, supervise them until you feel comfortable there will be no fight.)
Step 6. Give each one special attention.
Your current dog will need lots of reassurance. Each day, have a family member spend one-on-one time with your current dog without the puppy interfering.
Give your puppy lots of attention too, without your other dog knowing about it. The puppy needs to know it is in a safe and loving environment.
Read literature on how to socialise a dog and do the quiz on the subject.
Step 7. Take them for regular walks.
As soon as your puppy’s vaccinations are complete take them both to the park and continue your puppy’s socialisation. Meanwhile, at home keep up the supervision to make sure the puppy doesn’t pester your dog too much. If you need to go out and leave them on their own, keep them in separate areas of the house.
Give your dog its toys if you think the two dogs won’t fight over them.\
Step 8. Relax.
When you are sure your dog won’t bite the puppy (no matter how trying that puppy may be) you can leave them together unsupervised. You can give them bones and chewable treats, knowing they won’t fight over them.