Did you just get a new puppy or are you thinking about getting one? Do you wonder how you can properly introduce your puppy to your dogs at home? Well, either way, we’re about to share five tips on how to give your newest family member a smooth transition into their new home.
Slow & Steady Wins the Race
Arguably the biggest step in any kind of dog training is not to rush anything. It’s likely going to take your new puppy some time to settle into its new home and build relationships with other pets and/or kids.
Your puppy should be thoroughly familiar and comfortable with their new home environment by the time you finish intentionally training them. When you socialize them at the right pace for the right amount of time, your puppy will be less anxious and happier as it goes through life.
Their First Meeting
When you’re going to introduce your new puppy to one of your older dogs, it’s best if they meet on neutral ground. This way, your older dog doesn’t get territorial and gives the puppy a negative first impression.
After their initial meeting, you can bring them back home separately and see how they interact in your yard. If everything goes well, take them inside and keep an eye on how they continue to act around each other.
Multiple studies indicate dogs pick up when their humans are anxious, then they become anxious themselves. Unless your puppy is in danger, refrain from sudden quick movements, speaking loudly/yelling, anything that could trigger them into aggressive behavior.
If one of the dogs is unusually irritable, they may be in pain or otherwise not feeling well. It’s best to remedy the situation, if at all possible, and then continue with the introduction. Remember, If you want your dogs to remain calm, then you should too.
Don’t Force Anything
Similar to going slow and steady, you should never force anything with introducing your puppy to your older dog(s). Their introduction and subsequent socialization should be a natural process.
Your older dog(s) might introduce themselves with a show of dominance. Dogs are pack animals, and they need to find where they fit in. If you have two dogs vying to be the alpha, then you should talk to a professional dog trainer so they can help you resolve the situation.
While we did just talk about not forcing anything, you do want to encourage your dogs to socialize. A couple of great ways to do this are going for a walk and going to the pet store together. This way, they’re together so they have the opportunity to interact but they’re not forced to.
Encouraging play is also a good idea, especially if your puppy is high energy and your older dog(s) are not. You can play with your puppy and have them burn up some energy, then see if your older dog(s) want to join in the fun. They might even get jealous and join in earlier, just be sure to watch for aggressive behavior.
As a puppy training and daycare facility, we offer a 6-week course to help the newest member of your family learn basic commands, such as “sit,” “down,” and “leave it.” We may add student requests to the course, such as potty training tips, on a case-by-case basis.
We also offer puppy daycare, which provides early socialization to puppies 12 weeks and older.