You’ve made the decision to adopt a new puppy – congrats!
Bringing home a pup can be one of the most exciting times for a family… but how will your other pets react?!
Unfortunately, your other dogs won’t always appreciate sharing the attention with a new sibling and may even have some territorial issues if the introduction is not done properly.
To make sure that you’re prepared on how to introduce your new pup into your home and don’t make the common mistake of throwing the dogs together from the start, pay close attention to the following tips:
1️⃣ Find a neutral setting to introduce the dogs
If your dog has a territorial instinct or is protective of your home, you definitely don’t want to throw a new puppy into your home with your other dog and let them “figure it out”. Even if your dog is NOT territorial, it’s best to be on the safe side and introduce the dogs in a neutral setting outside of your home (at a park, in the driveway, etc).
2️⃣ Work to get the older dog’s focus on you
This step is the one that most people get wrong. They allow their older dog to completely zone in on the puppy when you would actually rather have majority of your dog’s focus on YOU. Start with the older dog and pup on opposite ends of your location of choice about 50 feet apart with the older dog on leash and the puppy either on leash or being held. Allow your older dog to look at the puppy and then work to get his focus back to you. Reward the older dog when he looks to you. This will help your dog associate the new pup with positivity.
3️⃣ Slowly work closer to the puppy
Keep the puppy stationary and gradually work closer and closer to the puppy, continuing to make your dog look at you and reinforcing this behavior with a treat or other reward before moving forward.
4️⃣ Introduce the dogs for a quick & controlled introduction
When you get about 5-10 feet away, use the advice I’ve given in other videos about how to conduct a controlled introduction. Remember that we want the intro to be short and positive. Tell your older dog to go “say hi” to the pup for 2 seconds then call him back. If the greeting is positive, double the time of the next greeting to 4 seconds, 8 seconds, etc. Take your time while doing this, a proper greeting of the pup should not be rushed. Allow your dog to get comfortable around the pup before bringing both of them inside or letting them play off leash. Prevention and structure is the best way to ensure a positive introduction for this new and exciting experience!
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Kaelin Munkelwitz is the dog trainer of the new age.
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