Puppies are playful, rambunctious fur-balls of energy. This is an endearing trait to us humans, but bringing a new puppy into a household where other dogs already reside can be taxing. Even if your adult dog is initially unhappy with the turn of events, you can make the transition easier.
What Not To Do
Don’t leave your new puppy and adult dogs unattended, unless you place them in different closed-off rooms. While your dog with seniority is assuredly a sweetheart, he or she will be less inclined to have patience with the junior resident. To eliminate any chance of harm to either one, try to bring in a new puppy only when you have substantial time to spend at home.
Don’t feed them near each other. Understandably, your adult kid wants to make sure his or her seniority is acknowledged by you and the puppy. Young animals (and human children) are curious little things, and your puppy will want to check out the contents of the other dogs’ bowls—thereby unintentionally challenging your adult dogs’ authority. There is a good chance that they will not take to this kindly, and may even snap at your defenseless puppy. It’s best to have your dogs on a feeding schedule, so that you can monitor them while they eat.
Don’t neglect your dog in favor of your puppy. While you would never intend to do this, sometimes it happens inadvertently. Puppies are constantly getting into trouble—chewing on various items, urinating numerous times per hour, and just being so adorably and irresistibly huggable. Try not to let these things distract you from your faithful and loyal companion, who has shown you years of love and adulation.
The Best Time to Introduce Your New Puppy
When your puppy is tired from expending his or her energy, you can introduce the little one to the big ones. Remember that the high level of activity in a puppy probably will make your adult dogs anxious and irritated. Just as your parents don’t want to raise a new set of little kids, and your older sibling didn’t want to babysit you—your dog doesn’t want to raise or babysit puppies. That’s your job. Your big dog’s only job is to be your big baby.
Introducing a new puppy may happen in stages. If you are lucky, your dog will be just as enamored of the puppy as you are. If you are not so lucky, then you will have some training to do for both dogs and puppy. Always be within reach of the puppy when you are introducing him or her; you may need to intervene very quickly.
While we want all of our dogs to be comfortable and happy, we also need to instill good behavior in them. Dogs with seniority should know that they are loved and treasured, but they must be discouraged from unfounded growling or snapping at the puppy. Similarly, the puppy needs to be encouraged to keep their distance from irritable canine denizens, and they should be discouraged from biting and chewing on anything other than their toys.
Don’t fret—usually bringing a new puppy home is a rewarding and fun experience for everyone involved—dog or human. As long as you are vigilant and consistent, the newfound siblings will share your home peacefully and contentedly.
By Gabrielle Allemeier
Cesar’s Way: Introducing a Puppy to Older Dogs
About the Author
Gabrielle Allemeier volunteers her free time as an animal rescuer and foster pet parent. As an animal lover, she enjoys sharing the knowledge she has gained from her experience with a variety of animals. Along with being an animal lover, Gabrielle is a globetrotter. She lives in Los Angeles, California with her terrier, Thisbe.