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Bringing home a new pup can be quite exciting, but if you have been a single dog person all your life, we have a few tips to help you prepare the older dog for the entry of a new companion.
- Pause and think – Make sure you stop to think for a few minutes before you walk inside the door with the new pup. If your dog is friendly and likes to play with the other dogs and does it on a regular basis, it will be very easy to introduce him to the new dog. But, if he is a lone wolf and does not have a lot of experience in dealing with other dogs, it might take a while.
- House check – Make sure to give yourself a lot of time before the introduction. Even if you have decided that they should meet on neutral ground or outdoors, it would still be better if you pick out a room (for the initial interactions) and clear it of the toys, food bowls, bedding and anything else that your top dog considers to be his. This will keep possessive behavior at bay and avoid any instances of inter-dog aggression.
- Bring a friend – This is the easiest way to keep both the dogs separated on a tight leash. It might also be a good idea for you to grab a hold of your dog’s leash while your friend brings in the puppy. Bothe the dogs should get used to staying in the same room with the other, so it is important to start slow. Let them introduce themselves to each other when they are still attached to the leash.
- Manners – If the new pup gets really excited and starts licking the older dog all over, he might show his displeasure by snapping at the pup. This is his way of teaching some manners to the pup. Don’t panic in such situations as it is completely natural. However, it might be a good idea to have your friend pull the pup away.
- Crating – If your top dog is very aggressive towards the pup, you should think about continuing the introductions after getting a crate for the pup. You can also use a baby gate to make sure that they stay separated. This will allow them to socialize better and slowly get used to being in the presence of the other.
- Playtime – It is extremely important for both of them to get some playtime together. This will help them get adjusted to one another. However, make sure that you do not cut down on their individual playtimes. If you separate them too much, it might cause unwanted resentment. So you need to keep it well balanced.