Bringing your new puppy home is such as exciting time that it’s easy to overlook the impact it could have on the well-being of your current dog.
Here are some do’s and don’ts to consider when introducing your puppy to your dog for the first time, helping them to build a bond with one another, and to get off on the right paw!
- DO get a new set of bowls, toys and bedding for your puppy before you bring them home. Expecting your adult dog to share will not aid their friendship!
- DON’T expect that just because your dog has a great temperament with other dogs, they will be tolerant of the new puppy. The two will probably have very different playing styles and your dog is likely to find the puppy exhausting at first.
- DON’T punish your dog if they growl or bare their teeth to the puppy. It’s a form of communication and – so long as there is no physical contact involved – it’s a good way for the puppy to know they have overstepped the mark. The only adult dog a puppy is likely to have met before joining your family is its own mother, who was probably more tolerant than your dog is!
- But… DO know when to step in. If the puppy has made a noise indicating that they are in pain and the adult dog is still not backing off, now is time for you to intervene.
- DO provide separate areas for the puppy and your dog in the early stages, to give them some quiet time, and a break from each other. This could be in the form of a puppy crate, or simply just separate rooms with a doggy gate preventing access.
- DO always supervise your two dogs together, for the first few months. If this is not convenient on occasion, take your puppy for a walk to tire them out before putting them into their cage or separate room, where they should (hopefully) fall asleep.
Best of luck!