The day a new puppy joins your household will be full of joy and love. Hopefully, you already have puppy socialization and training courses scheduled with us here at All Dogs Unleashed! If your puppy is the proper age to leave mama, she’s also the proper age to begin to learn good habits. If you already have a dog at home, let’s ensure you have the tools to prepare your dog for a new puppy.
What Is Your Dog’s Personality?
How does your dog react to other dogs? Is he gentle and friendly? Hyper and overzealous? Shy and withdrawn? (Hopefully not aggressive—this would be a major red flag, and good reason to avoid introducing another animal of any type or age.)
If your dog is friendly and patient with other dogs, a puppy should integrate into your home seamlessly. Your new puppy will undoubtedly learn great social habits from your older dog and enjoy having a friend to keep him company when you aren’t home.
If your dog tends to be standoffish from other dogs or has refused to join playtime altogether, you will have to exercise patience, use proper introduction techniques, and should probably take time for further socialization classes for your older dog before you add a new puppy to your home.
Keep the First Meeting Neutral
A short walk side by side can be the perfect ice-breaker for your dogs. This signals that they are part of the same team, and can both trust you to guide them. They won’t feel as though they have territory to defend, and this happy activity will also help them shake off extra energy before they meet face-to-face.
Back at home, take the time to remove toys, dog beds, favorite blankets, and any other items that will cause your first dog to feel like he has something to defend from this tiny newcomer.
Make sure there are several water bowls laid out, but put food bowls away. Whatever you do, do not make the first meeting a time for meals or treats.
Teaching a Puppy (From Your Dog’s Perspective)
If you haven’t enjoyed observing a mother dog teaching her puppies how to behave, you must find videos of this interaction to watch. Mama dog is not at all worried about hurting her brood’s feelings. Instead, she quickly gives a brief snap and a snarl when they’ve crossed the line.
Do they receive milk or cuddles while they’re not behaving properly? Never.
When your older dog gives your puppy a firm correction like those a mama dog hands out, you know your puppy is in good hands. Do not correct your dog for behaving exactly as he’s supposed to.
You should only worry if your dog hurts your puppy, or refuses to leave her alone even when she backs off or stops the offending behavior. If you see these warning signs, separate them calmly, and take introductions back a step.
Training Is Key
We cannot stress enough how central proper training is for both puppies and older dogs alike. Two dogs who listen to you, respect you, and look to you for cues on behavior will be ten times more enjoyable than two dogs who act up, run off, or destroy your home.
Contact All Dogs Unleashed today, and we’ll get you set up with classes that are perfect for any age, stage, or behavioral challenge.