How to Introduce Your New Puppy to Your Resident Dog
How to Introduce Your New Puppy to Your Resident Dog
A new puppy is an exciting but stressful experience for a resident dog and the rest of the household. If you decide to introduce a new puppy to your home, it is better to be prepared. You need to know what you are taking on and what to expect.
A multi-dog household is a different concept to having one dog in your home and does need a lot more management. The most important factor is to keep the peace and do the best to keep your resident canine companion happy as well as the new puppy.
Having patience when introducing a new dog to other pets will prevent problems. Taking it slow is crucial, and be prepared to spend a lot of time supervising interactions to avoid any conflicts which may arise.
Do not expect your resident friend to be happy to share their home with a new addition. Most dogs are territorial and the puppy will more than likely be seen as a trespasser. Dogs have different personalities, and some may experience the puppy as competition. It is best to be prepared for minor, or major, episodes of jealousy and some squabbles. The dynamics of the household will change very quickly once the new puppy arrives.
I recently adopted a new dog from a local animal shelter. Her name is Sadie and she is a six-month-old German Shepherd cross. She was abandoned at the center together with her five brothers and sisters. Sadie's name at the shelter was Sheba but we have so many dogs called Sheba in our little town so I decided to change her name to Sadie.
She seems to be happy with her new name, and with the help of treats she has managed to learn her new name in record time. So far my other dog Gonzo seems to be happy to share his home with her. But, I did do a lot of preparation before letting her in on his "patch".
There are some basic principles to follow when introducing a new puppy to a resident dog. If you have decided to take on the responsibility of a new puppy you should, first of all, consider adopting, or buying, a puppy of the opposite sex.
The best rule of thumb is to take on a female dog if you already have a male dog and vice versa. Male and female dogs are much less likely to cause fights than dogs of the same gender. Dogs that have been spayed or neutered are also less likely to cause problems. I decided to adopt a female dog as my little Yorkshire Terrier is a boy.
Doggie IntroductionsClick thumbnail to view full-size
Tips on How to Introduce Your New Dog or Puppy
I have had lots of experience with dogs, and have introduced new puppies to resident dogs before so I knew that preparation is the all-important factor. Over the years I have put together a list of what to do which I have share with anybody who would like to introduce a new puppy to their household.
More than likely your journey will start with a visit to a local animal shelter or breeder. You may fall in love with that special puppy, but the question is if your resident will feel the same. First rule of thumb is to realize how important it is to let the two dogs meet on neutral territory. Neutral territory can be in the playground of the shelter or in a quiet corner in a park.
The Importance of Wagging Tails
Keep both dogs on their leashes and let them say hello. Wagging tails is a good sign, and once you see wagging tails, you know that they are more likely to get on. If it is a secure area you could try letting them off the lead. All dogs react differently so make sure you are in control.
Some dogs will fight, others will start to play and others will do what Sadie and Gonzo did - totally ignore each other. They happily wandered around the playground at the shelter and after a while met up again with some more tail wagging. This was a very good sign, and I felt confident that they would get along.
Try to make sure that this first session ends on a positive note. If two dogs are playing happily together, it is better to end the session early. Ending on a positive note means both dogs will have happy memories of each other.
Preparing to Bring Your New Puppy Home
There are a lot of things which need to be done before you go ahead and bring your puppy home. All puppies love to play so it is important to make sure you are ready to play. Gonzo is a lot smaller than Sadie and he has is own selection of toys, so I decided to visit the local pet store and invest in toys for Sadie.
Remember that puppies love to chew so hard wearing toys are the best. Also, interactive toys such as Kong toys are some of the best toys you can invest in. Not only is there a huge range available, but all Kong toys are hard wearing.
Also invest in a good quality collar and leash. It is tempting to buy inexpensive stuff for your puppy but better quality products such as an adaptable dog collar should last. Your new family member also needs his or her own water bowl and food bowl.
If it is a small breed puppy you are introducing you may want to buy a dog bed as well, but sometimes it is better to wait as some puppies do have a tendency to chew their beds. Making up a temporary dog bed for a larger breed which is expected to grow, can save you money in the long run.
Tips on How to Care for Your Resident Dog
Your resident dog might be feeling neglected so it is important to give him or her some extra attention. You certainly don't want your old friend to think that you are replacing him or her. There are different ways of solving this problem, you could try some extra special treats, personal walkies and lots of cuddles.
Dogs are social animals and most of the time you will find that they start to enjoy spending time together. There may be some teething problems to start with but with the right guidance dogs normally settle down together. It is important to remember that dogs are pack animals, and you need to be the leader of the pack
How to Separate Space in the Home
The resident dog will feel territorial towards his space and you may need to create a separate space for the new dog. Baby gates are a superb solution to the problem.
There will be times when both dogs will need "time out". A baby gate will let them see each other but there will still be a barrier in between them.
Take it nice and slow, and find out how you can best make both dogs feel comfortable and content. Night time can sometimes be the most difficult time. It could be a good idea to separate the dogs. After all, both your family and the dogs will need a good night's sleep.
Once you have established how well they get on, you can decide if you would like them to sleep in the same room. Remember that your sleep, and your family's rest, is just as important as the dogs getting enough sleep. A lot of people forget about this and let the new puppy exhaust them.
How to Handle Feeding Time
Feeding time can be a flashpoint and supervising feeding time is essential. It is always best to feed the dogs at the same time, but if food causes a conflict they may need to be fed in separate rooms.
Always prepare the dogs' food at the same time, and put the bowls in separate ends of the feeding area. I always give the resident dog his food first and then go on to feed the new addition.
Puppies may need to be fed more often and you need to allow for this when planning feeding times. When you feed the new puppy always give your resident dog a little snack. It does not have to be much – just a gesture really.
How to Leave two Dogs Home Alone for the First Time
Home alone for the first time is another trigger point for problems. If you do need to leave the dogs you may want to leave them in separate rooms. I have been very fortunate with Sadie and Gonzo but some people are less fortunate.
Initially, leave the dogs for only a very short period of time and come back quickly. Once the dogs are more settled, and you are more familiar with their behaviors, you can have more time out. Don't make a big fuss when you leave the house or when you come back. Making a fuss would make the dogs think it is an abnormal event and should not be happening. It is better if they accept it as part of daily life.
Play Time with a New Puppy
Your new puppy will need some extra play time but you should make it easy for the other dog to join in. Make sure you have plenty of toys around which are suitable for both dogs. They may be different sizes and fitting the same size ball in their mouths is often a problem.
If you are taking the dogs out to play in the park make sure you take enough toys for both dogs, and always invite both to play. The same thing with treats – take treats for both dogs.
Taking Your New Puppy For a Walk
Going walkies is an essential part of social behavior. This is where your new puppy will meet other dogs, and more importantly, where your new twosome will meet other dogs together.
Your resident dog might already have some canine friends he likes to meet and play with, however, your new puppy needs to be introduced. There could be a few problems but most of the time introductions face few problems as the dogs meet on neutral ground.
As a matter of fact, this is an excellent way to socialize and establish new relationships and hopefully leads to improved and better doggie friendships.
Have you ever introduced a new puppy to a resident dog, and what was your experience?
Adopting A Dog From Animal Shelter
Sadie was adopted from a local animal shelter called SCAN. They do an amazing job of finding new homes for cats and dogs. Adopting a dog from an animal shelter can be different from bringing a new puppy home from a breeder.
First of all, your puppy may have spent more time in a kennel outside and may not be used to the indoors. House training a puppy from an animal shelter is more of a challenge, but given time, and patience, all dogs will learn quite quickly.
Don't expect your new puppy to have had any basic training such as walking on a leash or simple commands. Consider your new puppy as a work in progress, and be ready to spend lots of time on training.
Dogs adopted from shelters may also eat quickly and be keen to eat your other dog's food as well. Supervise feeding times carefully, and make sure your resident dog gets all the food he needs.
Enjoy Your Puppy
Taking on a new puppy may be daunting at first but it is really just about problem-solving, or anticipating problems before they happen. Most of the time things work out okay, providing you have done a bit of planning and are prepared to spend lots of time with both dogs.
Puppies grow up fast and don't forget to enjoy your new puppy. I am sure your puppy will keep you entertained, and you will have lots of memories of this special time together.
Leash Training a Puppy
Healthy Ways to Exercise Your New Puppy
Walking is the most popular way of exercising a puppy. However, at the same time, it is worth pointing out that to build healthy bones, young dogs, and puppies benefit from being exercised in different ways. Combining exercise with obedience training is one of the best ways to keep your puppy both fit, healthy and well mannered.
Sadie loves agility and it has turned her into a healthy and obedient dog. Cross exercising is one of the best ways to build healthy bones, muscles and ensure good cardiovascular health for your dog.
Swimming is another exercise which is great for your puppy. If you are fortunate enough to live close to the ocean or a lake, don't hesitate to take your dog to the water, and teach him or her how to retrieve toys from the water. Of course, you are going to come across dogs that don't like water running on the beach is a perfect healthy alternative to swimming.
Playing with toys like frisbees will make your dog agile and give you a chance to bond with each other. The variety of sports and healthy pursuits for dogs are now as versatile as human sports. As a matter of fact, many of them you can do together.
Healthy Foods to Add to Your Puppy's Diet
Dogs are omnivores which means that they are meant to eat a varied diet. But still, a lot of dogs are not fed such a varied diet. I have always fed my dogs a range of foods from a good quality kibble to fruit and vegetables. Living close to the sea means that I have access to cheap seafood like sardines. Omega 3 essential fatty acids are just as important to dogs as they are to humans. Fresh fish can help to make your puppy healthy, but you should not hesitate to add other fresh ingredients such as fruits and vegetables.
Feeding your dog raw fruits and vegetables should not be a problem. In general, all vegetables are great but there are some you may want to feed to your dog. For instance, any legume such as peas can be hard for your dog to digest, and can even cause a tummy upset.
Vegetables such as zucchini and cucumber are great, but you must remember to peel them. If your dog is not keen on fresh vegetables, a good alternative would be to steam them, and "sneak' them into your dog's food that way.
Omega 3 Fish Oil
There is no need to buy a supplement which claims it is specially made for dogs. A normal supplement for humans will benefit your dog as well.
Do Puppies Need Dietary Supplements?
In general, I would not say that puppies need dietary supplements. But as many of my dogs have come from animal shelters, I have always been keen to boost their health. One dietary supplement which I think is a must for all dogs is Brewer's yeast. Not only is it good for your dog's coat, but it can also help to prevent fleas.
If your dog is not getting enough Omega 3 essential fatty acids in his diet, you should also consider adding an Omega 3 supplement. to your dog's diet. Dogs which are prone to hip and other joint problems should always be fed an Omega 3 Fish Oil supplement along with their food. It will make a huge difference to their joint health, and may even prevent health conditions such as arthritis. A good daily dose of fish oil for dogs would be 500 milligrams per day.
As I have always owned large dogs, I have given them a fish oil supplement. None of my dogs, even the little ones, have suffered from arthritis, rheumatism, or heart disease. Is it a coincidence? My veterinarian does not seem to think so, and my little Yorkie is 17 years old now. He still walks for an hour a day!
Above all, love your new puppy and make sure you give him or her a good life just like you have with your already resident dog.
© 2013 Annie Messeri