Tips for Introducing A New Puppy To Your Older Dog
Bringing your new puppy home for the first time can be as overwhelming as it is exciting … from pre-buying the supplies you’ll need to puppy-proofing your house, there are always so many things to remember!
One thing that is important to remember is that if you already have a dog, you’ll want to take special care during your ‘puppy introductions’ so that everything goes as smoothly as possible from the start. Here are a few of our top tips for adoptive parents of Gillcrest Cavaliers:
Before your puppy even comes home, put the dog toys away to remove the need to share a favorite old toy or an exciting new one. Either one of those things can bring out territorial behavior that isn’t helpful at this stage.
Set up separate food bowls for your puppy and your older dog … the sharing of toys will almost always be less of a concern than the worry of now having to share one’s dinner!
Have separate spaces ready for each dog, whether those be crates or different rooms. This way, everyone can go to their separate corners when a moment of sanity is needed (by them or you)!
For the actual introduction, put your older dog on a leash to head out for a walk and then introduce everyone on neutral ground (such as your back yard). Letting them meet outside on a ‘walk’ will make your older dog feel like it’s no big deal and something that could happen on any given day.
If your dog is normally friendly when meeting new dogs, you can put your puppy down and let them meet naturally (keeping a firm grip on the leash and being at the ready to jump in, if necessary). If a little more care should be taken, you can put your puppy in a crate so they’re meeting with the benefit of that added safety barrier.
Let them acclimate to one another and do all the requisite sniffing between dogs before inviting the puppy into the house. This will ideally help your older dog feel like he or she is playing the gracious host to a new little guest … one that everyone will eventually love enough to stay forever!