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How to Introduce Your Older Dog to a New Puppy

Bringing home a new puppy can be exciting, but it can also be stressful for your older dog. It’s not easy sharing their space with a new, furry creature when they’re used to being the only dog in the house. There are going to be challenges for both you and your dogs to coexist under one roof, however, there are ways to prepare for a puppy.

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How to Introduce Your Older Dog to a New Puppy

When it comes to introducing animals who don’t know each other there’s no such thing as being too prepared. This way you can avoid aggressive situations between the two dogs and save yourself the extra stress. Here are a few tips on how to introduce your older dog to a new puppy in a way that’s both safe and stress-free:

Do your research

Before you bring your new puppy home, take some time to learn about your older dog’s personality and temperament. Also, take time to get to know the new puppy. Spend time with him or her in a neutral zone. If you’re adopting a puppy from a rescue organization or shelter they typically let you meet the dog ahead of time. They might even let your older dog meet the new pup in an area away from your home to get acquainted first. Make sure to check with the organization or shelter it may or may not be in their policy. This will help you to determine how best to introduce the two dogs.

Introduce the dogs on neutral ground

As mentioned above, neutral ground is the best way for any two animals to meet for a lot of good reasons. When you first bring your new puppy home, don’t just let them loose in the house together. Instead, introduce them in a neutral location, such as a park or your backyard. This will help to reduce the chances of either dog feeling territorial or threatened.

Supervise the dogs at all times

Even once the dogs have been introduced, it’s important to supervise them at all times. This is especially important during the first few weeks, as the dogs are still getting to know each other. Keeping them separate during feeding times or sleep would give them their space and then they can develop a better relationship eventually. You cannot force a good relationship, typically it takes some time.

Be patient

Patience is the key to everyone living in harmony. You definitely don’t want to rush their meeting or force them into a connection since it will only work against your end result. It may take some time for your older dog to adjust to the new puppy. Be patient and understanding, and don’t force the dogs to interact if they’re not ready. Take small steps towards your bigger goal and you’ll for sure be more successful.

Praise positive behavior

When the dogs are interacting in a positive way, be sure to praise them. This will help to reinforce the behavior and make them more likely to continue interacting in a positive way. Dogs respond the best to positive reinforcement such as food. It also acts as a great training tool to get dogs to remember tricks and what is good or bad. In the beginning, make sure you carry small treats around with you at all times to keep the positive reinforcement going when they’re well-behaved.

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With a little patience and effort, you can help your older dog and a new puppy to become best friends. You won’t suffer from extra stress when you take your time with the introduction and within the initial few months. All your hard work will pay off once you and your dogs can live in a harmonious environment.

Do you have children who want pets? Check out this blog Best Pets for Young Children here.

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