Hello there, folks. It’s me, Spike. Today, I wanted to talk to you about an interesting conversation I had in the dog park the other day. One of my old pals, Shorty was telling me that his family brought a new puppy into the household without giving him any warning. Understandably, Shorty was pretty upset about this, but when he tried to voice his concerns his family got all upset with him. Since this is a common problem in one dog households, I thought I would take some time today to tell you a few things that you can do to make the transition easier when you are introducing a puppy into a household with another dog.
First, keep in mind that your older dog thinks of the house (and you) as his own. He is going to see the puppy as an intruder. You can help clear some of the tension ahead of time by moving all of his things out of the reach of the puppy. Just like you wouldn’t want someone playing with yo ur toys, your older dog doesn’t want anyone playing with his.
When you do let your older dog meet the new puppy, it is usually better to do it somewhere other than at your own house or on your own property. That way the older dog doesn’t consider it to be “his” and won’t be as territorial. You also should really have two humans present when the two meet. One of the humans needs to have control of the older dog and the other one is responsible for the puppy. Make sure that both the older dog and the puppy are on leashes. That way when they are introduced, you can both take action if things aren’t going well. What usually happens in most cases though, is that since the puppy is younger, she will be submissive and probably just roll over on her back and let the older dog sniff her. She may also pee a little. Don’t worry about that. We kind of do that to show that we know who is boss.
Once you see that the older dog is not going to pounce on the puppy and will tolerate her, you can drop the leashes and let them play together. Keep a vigilant eye out, however, because sometimes we older dogs get tired of all that puppy energy and we can decide to put a stop to things with a bite or by wrestling the unsuspecting puppy to the ground.
If all of that has gone well, walk both home and act like nothing is going on. Let the older dog and the puppy explore the yard and see how they do with that. Then you can try both of them inside. Remember what I said about removing the older dog’s stuff though. You don’t want the older dog to feel threatened by the young whippersnapper, so everything that is his, needs to stay his.
After that, don’t leave the two alone by themselves for at least two weeks. They should both have their own food bowls and it usually helps to feed each one in a separate area, so the older dog doesn’t feel like the puppy is going to get his food.
Meanwhile, keep the routine the same as you always have. Don’t change the rules because the puppy is there. That will only cause disharmony between the two.
Finally, remember that the older dog was there first. Shorty said that his family has sort of been ignoring him ever since the new kid came into the picture. Your old dog still needs attention that is his and his alone. Let another family member play with the puppy and devote some private time to your older dog. It will make the adjustment to being a two-dog family a whole lot easier.
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