Hello! – Introducing Dogs & Pups
In part one of our Hello series, Nadia Crighton takes a look at how to best introduce a new puppy or an older dog into an existing canine dwelling home.
So you’ve finally made the choice to bring a new furry family member home. So what about your current dog? How will they take to the change and how can you ensure those first introductions are positive?
The most important aspect humans need to understand before introducing existing pets to a new furry friend is TIME. Whether you are introducing an older pet or a puppy it’s very important to understand that all good relationships take TIME to develop. This will not happen over-night. Expect the normal; showing teeth, growls and even some barks. This is all very normal behaviour until the two animals get to know each other and realise they are not a threat to each other. By not having high expectations can help prevent disappointment. Remember, that many pets develop these strong bonds, it just takes a little time, patience and understanding. Also ensure you abolish all of those ‘pesky’ behavioural issues before inviting a new pet into the home. This is particularly important with dogs. Adding a new dog will not reduce your problems it may double them.
Puppy Meet Dog
If you are introducing your puppy to your adult dog for the first time there are a few things you can do before hand to get ready. If you are purchasing the puppy from a breeder ask if they can send you a scented rag of the pups litter through the post. You can then pop this in your home so your dog can have a smell and begin getting used to the new scent. When you bring pup home remember:
- If your dog is boisterous consider first introductions through the door. So pop pup in the laundry and let them sniff each other under the door. When they seem comfortable then you can bring your big dog outside to a neutral area and introduce them with your larger dog on lead.
- Big praises for your existing dog. Consider popping some treats in your pocket or playing an extra game of fetch every day. These are great for letting your dog know that you still love him and that having a new pup around is a positive addition to your home.
- Do not let your new puppy harass your older dog. The notion that; ‘they will get used to it’ is not beneficial for their relationship. If your puppy is getting too boisterous and annoying your older dog, pop the puppy away for a little while. Using a penned area is great for pups. Not only do you have a ‘safe’ place your puppy can revert to when they want, it’s a good area you can pop your precious bundle of fur when your older dog needs some space. Also a great safe area when you are not at home (plus it helps with toilet training!) Don’t miss our future blog on; Benefits of Crates and Pens.
- Do not scold your older dog for growling or not allowing the new pup on their bed, or with their toys. Remove the toys and separate the dogs. Your puppy needs to learn his/her boundaries with their new companion.
- Remember to keep the same routine with your older dog. Same feeding times, walking times, play times, cuddle times.
Dog Meet Dog
If you have chosen to rescue an older dog for company to your existing dog there are some tips to ensure you make the perfect match. Most good quality shelters, like The Animal Adoption Agency in NSW, will ensure the dogs are a perfect match. These types of services are very valuable to ensure you are getting it right and not inviting a whole lot of fights and unpleasantness into your home. Older dogs need to meet before coming into the home, particularly on a permanent basis. Also really consider your current dog?
- Are they sociable?
- Do they get along with all the dogs in the off leash park?
- Do you have any behavioural issues you need to combat first?
Set up the best environment so the two dogs get off to the very best start. Some dogs simply love other dogs and will fall paw-over-pads for each other. However, some may not. So taking the extra time to ensure the two dogs will get along is very important.
When meeting for the first time, make sure your dogs are on lead with a strong leader (AKA human) holding the other end. Remember:
- Polite doggy etiquette is nose-to-bum not nose-to-nose…this is how dogs shake hands!
- Look for body language. If your dog seems stressed, anxious or on edge. Turn and walk-away and try the introduction again.
Want to know how to introduce the pup/dog to a kitten or cat? Don’t miss our next Hello blog!
A BIT ABOUT THE BLOGGER:
Nadia Crighton is a well-known and accomplished Australian Journalist and pet magazine Editor. As a busy mum of four humans, two dogs, 50 sheep, one cat, a handful of chickens and a goat named Billy (and lets not forget the axolotls!), she simply adores pets of all shapes and sizes. These are her personal thoughts and advice from many years of pet-ownership and working within the pet industry.