How to Introduce a New Puppy to Your Dog

How to Introduce a New Puppy to Your Dog

Bringing a new puppy home is an exciting moment for pet parents and families. Your dog that already lives in the house may not be as thrilled to meet his new sibling quite yet. Your dog has most-likely been the only dog in your house until this point and he has surely marked his territory.

Accepting a new puppy into his territory will require new social structure and dominance hierarchy in your dog’s world. There is a well structured way to introduce your new puppy to your dog that will allow your dog to ease into accepting the new comer. Today we will talk about how to introduce a new puppy to your dog.


  • Allow your dog to stay home when you go to pick up your new puppy. You will not want your dog to meet the puppy in close quarters like the car.
  • Bring a new blanket with you when picking up your new puppy. During the car ride, rub the blanket on your puppy and allow his scent to get on the blanket.
  • Once you arrive home with your puppy and the blanket, have someone watch your puppy in the car for a few minutes. Go inside alone with the blanket held in your hands and allow your dog to smell it and praise him with treats, petting and verbal praise.
  • Bring your dog in the front of the house on his leash. Have your family member or friend who was watching your puppy bring him into the yard with your dog.
  • Allow them to sniff each other. This is the natural way dogs get to know one another and learn about each other.
  • Take both of your dogs on a walk together briefly so they can get to better know each other.
  • Don’t force the interaction between your dogs. Allow them to become acquainted with each other naturally.
  • During the meet and greet, use a positive, light-hearted tone to your voice. This will signal to your dogs that this is a happy situation.
  • Observe your dog’s body language closely, if he shows signs of aggression towards your puppy, immediately separate them from each other. If your dog is growling and staring harshly at your puppy this is a sign of aggression and discomfort. However, if your dog is exhibiting loose body movements and has relaxed muscles and an open mouth, this is a sign that he is in a playful and accepting mood.
  • Once both your puppy and your dog are showing signs of tolerating each other, take them for one more walk together to allow them to continue the positive behavior.
  • After the second walk bring them both to the front door at the same time. Allow them to choose who enters first.
  • Once indoors, make sure you have a separate area for both dogs. They should each have their own beds, food dishes and toys.

The First Few Weeks Together

As a pet parent of more than one dog, you will have to pay close attention during the first few weeks after you introduce your puppy to your dog. Continue to keep their beds, food dishes and toys separate from each other. These items can cause squabbles between your puppy and your dog, especially in the beginning stages of their new relationship. Arrange play time for both of your dogs to play together under your supervision.

Provide plenty of toys, both belonging to each dog. When you are not able to supervise your dogs, place them in their separate areas where they have their own personal space. If your dogs exhibit behavior such as bullying or growling, interrupt the situation immediately with a quick loud word like “bad”. Immediately separate both of them afterwards for several minutes. Then allow them to play again. Praise your dogs with gentle petting and soft verbal words that make your dog feel proud of his behavior. Provide both dogs with rest time in their own private spaces.

Resolving Conflicts

If the meeting and adjustment period do not go as smooth or as well as you anticipated, take action immediately. Your dogs can be injured during physical fights, not to mention the negative impact it has psychologically. Professional assistance is recommended and the outcome is usually positive. There are times when your dog will not react positively to a new puppy no matter how much training and therapy you provide for him.

In this case, pet parents are forced with the decision to either keep their dogs separate while still living in the same household or consider finding a new forever home for the puppy.

Positive Signs

Whether your dogs have professional assistance getting acquainted or if they naturally become close, there are going to be plenty of positive signs that your dogs are finally getting along. After time, your dogs will begin to become friends and form a bond. They will spend their days playing together, napping together and going on walks together. Usually this positive behavior is also exhibited around feeding time, when both dogs are able to eat their food out of their own bowls placed close to each other. As time goes forward you will realize that your dogs have bonded and worked out their social structure and dominance hierarchy.

Bringing Home a Third Puppy

Dog owners who have a positive experience introducing their dog to their puppy will feel encouraged to bring a third puppy home. They will want to repeat the same steps stated above whenever introducing new dogs into the household. Some dogs are able to hit it off right away and become lifelong buddies, while others may need plenty of time to deal with the new puppy.

Once your dogs have adapted to each other and have found a way to live peacefully together, you can find new ways of having them bond further and also bond with you. Playing fetch, going on hikes and taking long walks together will help build strong relationships between your dogs and yourself.

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