There may be several reasons you decide to bring a puppy home to join your family and your senior dog. It’s common for people to want to introduce a new dog into their families before the pain of losing the older one begins, or they may just feel it’s time for a new addition to their family. Whatever the reason, it can be difficult introducing a new puppy into a home that already has one or more senior dogs. To ensure a smooth transition between your new pooch and your old, we’ve made a list of 3 tips for bringing a puppy into your senior dog’s home.
1. Pick a neutral meeting area
When bringing a new puppy home, it’s important you have them meet your senior dog on neutral ground to prevent territoriality as much as possible. Neutral ground will make it easier for both dogs and your older dog will see the new puppy as less of an intruder. For a place to be considered neutral, it has to be a place that your senior dog is not familiar with. The key is to not rush home with the new dog, rather give the two dogs time to meet before they enter your home. Additionally, it’s a good idea to bring plenty of treats to give both of the dogs and be sure to pet and praise each of them equally. Neutral ground will make sure no one feels threatened.
2. Encourage positive behavior
When your dogs begin to interact and sniff each other, be sure to talk to them in a happy comforting tone. Try to avoid using a threatening tone of voice during their first meeting. It’s also a good idea to make sure the dogs don’t sniff each other for too long because this may lead to aggressive behavior. Once both dogs are living in your house, you’ll want to spend time with each one of them both separately and together. It’s good to snuggle, play, and train each dog and monitor their time together to make sure they are creating a positive and healthy bond.
3. To start out, assign each dog their own space
It’s best to place your dogs in separate areas at first. You don’t want your senior dog feeling like he has to guard his normal spot because a newcomer has entered the house. You can feed the dogs at the time same, but in separate spaces. The puppy and the senior dog should have organized times to meet and converse various times during the day in the first few weeks. Remember: these interactions should be carefully monitored during the first weeks. For their first play times together, take your dogs to a large, well-spaced area where they will both have plenty of room to expel their energy and get to know each other better. Toys should be avoided during the first couple days to make sure there is no extra aggression between your two furry friends. If a scuffle does happen, for the most part, it’s best to let them work it out with each other.
Introducing a new puppy into your home can be fun and exciting, but also may present some challenges if you already have a senior dog living with you. As long as you give the right amount of love and attention to both dogs, while being mindful of their interactions, your dogs should be fast friends. With these tips, bringing a puppy into your home with an older dog should be easier and fun.