Archive for Puppy introductions
Bringing home a puppy is always exciting, but if you already have one or more dogs at home, the puppy will face some challenges integrating into your family, the pupy intorduction section is important.
The puppy will be leaving his mother and littermates, and a familiar household. Everything about your house is going to be new. Don’t overwhelm him with the run of the house; confine him to one room, perhaps the den or kitchen.
Before you bring him home, take a fuzzy toy to the breeder’s home and have the mother, puppy and breeder put their scent on it. This will be a comfort to him when he arrives at his new home. You can also take two toys and bring one home before the puppy’s arrival so your other dogs will become familiar with his scent.
Nice to meet you
When the big day comes, don’t bring your new puppy directly into the house. Take him to the pre-selected elimination spot and give him a chance to relieve himself. Then, with the help of a friend, slowly bring each of your adult dogs outside to meet the puppy on neutral territory. Whether you have one or more dogs in residence, the house is their territory and the puppy could be considered an interloper.
If you’re not careful, you’ll set up the canine equivalent of sibling rivalry.
If you have more than one adult dog, start with the gentlest and most welcoming dog so the puppy isn’t immediately frightened. Let them interact. At intervals, bring each subsequent dog out to meet the puppy. Reward your older dogs for positive interactions with the puppy.
Once everyone is comfortable, allow your adult dogs to invite the puppy into their home.
Home sweet home
When the new puppy enters the house, take him to the room you’ve set up for him. Let your older dogs come, too, but supervise everyone. Allow the puppy to see where his water and food bowls and bed are.
More than likely you will be using a crate that you can move to your bedroom at night so the puppy won’t feel too lonely. He’s left everything that’s familiar to him and had a big day. He’s going to feel alone. You will want to be able to talk to him and calm him if he cries, and if he needs to go out, it’s important that you take him out right away. Sleeping in sweats is a good idea at this point.
Be sensitive to your adult dogs and give them lots of attention. Don’t allow them to be pushed aside while you fuss over the puppy. Good things should happen for them when the puppy is present, so whenever the puppy is in the room, the adults get a treat. Games include everyone. You want to create a positive interaction. Adults are usually pretty tolerant of puppies until the ‘puppy licence’ runs out and he’s suddenly seen as a nuisance. Sharing supervised romps and walks will make everyone happy. You want to give your puppy and adult dogs the best possible start to creating a warm, bonded relationship.
Be sure to give your older dogs some one-on-one time so they understand that they are still important. Give visitors a heads-up that, while they are coming to meet the puppy, they should make a point of paying attention to your older dogs, too. Have a treat ready for them to give to your older dogs when they arrive.
Your older dogs have always been the centre of attention. You want them to know that they still are, but there’s someone else to play with, someone who enhances their lives and doesn’t provide a total distraction for their people.
If you start out the right way, making it easier for everyone, you can look forward to happily ever after.