Anything we should know about introducing a new puppy to our current dog?
November 24, 2006 7:56 PM   Subscribe

Anything we should know about introducing a new puppy to our current dog?

We currently have a pug that is about a year and a half old. In the next 6-8 weeks we'll be getting a new pug puppy to add to the family.

Is there anything we need to know about bringing a new puppy into our home as as far as how we should introduce the two or any other tips?
posted by JPigford to Pets & Animals (5 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Preparation: make sure new puppy has a place of her own (warm, not far from her new family) where she can go if she's frightened (dark, not accessible by existing dog). It isn't so easy to do this because of house training and the like, but it's easiest if she has a crate.

Action: introduce smells consciously. Keep new puppy and existing dog separate, so they can't see one another for a couple days. Travel between the dogs so each gets used to your smell combined with that of the other dog. When they finally see one another each should be accustomed to the smell of the other in combination with your smell, which says to each one "this smell belongs in your family".

Dogs, particularly shy clingy dogs, can get jealous so try to keep the fuss over the new pup down and make sure the dog you have doesn't feel left out of the excitement. Keep the new pup calm since she's adapting as fast as her little puppy brain can cope.
posted by jet_silver at 8:11 PM on November 24, 2006

Here is our experience: We took a blanket with us when visiting the new puppy in her kennel. We then brought the blanket home and let our older dog have a good sniff. A couple of weeks later, when we brought our new puppy home, we again did the blanket thing, just before introducing the two. When we finally introduced the puppy to our older dog (outside, in fairly neutral territory) the older dog definitely recognized the scent and the greeting was quite amazing. She welcomed the new one and they've been best pals ever since.

The problem then became one of getting the puppy to bond with us more than the older dog. For us that was the toughest part.
posted by zipperhead at 8:57 PM on November 24, 2006

(Aw, new wrinkly puppy!) Most adult dogs, assuming they're well socialized, will accept a puppy pretty gracefully and quickly; this is especially likely since your current pug is so young. Little pups are almost always going to be submissive to the resident dog and fit smoothly into a lower pack position. Pups under 6 months old also usually get some "baby latitude" from most adult dogs, who realize they don't know the rules of pack behavior yet and are forgiving of lapses in canine etiquette. Couple of tips:

1. Choose a puppy of the opposite sex. Even among neutered dogs, same-sex disagreements or rivalries are far more common than opposite-sex ones.

2. Keeping them separate for a while as they get used to each other's presence and smells is indeed wise. When you do introduce the two face to face, you may want to do it on neutral turf, not in your home or yard. Choose a park or some other roomy outdoor area. One of you should have your current dog on a leash and the other one (or a friend) have the puppy on a leash. Let them approach, sniff, etc. Walk around a bit, without interacting a ton with either dog. Be lowkey and encouraging.

3. If Older Dog has any items (bowl, special toys, blanket) that s/he is very possessive of or has a tendency to guard, keep those out of reach when they're not in use and supervise carefully when they're in use, of course.

4. As they settle in over the first few months, regularly give each dog some "alone time" with you. Doing some solo brush-up training or outings with Older Dog reinforces her/his bond with you and your alpha role. You want them to form a happy pack, but, as zipperhead notes, you also want the puppy to bond with you as leader more strongly than with Older Dog.

5. If Older Dog is resistant to accepting the pup, be sure to include the pup in some of OD's favorite (non-competitive) activities or outings. The message is "see, when we're together, good things happen."

6. Even if they get along like a house afire, never, ever leave them together unsupervised for a minute during the first few months, and crate or otherwise confine Puppy when you're gone. Until pups are a few months old, they can't interpret some subtle signs of dominance, and so with puppy enthusiasm, they'll bug an adult dog mercilessly without realizing that they're getting signals to give it a rest already.

7. If Older Dog is a bit pushy during play or needs to set some boundaries by doing some mild, non-violent dominance behaviors (a brief growl or snarl, briefly pinning or shaking the pup), don't intervene or scold -- as long as it's once in a while and doesn't escalate. This is how dogs establish their pecking order, and they need to have one. Canine life is not a democracy.
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:23 AM on November 25, 2006

Oh, and observe pack order with them. Pet them equally, but pet Older Dog first, put OD's food down first, put her/his leash on first, etc.
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:26 AM on November 25, 2006

oh man .. update this with how it goes. We have a three year old pug and we're considering getting her a brother in May of 2007.
posted by fishfucker at 12:00 PM on November 30, 2006

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