Having a dog can be an absolute joy just as well as an unspeakable pain in your neck. Having two dogs means double the trouble, but also double the fun. And when you want to introduce a new puppy to your current dog, things can get messy. So, how can you introduce a new dog to your current one? What’s more, how to introduce a puppy to a big dominant dog? Or how to introduce a big dog to a little dog? The situations vary depending on the two canines.
Regardless of the size, breed, age, temperament and gender of the two parties, the first contact must always be the same – safe, controlled and carried out on a neutral territory.
1. Choosing the territory
If you take the new dog straight to your home, your old canine pal will think of it as invasive. As such, it will either get scared, irritated or basically displeased with the fact that an unfamiliar dog is entering its abode. Opt for a park or street, which is neutral territory. Don’t go to the places you’ve been taking your current dog for a walk because it will also perceive them as its territory. Instead, choose a place which is unfamiliar to both animals. This way neither of them will be seeing the other as an intruder and a possible predator.
2. Get a friend or family member to help you
Choose a friend or a family member that already knows your current dog. Opt for somebody who makes your canine pal feel safe and comfortable. That friend or relative is going to be the one holding the new dog.
Both pets need to be as much drained out of energy as possible. This means walking them and playing with them separately before they get to see each other face to face.
When this happens you need to be appointed to the leash of your current dog, otherwise your pet might get jealous as you’re choosing to go with the other canine. It’s essential for your pet to acknowledge the fact that a familiar face (friend or family member) is introducing the other dog. Bringing a strange human to the introduction is one of the quickest ways to force things out of control.
3. Introducing the two dogs
This is the part where most people make the mistake of allowing their pets to sniff each other and to roam around one another freely. You and your friend must not let go of the dogs’ leashes. Carefully allow your canine pal to sniff the rear of the new pup without allowing the two animals to come into face-to-face contact.
The proper way to introduce them is to make sure each of them sniffs the other one step at a time. After they’ve both sniffed the other pet’s rear, resume with the walk in the neutral territory so that your dog can get accustomed to the idea of having a new doggie join him/ her in the outdoors.
4. Bringing the canines back home
Continue with this step only after you’ve introduced the dogs! It’s safe to bring them into your home when they’re drained of energy and have met each other with no accidental fights, growls or other signs of aggression.
Once you’re outside your door, walk through it and then invite your current pet to walk after you. Only after you’ve done this you can invite the new dog inside. If the new canine goes in first, your old pet will perceive it as an act of invasion on its territory. By making the new member of your family wait outside you’re showing your current dog that this is still its rightful home and there are no reasons for jealousy, aggression or fear.
5. What happens next?
It doesn’t really matter if you’re introducing a visiting dog to your own dog or if you’re planning on making the new pet a full-time family member. Moreover, it doesn’t matter if the two canines differ in age, gender or size.
Introducing a puppy to a dominant dog doesn’t mean that the puppy can’t become the dominant one. Your older dog can accept the new one right away or after some time has passed. It’s up to the dogs to decide between one another if they’ll be equals or if one of them will dominate the other. You can’t force any of the dogs to be a pack leader. Allow the new doggie to settle in its new surroundings and give your old canine pal some time to adjust to the newcomer.
After a while they’ll figure out for themselves if one of them will act submissively towards the other or if they will be equal counterparts living under the same roof. The only thing left for you to do is to show them love, care and devotion.