How to Bring a New Puppy Into the Family With an Existing Dog

by Ledan Seja
You and your dog may disagree about how awesome the new puppy is.

You and your dog may disagree about how awesome the new puppy is.

Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images

Few things are as exciting and adorable as a new puppy for your family. Puppies are little balls of energy and sweetness, eager to lick your face and play with you throughout the day. Your current pooch, however, may or may not share in your and the puppy's excitement. Dogs are naturally social, but your existing dog may have a hard time sharing his things and your attention. The introduction process can help make or break a friendship; after all, first impressions are the most important, even for dogs.

Step 1

Put away any items your current pooch may guard. Your current pooch may have never displayed guarding behaviors with toys or food dishes to you before, but a new pup may send his territoriality into new heights.

Step 2

Pick up your house a little bit and get rid of any clutter in rooms where your two pooches will be interacting. The more open the space, the less chance for arguments. A cluttered room can make your resident dog feel as though he's forced to be around the pup and that can lead to little bursts of anger.

Step 3

Enlist a friend or family member to help you with the primary introduction on coming-home day. You'll need someone who will be able to handle one of the dogs; an older child will work for the puppy.

Step 4

Take each dog -- your helper taking one dog and you taking the other -- to a neutral area, such as a large park or a friend's backyard. Your current pooch may be territorial with your backyard and your home, so a neutral area will give both dogs a fresh chance at a happy intro.

Step 5

Keep both dogs on a leash and allow them to sniff each other. Don't force them to be close and keep the sniffing or general intros to a few seconds long. Gently pull on each dog's leash and take them to separate areas. Keep up positivity, as your dog needs to know he's being good when he interacts with your young pup.

Step 6

Take both dogs home once they are interacting in an OK manner at the neutral place. It's OK to take them home when the resident dog is either playing with the new pup or even simply ignoring her and going about his own business. If he's snipping, trying to attack or displaying similar behaviors, they need a little more time to get used to each other.

Step 7

Give both dogs equal attention and affection. This may be a little difficult at first because your new pup is going to demand a lot of attention from you, but don't leave your first pooch out. This can make him jealous of the new pup, which can lead to fights or sour moods.

Step 8

Keep your current pooch's items separate from the new pup's stuff. They need separate food bowls, separate crates, separate beds and so on. Think about it from your dog's point of view: how would you feel if someone just moved right in and started eating out of your dishes and then stole your bed?

Step 9

Supervise your two pooches and crate them when you're not around, especially for the first month or so.

Items You Will Need

  • Leashes
  • Puppy bed
  • Puppy crate
  • Puppy dishes

Tip

  • Your current dog may urinate around the house to mark his territory or display "bad" behavior to seek out your attention. Keeping both dogs happy and ensuring your first pooch still feels loved and has his same place in the family can ease him into accepting a young pup.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images

About the Author

Ledan Seja has been writing since 2009, specializing in natural ecosystems, gardening and landscape design, the environment, wildlife, insects, pet rescue and childcare. Her work has appeared in various online publications.

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