Welcoming a new dog into your home could make your family complete but it’s a transition you want to handle carefully. With the right preparation, you can ensure that your dogs are comfortable with having another four-legged member of the family and prevent your new pup from feeling overwhelmed.
To give your new brood the best start, take a look at these top tips for acquainting your new dog with the pack…
Prepare your dogs
Before you consider welcoming a new puppy home, ensure your dogs’ behavior is on point. When your dogs are obedient and calm in company, it will help to alleviate hyperactivity and boisterousness in the presence of a new dog.
In the weeks before your new pup comes home, ask your breeder for a blanket that smells like them. You can even ask your breeder to place one of your shirts near to your new pup before you bring it home again. Once at home, move the shirt or blanket around the home, placing it in areas your new dog is most likely to be.
This gives your existing pack the opportunity to get acquainted with the smell of the new pup and ensures they are familiar with another dog’s scent being in the home.
Use a neutral location
When your new pup first meets its four-legged family, you’ll want to ensure they are introduced in a neutral location. By choosing a dog park to introduce your pups, for example, you can make sure that no-one feels their territory is being threatened.
Dogs can become unfriendly or even aggressive is their territory is invaded, and you want to avoid this at all costs. A casual introduction in a neutral location is a great way to achieve this.
When introducing dogs, there’s no need to force any interaction. It’s important that dogs are kept on the leash so that any unwanted behavior can be modified. In some cases, the dogs may be keen to interact but if they’re not, that’s fine. Just walking close to each other can be enough of an introduction.
Short, casual introductions often work best, so feel free to separate the dogs after a few minutes to give them a break. Praise positive interactions but don’t pressure either dog into ‘making friends’. If the dogs appear disinterested in each other, it can actually be a good sign that they’re not feeling threatened, so take your time and keep things at a steady pace.
Before your new pup enters, it can be a good idea to pick up any items which are important to your dogs. This may include toys, blankets, food and water bowls. This will stop anyone from getting jealous if their favorite possessions are inadvertently hijacked by the new pup. Of course, this is only a temporary measure. Water bowls, in particular, should only be put down for a very short time, so that all dogs have access to fresh drinking water.
When your new pup first enters the home, keep them on a leash while they explore. It’s generally best to keep your other dogs in a separate area of the home while you do this, otherwise, it can be overwhelming for the new addition.
Understanding your pup’s personality can go a long way to making the transition better for them, so be sure to talk to your breeder. If you want to find out just how much information a breeder should be able to give you, take a look at this website. Buying your puppy from an experienced and reputable breeder is essential, particularly if you want your pup to be happy and healthy. As well as ensuring they’ve been bred responsibly, choosing a reputable breeder means you’ll benefit from their tips, tricks, and advice too.
Supervise your pack
When you’re introducing a new dog to your home, it is essential that the entire pack is supervised at all times. Even if one dog is caged and the other is roaming free, you’ll want to ensure there isn’t any threatening behavior, fear or aggression.
While dog owners may feel utterly confident in their dog’s behavior, it only takes a second for things to get out of hand. When you’re on hand to supervise any and all interactions, you can issue praise when it’s due and give the dogs a break if you feel they need it.
Of course, this applies to children too. However friendly a dog may seem, this transition phase can be overwhelming, which could lead them to act out of character. Even if things appear to be going well, don’t be tempted to leave your dogs unsupervised with younger family members or each other.
As well as keeping a close eye on everyone, you’ll want to resist your natural instincts when you first introduce your new pup. While you will be desperate to shower your new furry friend with affection, this could rile your other dogs and lead to jealously. Similarly, making a fuss of your resident dogs may seem like you’re reassuring them, but it could unsettle other members of the pack.
Instead, aim to keep things as calm and quiet as you can in the first few days. This gives everyone time to adjust and being acclimated to one another. While you’ll still be able to pet, praise and reward your dogs, try to keep things low-key and don’t encourage excess excitement.
Adding a new dog to your pack can be a tense time, as you’ll be eager for everything to go well. Fortunately, the right amount of prep can make the transition less stressful for everyone involved. With the right pace, you will be enjoying the company of your new pack before you know it. What’s more, prepping your dogs for the transition will mean your new puppy will be a popular addition with them too!
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