Looking for Tips for Introducing Puppy to Older Dog?

puppy and dogHello there. Welcome to PupsterPassion.com.

We are a small but very dedicated team of doggy bloggers.

When we aren’t caring for our own pet dogs, we spend our time researching, reading, and writing about anything and everything related to dogs and puppies.

Our goal is to give dog owners to give the very best possible advice to help them care for their pet’s pupsters.

So, if you are reading this post, the chances are that you either have or are getting a brand new puppy! That is inspiring news. Congratulations!

Puppies are just about the cutest and funniest things there are, so we hope you really enjoy your new little pup.

But there is a lot to learn and lots of puppy training to be done. In this post, we are going to discuss introducing your new puppy to your fully grown dog.

How to Introduce a Puppy to an Older Dog

Here is a step-by-step process for introducing them to your older dog (or dogs).

  1. Pick a neutral area to avoid territorial aggression.
  2. Clear away the fully grown dog’s toys, bones, bed, etc
  3. Do your best to stay calm.
  4. Keep an eye out for aggressive signals.
  5. Put the puppy on the floor, not in your arms.
  6. Let them make friends at their own pace.

Now let’s take each step and look at it in more detail:

Pick a neutral area to avoid territorial aggression.

The first introduction between the pair of dogs should be on neutral turf. This reduces the chances of the other dog getting territorially aggressive.

So not in the adult dogs’ sleeping area or near their crate or bed.

Outside in the garden, it can be great if the weather is ok and you can make sure neither dog will run off.

Clear away the senior dog’s toys, bones, bed, etc

Tidy away the toys, bones, chews, and other stuff that belongs to the older dog.

The reduces the chances of aggression against the young puppy.

Do your best to stay calm.

Both your new puppy and your old dog will be more relaxed if you are more relaxed.

Dogs are very smart, and they pick up on our mood, so do your best to be relaxed and confident.

Keep an eye out for aggressive body language.

Observe the grown-up dog for anything remotely aggressive.

When they are meeting one another, keep a close eye out for signs and behaviors such as:

  • Fixed intense staring
  • Curling upper lip
  • Fixed, tight body posture
  • Snarling
  • Teeth baring

If you notice anything like this, take the puppy away from the bigger dog, give both a rest, some love and attention, and then try again when they have both relaxed.

Put the puppy on the floor, not in your arms.

When making the introduction between the puppy and the older dog, they must meet on their own terms.

If you are holding your new pet puppy in your arms, it confuses the older dog and sends the wrong signals.

Your dog may feel jealous of what it might see as an intruder. So put the puppy on the floor and keep a close eye on your older dog.

Let them make friends at their own pace.

Do not rush the process, and it will take a little bit of time for a bond to build up between the two pooches.

As much as possible, let them figure it out on their own. In fact, you might just get on with things and let the other dog come and investigate if and when he feels the curiosity arise.

Some Final Thoughts on the Introduction

Firstly you know your dogs best, yes the puppy is new, but you will know the other dog really well.

So trust your instincts but keep a close eye out for any unexpected behavior.

And remember, there are so many benefits to having multiple adult dogs in your home.

Just one example, potty training a new puppy is much easier if you have an older, fully potty trained dog.

Why? Because the puppy will copy the trained dog, which will make the process of housebreaking the pup a lot quicker.

A Real-World Example of Introducing Puppies to an Adult Dog

This video shows a professional dog trainer working with a young pup and a dog.

The pup is called Harper, and she is eight weeks old and is totally and utterly adorable.

She is going to meet Ava, who is eight years old and is a very good girl!

Here are some of the tips she shares in this beneficial video:

  1. Make sure the adult dog is not stressed before the meeting.
  2. The introduction to one another should not be focused on the dog’s meeting but rather on them being in the space as if it were no big deal.
  3. Your goal is to shift the adult dog’s focus away from the pup.
  4. If the adult dog is focused on you and not the new puppy, you have much more control over what they do and don’t do.
  5. If your dog has an issue with being overprotective of anyone in your family, they should not be present during the first introductions.
  6. Or if they have resource guarding behavior patterns, remove the bed, toys, food bowls, or whatever it might be that they are protective of.
  7. Again this will help reduce stress levels and, as such, reduce chances of any canine conflict occurring.
  8. The animal behaviorist also reinforces the point we made earlier, that you should take this process very slowly to give it the best chance of working fine.
  9. A young pup will not have any well-developed social skills at this stage in their life, so they can easily make a mistake that might lead to aggression from the other dog.
  10. If you can pick a time when the new dog is likely to be more tired and relaxed, it would be ideal; if you think of the opposite of zoomies, you will have the right idea.
  11. Some adult dogs can get frustrated and annoyed by puppies; if you think this might be the case with the resident dog, then it will be essential to do this when the younger dog is calmer.

Quick Question: How old should a puppy be when it leaves its mom?