How To Introduce Your Dog To A New Puppy?

Like humans, dogs are social animals and socializing with other dogs, pets, and people is essential to their health and well-being. Helping your puppy become more social is one of the crucial tasks you take on when you adopt and become a puppy parent. (Their momma won’t be around to do it, obviously.)

The Thing is, once a puppy is taken away from its mother, the responsibility for helping it to develop good social habits rests squarely on your shoulders. Training them, for example, how to play without biting too hard and how to get along well with other puppies and dogs is essential.

Helping your puppy become more social becomes even more critical if you have other dogs or pets already at home. You might have, for example, an older dog that’s been your furry friend for years or several cats that like to run around thinking they own the place. Some folks like to have birds as pets, also, as well as pigs, rabbits, and more.

For me, however, dogs are the best,  which makes helping them socialize with other dogs my only concern. If you’re adopting a new pup and have a dog at home, you likely have a question that I get all the time from new puppy parents: how to introduce your dog to a new puppy. 

The answer to this intriguing and important question is there are several steps involved in introducing your current dog to your new puppy. Frankly, it’s not a one-sentence answer but a series of tasks and situations that you will need to create to ensure that the introduction goes well and your two pets get along famously. Some are more important than others, but all are worth knowing if a successful doggy relationship is your goal.

To find out all of those steps, methods, and some great tips, too, read on. I’ve got them all, below plus answers to some essential puppy socializing questions. It’s vital information if you desire to be the best puppy parent you can be and ensure all your dogs stay healthy and happy.

How to Prepare a Dog for a New Puppy

If you plan to adopt a puppy and introduce them to your existing dog, many different tasks are ahead. Most are relatively straightforward but don’t mistake that for being unimportant. If you truly desire to ensure that your new puppy and existing dog get along well and form a great, long-lasting relationship, all of the tasks listed below are essential. 

Gather your Resident Dog’s Stuff Together in One Location

Rounding up anything that your resident pooch considers essential, including bones, toys, etc., is your first important task. Even their food bowls and beds should be gathered and put together in a separate area close to where they are already comfortable.

Remember, Dogs are usually a bit possessive. Even if your resident dog has never seemed possessive with their things, introducing a new puppy to the mix can change that in a heartbeat. The last thing you want is to set up a situation where your existing dog and new puppy get into any type of fight over toys, food, beds, and so forth.

De-Clutter and Keep Common Areas Open

Before you bring your new puppy home, declutter the area where your two dogs will now coexist. The fact is that dogs like a little bit of space. If they feel cramped or forced onto each other, it might trigger aggressive tendencies. One great idea is to use baby gates as makeshift fences until your two furry pals get used to each other. 

Don’t Introduce Your Dogs at Home But, Instead in a Neutral Location

If you have an existing dog at home, it’s a sure thing they consider your home their “territory.” That makes introducing a new dog into said territory a risky proposition. 

Better to introduce your dogs at a neutral environment like a park. Dog experts recommend bringing both dogs to the meeting place separately.  (Obviously, you’ll need the help of a family member or friend.) Then, while they are both still on leashes, let them say “hello.”  

Keep the leashes for both dogs slack so that neither of the other dogs feels that they are being held back from fully encountering the other. Some of the behavior can expect is sniffing, circling, playing, and urinating. You might also find that your resident dog completely ignores the new puppy.

Take the Dogs for a Short Walk Together 

If your resident dog and new puppy seem to get along, take them for a walk together. If that goes well, and they seem to get along just fine, the next step will likely be to introduce them on your resident dog’s home turf (i.e., your house).

Introduce the New Puppy to your Resident Dog at Home

If your resident dog and new puppy have gotten along at the park and have had an enjoyable walk together, it’s time to introduce them in your home. It’s recommended that the resident dog is off of its leash, but the new puppy still is on theirs. If both seem to get along fine, you can take the leash off of the puppy after a few minutes.

Feed Your New Puppy in a Different Room

When feeding your resident dog and new puppy, feeding them separately is recommended for the first few days or weeks. Your resident dog should be fed where you always feed them, while your new puppy is fed in a different room or far apart in the same room.

How Long Does it Take for a Dog to Get Used to a New Puppy? 

How long it takes for a dog to get used to a new puppy depends on several factors. The age of your resident dog, for example, and their maturity level play a huge role. Also, whether or not they are highly territorial or more laid-back can make a huge difference in how your existing dog and new puppy get along.

Experts say that it takes about three to five weeks for a puppy and dog to form a cohesive and accepting relationship. However, this can vary based on the factors that I discussed already above. One thing is sure; during these first few days and weeks, make sure to show both of your furry friends a lot of love, attention, and TLC.

The Benefits of Getting a Puppy with an Older Dog

Many folks wonder if getting a puppy when they have an older dog is a good idea. The answer is that, in the majority of cases, it’s an excellent idea. Older dogs are more mature and can be a lot more accepting of a new, energetic and silly puppy being thrown into the mix.

Remember, dogs are pack animals, and a single dog in one household can often feel lonely.  Adopting a new puppy can immediately change that situation, which most older dogs would welcome. Below are a few other benefits of getting a puppy if you have an older dog, including:

  • The older dog would be a fantastic teacher and set examples for your new puppy.
  • A new puppy will prevent your resident dog from feeling lonely when you go out to work, the store, etc.
  • Keeping up with your new puppy will give your older dog the benefit of getting some extra exercise.
  • Studies have shown that older dogs tend to live longer with a new puppy in the house.
  • Training your new puppy should be easier with your existing dog as their example.

Final Thoughts

As we’ve seen, how to introduce your dog to a new puppy isn’t rocket science but does take several steps, a little bit of patience, and lots of love. Like many aspects of dog ownership, there’s not a one-size-fits-all answer to this question but instead several steps and a process you should follow for the best chance of success. The good news is that, in the majority of cases, your resident dog and the new puppy will get along swimmingly.

I hope you enjoyed today’s blog and that it answered your question about how to introduce your dog to a new puppy. If you have more questions or would like to get more information on being a great puppy parent, please read my other blogs on the subject. All are filled with actionable information and advice that can help you in every aspect of dog ownership.