How to Introduce a New Puppy to Your Dog

Posted on 5 December 2023 Categories: Blog

Bringing a new puppy into the family home is an incredibly exciting time for everyone. Mans best friend help make our lives better and bring out the joys of having a pet.

But there’s one little problem…

You already have a furry companion! You’re bringing a new bundle of joy into your home but you’re not quite sure how to introduce a new puppy to your dog. Don’t panic! We’ve come up with a number of tips and tricks you can use to help to ease your puppy into your new home whilst keeping your current dog happy.

Prepare your puppy for your new home

As is the case when introducing your new puppy to your home for the first time, you will need to ensure that your home is ready. Your puppy is going into a new environment which can be stressful and overwhelming, especially if there is another dog added into the mix.

Here is what you can do to help introduce your new puppy to your home.

Get your puppies mothers scent

Moving into a new home can be stressful for a puppy. Being away from their mother for the first time whilst being surrounded by a new environment is a difficult even without another dog in the equation. To help ease the stress for your puppy, bring something carrying their mothers scent.

To do this, you could purchase a blanket and ask the breeder to store it with in the mother. This way the blanket will carry the scent of the puppies mother when you take the puppy home. Most breeders/rescues will provide you with a blanket or toy that the mother has been with for this purpose.

Prepare your dog for your new puppy

Up to now, you dog may have been used to being the only dog or even pet in the house. Your pooch will have become accustomed to having their own toys, treats and bed and on top of having your attention exclusively to themselves.

Introducing a new puppy to your dog might be a difficult period for your dog. But there are a number of ways you can make the process as smooth as possible for your current dog.  

Introducing your puppies scent

Smells are incredibly important to dogs. Introducing your puppies scent into your home will help your dog familiarise themself with the puppies identity. This will also help give your dog the idea that the puppy is ‘part of the pack’.

To introduce your puppies scent into home, simply give your dog an item, such as a toy or blanket that belongs to your new puppy. You can do this for a few days before any face-to-face interaction.

Introduce your new puppy to your dog

Once you have done all the necessary preparations, now is the time to introduce your new puppy to your dog. When it finally comes to your two dogs interacting, consider these tips.

1.      Act casual

Dogs are great at sensing your emotions and reading your body language. Before you introduce your new puppy to your dog, you must act as though nothing has changed and nothing is going to change. Do not give your dog more affection than normal.

Giving your dog more affection than you typically would could potentially make your dog believe something is wrong.

2.      Remove your dog’s belongings

With a new puppy coming into your home, your dog could potentially become possessive. Even if they currently don’t show any signs of aggression over possessions, things can change when your new puppy comes home.

You can help to avoid this by removing your dog’s possessions such as toys, bowls, beds and anything else that a dog may become possessive over.  

3.      Set boundaries.

When your puppy is eventually introduced to your new home, they will slowly start coming out of their shell. Biting, nipping and other bad behaviours will start to appear and if you’re not careful, your current dog could become your puppies new chew toy.

Training and discipline is needed before your dog takes matters into their own hands, leading to further aggression problems.  Make sure there is plenty of time out and time for your existing dog to have some space from the puppy – especially if they are resting/asleep.

4.      Don’t introduce sharing straight away

If you’re providing your dogs with toys, do not expect them to share straight away. It takes time for both dogs to adjust to each other and trust each other.

It’s important to discourage any form of possession from your pets as their aggression could potentially turn on you.

5.      Be prepared to read body language

Sometimes you will be able to assess when a dog is uncomfortable around a new puppy. Try to understand your dogs body language and de-escalate the situation before it erupts into something you want to avoid.

  • Some warning signs can include:
  • Growling / snarling
  • Fur sticking up along the back and neck
  • Hunched back
  • Baring teeth
  • Side eye
  • Slow retreating (fight or flight)

Not all body language is bad though. Some body language can be a positive sign that your new puppy and your dog are going to get along. Such signs can include:

  • Licking
  • Rolling onto their back
  • Low bow with tail raised in the air

Don’t forget to reward good behaviour by giving both dogs a treat. This will let them know that their behaviour is welcome.

6.      Crate training

Some people worry at the thought of crate training, however, crates give your dog their own personal space. This is theirs and they do not have to share it. It’s also a good place for them to retreat to if they’re feel overwhelmed or tired.

Crate train your puppy from day one to help them understand what is theirs and what isn’t. The crate (paired together with the blanket of their mothers scent) will help them feel relaxed and safe.

Most of all try to enjoy your new family member – it can be a very stressful time but as with any babies it’s just a moment in time and things will improve as the puppy grows.