Friday, 6 April 2012

Brining your new puppy home when you already have a dog at home

Bringing a new puppy home can be a very exciting time for everyone, everyone except sometimes your older dog. Every dog will take to a new addition in different ways, some welcome them with open paws, others have no interest and need time, while others are not very keen on the idea at all. For me it was incredibly important that I get a puppy while Scout was still around. Where Scout is such a confident and well rounded dog I really wanted some of that to imprint onto my new puppy.

As part of SPCA protocols Scout and Kobi had to meet prior to the adoption being approved. So this was their first meeting, in an area neutral to both of them. This step is very important. Introduce your new puppy to your dog somewhere neutral that is not considered your dogs "territory".
Before bringing your new puppy inside (weather permitting) you should take three walks along your normal route. The first should be with just your older dog, the second should be with just the puppy letting them sniff and take their time. (If you have a long block take them on just the portion you plan on walking them). Finally take the two dogs together, try to remain calm with goof body posture and giving plenty of attention to your older dog.

At this point you can now take them inside, allowing your older dog in first and a chance to settle back in before bringing in the puppy. Keep your puppy on a drag line to prevent them from getting into anything or chasing after your older dog, cats or kids. Take the puppy around to each of the rooms in your home, letting them sniff and take their time. You can show them where their bed and toys are but chances are they won't be interested in them yet. If your older dog has a bed try to reserve that bed just for him. Kobi frequently tried to steal Scouts bed but we would remove him and motion Scout back on as it was "Scout's" place. Now that they are comfortable with each other they often share the bed.

Follow your puppy's schedule for the next couple of days, play when he wants to play, eat when he wants to eat, take him out frequently to try to avoid any accidents inside and the creations of an association with soiling in the house. All the time make sure to give your older dog lots of love and attention, don't make him feel left out! This sounds easy but it's not, the charms of a cute puppy are often the only thing you'll be noticing, but don't forget your older dog.
When it comes to feeding time feed them at separate times and places if possible to avoid any resource aggression.

Be prepared for your older dog to show your puppy his place. Never leave the two unattended together and when both are roaming keep them in your eyesight. Leaving a drag line on your puppy can also help to remove the puppy from any  tense situations. I learned very unexpectedly that play time was a tense time. I learned the hard way that if I tugged vigorously with Kobi Scout became protective and would try to intervene. To say the least there were a few tense moments of Scout trying to protect me. From then on there was no intense tug playing.
Puppies supply lots of cuteness and fun, enjoy it while you can by starting your puppy and your dog off with the right start!

1 comment:

  1. good tips!! many apply to bringing home any new dog, no matter how old, when you already have a dog in the household.