How Compatible Are Your Puppy and Older Dog?
If you want to bring a new puppy into your family, it`s easy to choose based on the `cuteness` factor, or even on the spur of the moment.
But if you want to maximize the potential for a harmonious relationship between your resident dog and the newcomer, it pays to think things through first.
Here are a few things that might help:
- A pup of the opposite sex, is more likely to be accepted without too much fuss - and there`s less chance of serious conflicting erupting later on when the puppy reaches adolescence.
- An older resident dog will be less threatened by a puppy, than it will by another adult dog. A pup or adolescent will most likely accept either.
- Give a thought to size and breed characteristics. If your current dogis from a breed with a strong prey-drive, introducing a new puppy who is a small, fast-moving breed is probably not the best idea.
- Most terrier breeds were bred to huntvermin of various sizes and types. If your resident dog is a terrier, orterrier-mix, introducing a tiny, teacup chihuahua could be asking for trouble.
- Large and giant breed dogs are often docile and low-energy as adults, but they might hurt a very small puppy completely by accident. Choosing a more robust or larger breed rather than a miniature one might be wiser.
Of course, every single dog and pup is a unique individual, and these are `generalizations`.
Video: Cesar Millan - How To Introduce a New Dog to the Family
You know your own dog best, so choose your new family member using the understanding and knowledge you have of how he/she is likely to behave, based on past experiences and observation.
Meet & Greet!
Whatever the age, size or breed of both your resident dog/s and yournew one, the initial introductions should be done under closesupervision, and preferably with more than one human present.
If your older dog is pretty friendly and not overly territorial,then introducing a new puppy on home territory should work. A youngpuppy is unlikely to challenge an adult dog, but it`s rowdiness andnatural exuberance may make it a bit of an irritation.
Generally the resident dog will `keep the newcomer in line`, witha warning growl, or sometimes a snap, if it oversteps it boundaries.
This kind of behavior is perfectly normal, and it`s best to let the dogssort out the `pecking order` for themselves (unless someone is reallygetting hurt or scared).
When the meet & greet takes place in your home, don`t betempted to make a whole bunch of fuss over the newcomer, while ignoringthe older dog/s.
Puppies are so precious, that it`s hard not to `ooh and aah` overthem, but keep your adoration for those one-on-one times when yourother dog isn`t around.
Dogs are pack animals, and their societyfunctions on a fairly strict, heirarchal system.
The older, more mature, stronger dog will be the dominant dog,while the new, smaller and weaker one will be lower down the ladder. Ifyou `coddle` and pet the younger one at the expense of the older one,you upset this natural balance.
Instead, be sure to feed, pet and acknowledge the resident dogBEFORE the puppy. This reinforces their natural `pecking order` andmakes power-squabbles less likely.
However, sibling rivalry is not just for our human children!
If your resident dog is territorial,touchy or unused to other dogs, introducing him to your new puppy may go better inneutral territory.
You`ll definitely need two people in this case. Take both dogs toa local park (if your puppy isn`t yet fully vaccinated, try a friend orrelatives house or yard instead) or somewhere similar.
Be sure they`re both leashed, and then allow them to become aware of each other from a distance.
Try walking parallel to each other, but a few feet apart, tobegin with. Their natural curiosity will get the better of them, andwhen they feel more comfortable with the presence of the other they willinvestigate. Wagging tails and sniffing are good signs.
If all goes well, you can try re-introducing the new puppy athome. If you`re still unsure of your older dog`s reaction, try puttingthe puppy in a fenced area or dog pen, and allow them to sniff and interact through the wire.
Be sure to have anotheradult present just in case things don`t go smoothly. Don`t use a leash oneither dog within a confined space as this can lead to aggressivebehavior.
Video: How to introduce a puppy when you have an older dog?
When you bring home a new puppy, always make sure you have enough of toys, bones, beds, bowls,treats etc. to go around.
Minor squabbles over possessions do happen,and generally the older, resident dog will put the `young `un` in hisplace, but always supervise playtimes at first as this kind of conflictcan escalate quickly.
Handling Squabbling Between Your New Puppy & Resident Dog
An argument between two dogs can be quite un-nerving, especially tonew, inexperienced puppy parents, and when introducing your puppy to the otherfamily dog/s, you will most likely see at least a couple of `disagreements`.
Growling, lip-curling and even a snap isn`t unusual (on the partof the older dog), the puppy will understand this well, as it`s exactlythe way him mom would discipline him.
Most times the puppy will showsubmissive behavior (lay down, roll over to show his belly, widdle alittle etc.), his apology will be accepted and peace will return.
If the new dog is an adolescent or mature adult, it may be alittle more complicated. In most cases, inspite of considerably moregrowling and posturing, the dogs will sort it out between themselves.
Interference by their humans will be counter-productive and more than likely make matters worse.
There are occasions though, when one two dogs just can`t getalong and the fights extend beyond posturing.
If this kind of rivalryturns into snarling and biting (I mean blood-drawing bites, not nips)you have to take a stand.
Keep the dogs separated and only let them interact throughfencing as talked about above.
After a while they may relax and becomemore accepting of each other, but if this doesn`t happen you may have toseriously consider finding another home for the newest arrival.