Bringing a new puppy home is normally an exciting time for humans, but it can be a little daunting for your new best friend. Follow these helpful tips to make the process less frightening for your dog, and less stressful for everyone.
Tip 1: Introduce your dog to one member of the family at a time. After they have accepted the first person, move onto the next. Reward them with treats for showing calm behaviour. If they resist contact or if they try to pull away, don’t force it. Be very patient – this is key.
Tip 2: When introducing your new puppy to an existing pet, follow the same process as above. Introduce them one at a time, and reward them with treats for being calm and relaxed. It’s important to take your time to get this part right – don’t do it if you’re in a rush – find an appropriate time when everyone is relaxed.
Tip 3: Do the introductions on the floor so all dogs are on an even level. Resist the temptation to hold your puppy because the other dog(s) may consider them to be jumping the queue in the pecking order and this can lead them to behave aggressively and have the opposite affect of what you want.
Tip 4: The introduction should take place in a part of the house which is not typically occupied by your existing pet. This helps to keep the meeting on neutral ground.
Tip 5: A large space will make the dogs feel more relaxed – confined spaces may make them feel fearful. Outdoor spaces are ideal because dogs feel safer knowing they have an escape route (even if really they don’t!)
Tip 6: Start with the pet that is most likely to be receptive to the new puppy, then gradually introduce them to the others.
Tip 7: Keep older dogs on leads initially you can control them without using physical force. Look out for signs of discomfort e.g barking, snarling, hissing etc
Tip 8: Keep the rewards coming but make sure you don’t accidently reward them for poor behaviour.
In summary, the best approach is to introduce your puppy to humans and other pets one at a time, in a neutral environment on the floor and reward good behaviour.
We’d love to hear of any other tips you have –