To most puppies, all dogs are older dogs. To you, your older dog might be anywhere from a young adult to a genuine canine senior citizen but that new puppy is going to view your existing dog as either a surrogate parent, a large new playmate or a scary old monster that needs to be avoided at all costs.
So what’s the most effective way to introduce a new puppy to an older dog?
The best way to introduce your new puppy to your established, older dog is to create a positive experience for both dogs. A neutral meeting venue makes the introduction easier. Focus most of your attention and fuss on the older dog. Let the puppy explore their surroundings. Use food for rewarding both the puppy and the older dog.
The first steps when introducing a puppy to an older dog
Remember all dog training is about creating positive associations.
This is true of both the puppy and the older dog. For the purpose of this guide, we’ll refer to your existing / established dog as the older dog.
- Introduction to older dogs should be positive
- Try to predict what your older dog might do upon introduction to new puppy
- Look for signs of stress in either older dog or puppy and be prepared to intervene
- Have treats handy, feed your older dog first – make sure they’re happy and content
- Any signs of aggression from older dog, intervene and protect puppy from harm
- If possible, introduce puppy to older dog outside – ideally in your garden if you have one
- Makes lots of fuss of your older dog and let the puppy find his feet through exploring
- Focus nearly all of your attention on the older dog. Puppies have short attention spans, but older dogs do not
Neutral ground is best for introducing a puppy and older dog
Socialisation for puppies
Early socialisation is probably one of if not THE most crucial of all the initial puppy training steps you can go through. Exposing your pup to different kinds of environments and experiences is a very important step in their learning process.
In order to develop a healthy mental well-being, he needs to know that the world is a fun place to explore. This can only be achieved through proper and continuous socialisation.
Socialisation is the process of preparing your pup for healthy mental development by exposing him in a positive way to different sights, smells, and sounds. socialisation also includes interaction with people, dogs and other animals, as well as other objects like moving cars.