How to Introduce a Puppy to an Older Dog?

How to Introduce a Puppy to an Older Dog

Introducing a Puppy to Your Older Dog: A Guide for Harmony

Bringing a playful puppy into a home with an older dog requires careful consideration. Here’s a guide to help ease the transition and build a positive relationship:

Before the Introduction

  • Scent Exchange: Let your older dog sniff a blanket the puppy has used to familiarize them with the new scent.
  • Neutral Territory: Choose a neutral area (not your home) for the first meeting for a less territorial experience.
  • Leashed and Supervised: Keep both dogs on leash for control and to observe their initial interactions.

The First Meeting

  • Patience is Key: Allow them to sniff and explore each other at their own pace.
  • Positive Reinforcement: Praise and reward calm behavior from both dogs.
  • Watch for Body Language: Signs of playfulness (bowing, relaxed tail) are good. Stiff posture or growling indicate tension – separate them briefly.
  • Short and Sweet: Keep the initial meeting brief to avoid overwhelming your older dog.

Living Together

  • Separate Spaces: Initially, provide both dogs with their own areas for eating, sleeping, and relaxing.
  • Supervised Play: Monitor playtime closely, especially in the beginning.
  • Addressing Dominance: If your older dog is dominant, work on basic obedience with the puppy to establish positive interactions.
  • Preventing Resource Guarding: Feed dogs separately and remove toys when unsupervised.

Do’s and Don’ts

  • DO:
    • Train and exercise the puppy beforehand to release excess energy.
    • Continue one-on-one time with your older dog to prevent jealousy.
    • Offer separate safe spaces for each dog.
  • DON’T:
    • Force interactions or let them “work it out” unsupervised.
    • Leave them alone with toys or treats they might fight over.
    • Punish growls – this suppresses warning signs and could lead to unexpected aggression.

When to Seek Help

Consult a professional dog trainer if:

  • Your older dog shows signs of aggression towards the puppy.
  • The puppy is constantly bothering the older dog.
  • Tension between the dogs doesn’t ease after a few weeks.

Key Takeaways

  • Patience and understanding are essential for a successful introduction.
  • Supervise interactions, especially in the beginning, to ensure safety.
  • Separate resources and provide individual attention to prevent conflicts.
  • Seek professional help if you encounter significant difficulties.

With time, care, and positive reinforcement, your puppy and older dog can learn to coexist peacefully and even become best buddies!

How to Introduce a Puppy to an Older Dog?

You can’t teach new and different tricks to your older dog.

Still, you can teach them to welcome a new canine friend and let them know how to share by following some tips that could help you and your older dog to get along with your new puppy

by not damaging or creating a negative impact on your older dog’s mental and physical health as puppies have boundless energy.

Tips that must be taken into consideration are as follows.

Exchanging Scents

If you are planning to buy a new puppy and take it to your home already, you can take a step forward to start the introduction in advance.

If you know what breed and which puppy you want to buy, you can ask the shelter manager to rub a piece of cloth on that puppy and put that cloth near your older dog so that they can be familiar with that scent which results in better understanding of the older dog and the puppy.

‘Howdy Crate’

‘Howdy crate’ is a slang that zookeepers and people in shelters use. ‘Howdy’ refers to ‘hello,’ and crate refers to a cage.

It is a process of introducing your older dog to your puppy by taking the new puppy in a cage or small cabin and placing that cabin on the front ground or anywhere where the older dog can visit it and can only say ‘hello’ to the puppy.

This is the safest way to introduce your older dog to your puppy.

Neutral Area

This is the best way to introduce the puppy to your older dog. Meetings should be done on open or neutral ground with fences where you can drop out leashes and let the dog and puppy get along with one another,

and if a problem comes up, you can easily hold the leashes and take the situation under your control.

This way needs plenty of supervision, and you have to take care of the happenings there.

Move on to a Walk

A great way to make things move further, a walk is the best action you could take to make your puppy and the older dog comfortable with each other in natural settings.

Going for a walk can reduce anxiety and stress and enhance the capability of the dog and the puppy to fight and sense, which benefits them to become friendly with each other.

Ensure that your puppy is 16 weeks old and vaccinated, as it is harmful to take her outside in public places.

Training Games

When you consider taking things on, you need to engage your older dog and your puppy so that the presence of the two does not vex each other, and they can gain social skills. The most prominent way to make them engaging is the training games.

Training games are short sessions like grabbing a stick and asking your dog to fetch it, sitting and standing actions, high five, etc. Playing together increases their sniffing and comfort, which can show positive results.

The Amalgamation of Rivals

Taking out both in public areas other than parks and a friend’s house can lead the dog and the puppy to notice each other more and ensure a feeling of togetherness.

In this way, the focus of their attention will go to the scent of other dogs, and suddenly there will be an amalgamation of rivalries and allies.

Follow Your Dog’s Lead

Some dogs tend to get along with each other more frequently than others. There is nothing to worry about. You only need to make a proper space for them to move on and adapt to each other’s personalities.

Use a Leash

Keep both the dogs on a leash with someone calm at the end. Keep the leash relaxed so there will be no tension present in the dog. Our dogs can easily sense anxiety, and it can interrupt their meeting.

Look for Positive Signs

It is a good and positive sign that the two of them want to pay together. The body language speaks the most. The dog’s body language will tell you about their feelings and if they wish to proceed and form a friendship, let them do their part.

How to Introduce a Puppy to a Dominant Dog?

If your existing adult dog is not getting friendly and comfortable with other dogs, then this might be a problem for you to bring a puppy home. Several factors can help you in selecting the right fit for your family. These include the breed of the dog, the age, and the sex of the puppy.

It is important to note that there must not be any attention depletion to the other dog. There is nothing that a dog ‘hates.’ If the dogs are not friendly with one another, there is always a place to grow and change.

Adult dogs or senior dogs, just like us, want to raise puppies as we do want to raise kids if they have the energy to do so. It is not like the puppies are ‘obnoxious’ to them. It is just that they have another state of sense and understanding.

The best thing we can do to older dogs so that they can live pleasantly and peacefully with the puppies is to make the little puppy work out. Start the training and workout sessions for the puppy.

When the older dog sees the puppy learning things, the parenting instincts will automatically kick in, and it will take the puppy under its wings, protect and train it, and feel, ‘This is my puppy.’

Supervision must be constant so that you can control and direct if some problem comes into being.

How to Avoid Problems in Introducing a Puppy to an Older Dog?

Above all are the great ways to acknowledge when introducing your puppy to your older dog. These ways can help the puppy and dog bond well with each other. But all these activities require proper supervision and involvement from you.

Here are some tips that you must follow to avoid problems between your puppy and senior dog.

Different Rooms

Your house can be a boxing ring for your two pets. Give each dog or puppy their separate corners when they are not being supervised.

Toy-Free Area

Put all the toy products away from them as this can create a common form of aggression in both of them.

Supervised Chewing

If you wish to treat your dogs with food like chewing bones, it is an excellent thought, but put your dogs in the opposite corner of the room and remove the one who finishes chewing fastly.

In conclusion, you need to take care of what to do and what not to do to give the best outcome in training your dogs.

Do’s and Don’ts While Introducing a Puppy to an Older Dog

 It will help if you keep a few things in mind while introducing your puppy to an older dog. The process might be intimidating but not challenging.

What to Do

Change is difficult for everyone, and when it comes to the pet, it is essential to make our pets comfortable in the environment and surroundings. Some points must be contemplated while introducing a puppy to an old dog.

  • Do Allow them to get used to each other at their tempo.
  • Do allow them to play under supervision.
  • Spend time separately with each of them so that they don’t have a sense of jealousy.
  • Do supervise them accordingly for several weeks to avoid problems
  • Do allow them to interact positively if they wish to do so.
  • Do allow them to move out of their crate when desired.
  • Do introduce them into a natural and neutral area.

What Not to Do

Being conscious and diligent towards the pet can show better and more positive results. You need to take care of a few things and avoid circumstances that can adversely affect the pet.

  • Do not let the older dog bully the puppy.
  • Don’t ever allow both the dogs to fight each other in the sense of playing.
  • Do not hold the puppy in your arms while doing the introduction process.
  • Please don’t force them to get used to one another. This might create tension and anxiety among the dogs.
  • Don’t place them in a standard crate. Buy a new crate to avoid unnecessary fighting and problems.

Following the above steps and ways can create a positive transition between your puppy and your dog. Also, they will most likely feel more comfortable and pleasant with one another than before if you help them make them ‘friends’ and know each other well.

It will be a stressful situation and time, but it will produce a positive and happy result. In return, you will be awarded many puppy kisses and cuddles.

You should take help from a professional trainer, if necessary, take interventions, and must follow the steps for how to introduce a puppy to an older dog.

Hence, this was all about how to introduce a puppy to an older dog. Hope this article helps you with making a new dog family.

Aapt Dubey
Aapt Dubey

Aapt Dubey, a devoted canine enthusiast and experienced dog Owner, brings boundless passion to our team. With a heart full of love for our four-legged friends, Aapt is dedicated to sharing insights on dog care, behavior, and training to make every pup's life happier and healthier at

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