A new puppy is coming, its exciting. Well it is for all the human family but what about your existing dog? Not many dogs great a new canine member of the family with open paws! Most people think that introducing a new puppy to the household will be a happy affair and all will go well. This is not always the case and it is important that steps are taking to make it run a smoothly as possilbe to avoid problems occurring.
Puppies have usually only had experience in communicating with litter mates and their mum. Their communications skills are limited and developing. They do not know the “rules! especially when it comes to interacting with a new family and a new dog.
Puppies play diffrerently to an adult dog. Adult dogs have usually learnt the “rules” how to greet, play, stop play and general manners but puppies do not know this. The only rule they have probably learnt is dont hurt your litter mate.
So without any litter mates to play with the nearest thing for them will be your existing dog! They may throw them selves at your new dog in the same way they would a litter mate and that is likely to be greet with a snarl or a show of teeth and maybe more if they persist! The pup has to learn the rules. It is important that puppies are not left un supervised with older dogs. This is to protect both the puppy and the older dogs sanity!
Introduce the dogs in a neuteral place and keep them on leads so you can control the interactions. Praise the older dog for being nice. Don’t punish any growls or shows of teeth this is just your older dog teaching the puppy they are over stepping the mark!
Your new pup is going to be taught the following by the older dog.. dont jump on me, take my toys or food, don’t bite, or pull my body parts, dont sit on me. These are all to be expected. The general rule is that the adult dog can warn the puppy but is not to hurt it. The older dog may not engage play with the puppy, that is their choice. Make sure the older dog has somewhere it can go to get away from the puppy and maybe have a reward, like a chewie or stuffed kong to eat while relaxing. Instigating some time off by crating the puppy or putting in a puppy pen is also a good idea. Puppies need to rest, if they get over tired they can become more boistrous.
If you see the older dog showing signs of aggression then seperate the two and make sure all sessions together are supervised and don’t allow the puppy to badger the older dog. Praise both the puppy and the dog for the beahviours you want to see.
So often I see puppie with free run of the house, hanging off the older dogs ears and the owner wondering why they are not getting along. Take care of both your dogs needs and harmony should resume in the house, but it doesnt alway happen over night it takes time and work from you to ensure that everything runs smoothly.