How To Introduce Your New Puppy
Updated: Jun 14
Things that helped me to introduce our new puppy to Chester
How to introduce your new puppy will be one of the most thought about question you will have before bringing them home.
With careful handling, the first meeting between your new and your current dog/s could be the start of a beautiful friendship. Your pups could soon be playing in the park and snuggling together on the sofa. (Although border collies like there own space and will only snuggle in the car or on the floor)
Remember, though, that every dog is an individual with their own unique needs and preferences. Some dogs would love the company of another dog, while others will always prefer to have their own space.
Here are 5 tips that I followed when bringing Crumble home
1) When visiting the puppy we took a blanket to hold the puppy in.
This can then be brought home and placed in the puppy’s crate. This helped Chester to (existing dog) get used to Crumble's (New Puppy) scent in the house before coming home.
Especially as her crate was in our bedroom. It was important for Chester to be okay with her scent. This also makes it easier for the new puppy to settle having their scent already in the home and in what will become their safe space. This could also be done with a toy but a blanket would be easiest.
2) When collecting Crumble we introduced them in a neutral space.
It’s a good idea for your dogs to meet for the first time in a safe place. Crumbles breeder luckily owned a secure field that we rented while we picked her up. We let Chester & Maisy have a run around in it first as we'd had a long journey down and then when they'd released some energy we brought Crumble into the field to let them meet her. The meeting went so well Chester absolutely loved her. (Crumble was held by me as she had only one vaccination)
3) Feed the new Puppy in a separate area to resident dogs
Chester and Maisy have the dog room where they eat. Crumble started by eating in the kitchen so their would be no food issues. Chester isn't a possessive dog but he eats very fast and him and Maisy swap bowls to lick out when they're done. We wanted Crumble to be introduced to this environment at a slower pace. She ate in the kitchen until she was about 5 months then moved into the pet room but at 7 months entered a fear period and has moved back into the kitchen. Be prepared for eating places to take a while to establish a routine.
4) Remove toys that existing dogs are overly excited or possessive about
Maisy is obsessive and possessive about balls! she loves them and doesn't like anyone stealing hers. To avoid any tension we removed all balls from the house until relationship's had been formed. We slowly started to allow balls when Crumble was around 4 months. We were prepared to remove them if any behaviour we didn't like occurred.
5) Crate the puppy for time out
Crumble loved Chester she would spend all day following him around if she could. However in the first few days and weeks your existing dog/s may need time out from the puppy. A playful loud puppy is a lot for them to adjust to and they need time to get used to the puppy as much as the puppy needs to learn how to behave around them. I crated Crumble a few times a day:
1) To ensure she napped as much as she needed so she didn't get overtired and bitey
2) To give Chester a break from playing when she wasn't listening to his cues
3) To give me a break from supervising them
My first shower since Crumble arrived home and I crated her outside the bathroom and this is what I came out to. Chester was downstairs when I went in
How to introduce your new puppy: WHAT To Do If Tensions Arise
Dogs growl as a warning that they need some space – it’s natural behaviour.
If your adult dog growls at your puppy or shows other signs of discomfort such as lunging or snapping, encourage your puppy to move away from your dog and give them something fun to do in their own safe space. If your puppy has been injured, seek veterinary advice straight away.
Get advice from a qualified behaviourist or trainer before attempting another introduction.
Should your puppy seem nervous or worried, call the adult dog away and engage them with something else. Provide them with something fun, such as food, treats or attention away from the puppy. Give both dogs some breaks in the interaction, so it isn’t prolonged.
Thanks for reading
Sarah, Crumble & Chester