Introducing a new puppy to your older dog.

How to Introduce a New Puppy to Your Dog: The Ultimate Guide

What’s better than a pet dog? Two pet dogs. It’s no surprise that millions of pet parents can’t stop at just one four-legged family member. Introducing additional pups to the household is not a decision to make lightly. Just because you’re ready for a new pet doesn’t mean your first dog is quite so enthusiastic about the idea.

Before the Meeting

A little preparation goes a long way in promoting smooth, stress-free interactions between your current dog and new puppy.

During the Initial Meeting

A proper introduction is just as important in the canine world as it is in the human world. You can’t just assume that two pups meeting for the first time will make fast friends. Here are some dos and don’ts to help you with the initial introduction as well as future interactions.

Dog Introductions: What to Do

Dog Introductions: What Not to Do

What to Watch For

A dog’s body language during introductions and other meetings can tip you off to potential conflicts before they occur.

Watch out for these potential warning signs:

Always remember that wagging tails do not always indicate happy dogs. A straight tail that’s wagging stiffly is potentially a signal of dominance and aggression.

After the Initial Meeting

Patience and persistence are everything when it comes to ensuring pet relationships start off on the right paw. Supervise interactions closely during your dogs’ initial weeks together, offering praise and positive reinforcement along the way. Keep an eye out for signs of conflict like those noted above and be ready to intervene if necessary. You’ll want to exercise special care around food and favorite toys, which may inspire tussles between your dogs.

Throughout the introductory phase, don’t forget to give plenty of attention and affection to both of your pets. Neither your puppy nor your older dog should ever think that they’re getting any less love than their new sibling.