Introducing a puppy to other dogs

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Our question this week was:

How should I introduce my puppy to my other adult dogs?

Introduce your new puppy to other members of the pet population s-l-o-w-l-y. If there is more than one other animal in your menagerie, introduce the newcomer to one pet at a time, so you don’t overwhelm him. Let your new charge and the incumbent(s) sniff and inspect each other. They may growl and bark at first, but this may simply be a sign of insecurity.

Try reassuring all of your pets that everything’s fine. Make sure you don’t neglect them as you try to make the new pet welcome. Don’t use physical force to put the older animals in their place; this may make them wary of the new arrival. Never leave your new puppy unsupervised with any of your older pets until you’re sure they all get along well. 
To cut down on sibling rivalry, let your older pets know they’re still an important part of the family and that the new puppy isn’t a replacement for them. Spend 10 to 15 minutes alone with each of pet, so that each one gets your undivided attention for a while, at least.

Our question this week came from Brenda H. St. Louis, MO.

Dr. Debra

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