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How to Introduce a Puppy to an Adult Dog

The thought of getting a new puppy is very exciting. You start dreaming of what breed, color, and size pup you want. Picking out names in your head and cuddling with their sweet puppy breath. However, there may be someone in your house that may not be that enchanted by this new family member…your adult dog(s). Introducing “siblings” to the household can be a little tricky.

There will probably be a little bit of rivalry at first, after all you are their mommy or daddy. But usually it turns out smoothly; especially if you know a few tips in advance that will help make the transition easy for every.

We took notes from Laurie Luck of Smart Dog University and proud puppy owner who welcomed 15 puppies into her home within 12 years. I mean, that is a LOT of puppies, right? And it’s always good to defer to the experts for a few handy tips.  And from her experience we can learn a few things.

Communication skills are very important

Social skills in puppies are lacking (to say the least). Basically they are brand new to this world, they don’t understand how to “dog” yet. They only puppy. Puppies in the litter communicate differently. They pounce, play, nip, and even sleep on each other. Adult dogs are great for teaching puppies what not to do as a proper dog. Things like, don’t walk on me, don’t bark in my face, don’t jump on my head, etc. Those a great lessons for both interactions with people and dogs.

However, all their snapping and growling at the new puppy is teaching them The Dog Code. These include, don’t steal my toys, don’t touch my food, don’t bite at me, don’t come near me. This is all very normal, as long as the behavior from your adult dog is appropriate.  

Supervision & Separation is key

Watching the adults and puppies interact is the best way to reinforce the behavior that is expected of both. Avoid punishments, but do show positive reinforcement to positive behavior. The more you’re around, the easier it is for the dogs to communicate correctly.

When you’re not around or if it’s starting to get a little unruly, separate them. Not only does it give everyone a little peace and quiet, crate training is a great way to teach puppies house training.

Also, have escape routes for everyone and safe areas is beneficial. Laurie Luck continues with her knowledge stating, “I taught my dogs how to move away from an annoying puppy very early in our service-dog-raising years. I would call out “kennel” if my dogs were beginning to become annoyed by the puppy. They would run to their crate, I’d put a frozen stuffed Kong inside, and I would close the door. The dogs could enjoy a special treat and be rid of the annoyance… I reinforce that decision to self-crate almost every time with the delivery of a frozen stuffed Kong.”

She also suggests clicker training. You can learn all about it and a whole lot more with Laurie’s YouTube videos.

No matter what, getting a new puppy is an awesome experience! Enjoy the new life in the house and take it one day at a time. Do you have any funny stories about introducing a puppy? Share with us on our Facebook and Twitter Channel.