Getting yourself a puppy is an excellent step towards building a happy family; however, introducing your pup to a dominant dog won’t be an easy task, and there will be some considerations that you will need to think about before doing so.
Like humans, every dog is of a different temperament and nature. Therefore, it would be safe to assume that not every dog enjoys the company of another dog or even a puppy. They may feel threatened that the new puppy could steal your love and preference, so it’s a natural reaction for your dog to feel jealous.
Introducing a new puppy to your older dog
Below are some considerations before introducing your new puppy to an older or dominant dog.
Find a suitable place to introduce the dominant dog to the puppy
Many dog owners casually start off the first meeting between a dog and the puppy in the home, where the dog has spent most of his life.
The adult dog considers the home their territory and would be less welcoming and more defensive toward the puppy in the house.
Therefore, a good approach is to take your dog outside where they are less hostile and introduce his new partner, then you can look to bring the puppy inside the house. It’s important to not rush the process or force them to spend time with one another.
Buy new toys and bedding for your puppy
If you plan on welcoming a new puppy, they will need their own bed and toys.
You shouldn’t expect them to share a bed with your older dog or their toys, as this could cause a conflict. Your older dog has likely built up an emotional connection with their toys, and seeing a new puppy enter the family is hard enough, let alone seeing them play with their treasured belongings.
We suggest buying a range of new toys for your puppy and a fresh bed.
Toys serve as a great distraction and can be used to start off a great bond between your new puppy and the older dog. They can be used as a positive reinforcement during the introduction. If everything goes to plan, soon both your dog and the puppy with be playing with their share of toys.
Create some distance during the introduction
Initially, you would not want the dog to get too close to the puppy. Therefore, it’s best to maintain some distance between the two dogs during the initial introduction.
The distance shouldn’t be too less that the pup feels threatened by the dog or too much that they can’t even feel each other’s presence, but you should be close by at all times during the first couple of days. You don’t know how your dog will react to seeing and sharing its home with a new puppy.
Even if your dog seems happy to see the new puppy, you shouldn’t think that nothing will happen. Always supervise.
Reward the dominant dog with treats as you introduce the new puppy
Treats are used as a reward for good behaviour, and when introducing a puppy to a dominant dog, can be used as a positive reinforcement. When welcoming your puppy to your dog, say “good boy” (or “good girl) and reward your dog with lots of treats.
As they begin to interact with the puppy, reward them with more. They will quickly realise that what’s happening is positive.
Introduce the puppy slowly
You shouldn’t force your puppy into a situation where it feels uncomfortable.
As a smaller pup, they will feel very anxious, especially if they are away from the litter for the first time, so you need to introduce them slowly.
Give them lots of love and treat both dogs equally during the introduction.
Like babies, puppies also have a witty nature and like to poke around. Therefore, many older dogs may not tolerate this behaviour and find it irritating. It’s important to make sure that you are present at all times to help facilitate the introduction.
Take them both for a walk
Dogs love to go on walks, so why not take your dog and your new puppy at the same time? This will surely strengthen their bond together and give them a chance to explore, chase and play.
Your older dog will also realise that there is much fun to be had together, and will give them both a chance to bond outside of the home.
Why does my dog sniff the puppy a lot?
During the first few days, your adult dog may sniff the puppy a lot. Excessive sniffing is usually linked with interest and curiosity.
Your dog probably means no harm to the pup if your furry friend has forward ears, relaxed posture, and a tail that wags continuously.
However, if the sniffing is followed by growling or biting, then you should immediately separate the dog from the puppy.
You should also maintain a close watch over them and make sure that both the pup and dog aren’t left alone for even a minute.
What if my dominant dog is aggressive towards the puppy?
If your dog reacts negatively to the puppy by growling, barking or biting, you need to keep a close eye on them both. You shouldn’t ever leave them both alone for even a short period of time.
Some dogs come across as aggressive when they first meet the new puppy, as they are anxious that the puppy will replace them, but over time, most dogs improve.
If you are continuing to have trouble introducing your dog to the puppy, you may need to consider whether a new puppy in your home is a good idea. An experienced dog trainer or behaviourist will be able to help for severe cases.
Conclusion: How To Introduce Your New Puppy to a Dominant Dog
Introducing your new puppy to your dog will be an exciting time (overwhelming, too) and most introductions are done without any trouble. If you follow the steps above, then you should have no trouble introducing a new puppy to your home with a dominant dog, and at first, they may be receptive, but in time, they’ll be just fine.
It’s important to not force your puppy in situations where it feels uncomfortable with your dog, it should be a natural process. But with plenty of treats and kisses, anything is possible!
If you do encounter any trouble even after reading this article, then you should get the help of an experienced dog trainer or behaviourist.