Introducing a new dog to your family Image- Pexels
How to introduce your home and family to a new young dog and creating a safe environment to meet the older family pet
Bringing a new dog home, especially when they are young, is a very joyful event yet this can also become very stressful or even turn into a total disaster. There is nothing more unnerving than not knowing how your other dog will react when you introduce them to each other, or whether your kids will get along with them.
There are a few things to consider before expanding the size of our family. I will go through each of them in this article, for the sake of your new dog, your “mental health” and the other family members, both two and four legged.
If you live alone, all you have to worry about is whether your house is “dog proofed” and if you are ready for this new commitment. This is not something to underestimate and we discussed it in this in a previous article (LIVING IN A FLAT)
It’s you and your partner
This is the best scenario, as long as your partner loves dogs too of course, and it’s not a total surprise. When I say total surprise, I mean something that your partner would not expect at all. Showing up one day at home with a cardboard box with a cute little puppy in it sounds great but at the same time, it could lead to big issues if this is something that your partner is not emotionally available for or doesn’t have the time for.
It’s you, your partner and the kids
This situation has two outcomes
-Ideal scenario: your kids are responsible and at that age when they can take care of a dog. They are happy to look after them, feed them and walk them around the block (before they do this on their own, make sure you taught them well; avoid the use of collars, harnesses are best and this is one of my favourite for its simplicity – even kids can put it on the dog with ease.
(click here for one of the easiest and comfortable on the market).
Essentially, all you have to “worry about” is paying food and bills – but you are used to that already, right? Horror movie scenario: your kids were not ready for this and the dog is paying for it, by being constantly harassed and mistreated. There might be a million reasons why this is happening and we need a different article to go in to detail about this, as it is not something to underestimate and needs to be addressed immediately, before your kids take it one step too far or the dog reacts.
Many of us are in the ideal scenario situation, which is great, but don’t forget that sometimes kids start losing interest and end up not looking after the dog like they use to in beginning.
It’s you and your dog
This is a tricky situation. Let’s have a look at these 3 possible scenarios:
– Recipe for disaster: you are bringing home an un-castrated teenage dog but you already have a very protective un-castrated adult dog and they never met outside of your home before. You will be lucky if you make it past the gate without causing a massive brawl. Avoid this situation at all costs.
– The fragile situation: same scenario as above but the dogs have already met outside of the home in a neutral place and they were fine, on and off the leash. This is great of course but the adult dog might completely change behaviour once the young dog enters your place.
Make sure the dogs have met more than once and take it one-step at a time. If you have a garden, the first time you bring the young dog home, make sure they meet there.
– Friendly home dog: ideally, this is what we want, an adult dog living in the house who is not over protective and fine with having other dogs around, even of the same sex. Un-castrated dogs are more territorial so this may be harder to achieve. This can also be hard to achieve if no one has ever visited you with their furry companion, as the dog is not used to having other dogs around. If the “friendly home scenario” is where you fit in, you are either lucky or you did a great job making sure that your dog acquired great socialisation skills. With that said, problems may arise once the young dog gets close to your dog’s food bowl or favourite sleeping mat. We will discuss this in a moment.
It’s you, your family, your dog and the new puppy
This is just like the previous scenario but a tad trickier. Why’s that? Well, the dog may not only be protective of you, but also other house members. Make sure you follow the same advice as for the scenario above.
New Dog with Family – Image Unsplash
The “fragile” or “friendly” scenarios are the ones that I believe most of you will find yourselves in; let’s talk a bit more about it.
How to introduce them to each other
This is the most important part so follow these steps:
– Always pick a neutral place, certainly not your home,and possibly, somewhere neither dogs have been before.- When they first meet, make sure they are not facing each other whilst on their leads, like it is some sort of stand-off (If you are in the market for a great lead or leash, check this one out, as reviewed by “Good Housekeeping” this was their number one, Heavy Duty Dog Leash by Goma).-
Keep both of them on the lead (no muzzle and use harnesses) and go for a walk, keeping them a bit far apart.
Once they are at ease, make them walk closer so they can get increasingly used to each other. If there is someone else to help you with this it would be better.- Once they are used to each other and seem to get along, let them off of their leads in a confined place outside (not a tiny garden nor a giant park, something in the middle) so they can play and sniff around. – Look at their body language (what’s their tail doing? Wagging or tensing?) and keep an eye on them.- Don’t stand in their way and at the beginning don’t let the new dog come close to you, to avoid your dog turning into protective mode.
These are the most critical days and when mistakes are usually made, and then things can get ugly. No matter how much you trust your dog, do not leave them alone with the puppy for the whole day at the beginning.
Young and Older Dog – Image by Pexels
Make sure they get to socialise and get to know each other but without the younger one driving the older one crazy. If there is a big age gap make sure that the older dog gets some time off as the puppy will have more energy and be very eager to play.
How to feed them.
Food can turn a laid-back dog into a fighter so particular attention must be made. Most older dogs will let a puppy eat from their bowl, usually looking up at you asking why you have introduced this interloper. This is wrong and you should teach your new dog not to do this, as it will likely lead to bigger problems once the younger dog grows.
If the older dog grew up alone in the house, without having a “competitor” they will likely take their time to eat. If you then bring a younger dog into the environment, the new dog will quickly learn that they can steal food from the older one, they will at some point become protective of your older dog’s food, likely ending up attacking them.
I Recommend a ceramic bowl for a young dog as it moves less, my favourite is this one, really pretty by Wrendale Designs (whilst not the cheapest it is gorgeous in the flesh offering stability.)
Don’t always let them copy each other
The younger dog will quickly learn the house rules by imitating the older one, even if you don’t pay much attention to it. Unfortunately, this also applies to bad habits i.e. if your older dog likes to jump on chairs to give a good lick to the crumbles that you left on the table, your new dog will learn that quickly. To avoid this, make sure your dog has good manners and at least basic training before even considering bringing home a new one.
Don’t let your worries take over, don’t let your imagination run wild thinking what might happen when you are going to introduce your new young dog to your home, family and current dog. It’s a fantastic sight to see kids screaming for joy when their parents bring home a new four legged family member, or when your current dog finally has some company whilst you are at work.
Do not underestimate jealousy though and the damage that it can cause. This may affect your current dog, your new dog, or even another family member.
Home Alone Dog – Image by Pixabay
Everyone in the household must be ready to welcome the young dog into the home. If unsure then take a little more time. You will reap the rewards
I look forward to hearing from you and welcome your comments below.
Dolly & I wish you a fantastic day.
Thank you for reading this far – Cordelia –
NB. Images by Pixabay, Unsplash and Pexels, plus Dolly
Affilitate links are from Amazon, very small commission but cost is the same as going direct
10 Replies to “Introducing A Puppy To A New Home”
Seriously, I also like puppies very much because they bring endless joy to family members. It may happen that I have about two weeks to move into a new home. My husband suggested that I get a pet dog, and he also likes puppies.
We may buy one online or buy one from the pet market. Finally, thank you for taking the time to introduce these puppies.
I am so glad this post was useful to you. Thank you for taking the time to read it.
In terms of purchasing a new dog or puppy, I would always recommend you first meeting the dog prior to purchasing. I have written several articles about purchasing the right dog. You may find this especially useful https://yourhungryhound.com/ca…
Hi, I was just talking to a friend at work about getting a new dog. We talked about how important it is to train and socialize your puppy. You have to get them out around other dogs and people at an early age.
Different dogs have different temperaments and intelligence. Some are lazy, and some are very active. You have to do your research and take this commitment seriously. There are a lot of things you need to think about before you decide which puppy you get.
Hello Jake, thank you for your comment, it is really useful, I couldn’t agree more, there are several considerations prior to purchasing your new dog or puppy. I have written a few posts you may find useful. 👍
Sure, introducing a new puppy to a new home could be a fun and joyful thing to do and it can as well lead to disaster too if not accepted by any of the family member around when the puppy is being introduced to the home. You covered a huge aspect regarding this problem and how to tackle it completely. One of the most dangerous problem I have seen in regards to this is jealousy. So we should try our best to treat each family member equally.
Mr Biizy, I loved your comment, it adds value to the post and is useful for other readers. I thank you for taking the time to read and to comment. You are accurate in your observations surrounding jealousy, it can be divisive and cause many arguments, not just the dogs being jealous but other members of the family of the dogs. You are right to tackle head on.
Thank you for reading my blog, do come back again 🤗
Hi Cordelia … What an awesome post! I really like your writing. I wish I had read the post before I purchased our new puppy. I remember vividly the first time I brought the puppy home. He was very scared. He kept salivating a lot. He drunk a lot and pee’d a lot. It made me and the family so stressed, the worst thing was he didn’t want to eat any of his food. I was afraid he would die the next day. Luckily, it didn’t happen.
Everything I mentioned about my puppy’s behaviour was because he had just begun to adapt to his new home and missed his Mum and siblings.
You are right, we must begin to apply the rules for our new puppy so they know what is permissible and what is not.
By the way, which is easier, taking home a teenage dog or puppy?
Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment on the post. I think many people will be feeling just how you felt when first your brought your puppy home, I think the fact people don’t feel alone and see a way out is huge. Sometimes it just takes time and consistency. You are spot on right regarding boundaries, puppies must be shown, just like they would if they were with their paternal parents. The mother dog would show her offspring what is and isn’t allowed, when we take ownership we must continue this learning to enable safety and security.
In terms of which is easier, Teen Dog or Puppy? It depends, if you have a house trained teenage dog without any recurrent issues then they would be an easier introduction. If however you have a teenage dog who has developed behaviour problems then it would require similar work to that of introducing a puppy.
All dogs, no matter the age require time and patience. There is a lot of merit in looking at housing a teenage dog as these are often harder to place, they are often cheaper. Do your research and make the decision based on what is right for you and your environment. 👍
Puppies may sometimes be loved and welcome as much as human family members! There are a lot of different situations to be handled, so that the newbie doggy will be living a happy life in the new home. By example, if a young family is expecting a baby, it may be better first to give birth to the baby and then bring a dog in the house, so that the dog would not get jealous otherwise! My dad told me this one, years ago.
Wish you a Happy New Year! Peter
Thank you Peter for your comments, it is a really worthwhile observation, that of a new baby either due or arriving at similar time and one which I failed to comment on. So I think your comment will offer great value.
I appreciate you taking the time to read and then comment on the post..👍