Introducing Your Puppy to Your Current Pack

April 1, 2013 | By More

Abe as a Puppy


Pack Mom Question: Hi Pack Mom, been following your page for a little while, any advice about bringing a new puppy home to the older dogs? I’m having some trouble with my new pup (10 weeks) and my older dog (18 months) at feeding time. Would love to hear some advice!

Pack Mom Answer: Congratulations on your new puppy! Your current dog is young too so your house must be bursting with energy right now. What fun! Since, I don’t know the history of how you introduced the dogs or what you have tried so far, I’ll give you all of my tips and you can use what is most applicable to your situation.

But, I always advise, work with a professional as needed (especially if you are seeing too much aggression or your gut is telling you that you are out of your comfort zone). You probably have many all-star trainers in your area and your veterinarian can give you pointers as well.

1. Introductions– My best advice is to do this in a neutral location…like a park. Keep all dogs on leash and take them for a nice long walk. Of course if the puppy is tiny, your walk may not be too far. But it is still important. Pack walks get all dogs (and you) in the right state of mind. The introductory walk will be a non-threatening way to introduce the puppy to your current dog.

2. Once you are home– Remove all toys, chews, bones, etc. out of the way and let the dogs get to know each other. The fun items can be introduced later (days or weeks) if appropriate when the dogs are more comfortable with each other. Again, this will help your current dog not feel like he/she needs to protect his/her “stuff.”

3. Personal space– Make sure there is a space for each dog to retreat to if they need to. A place where they can be away from the others, have a treat and relax. This will be especially important for your current dog to have time away from the puppy who might be chewing on him or otherwise driving him nuts. Keep the resident dog on his routine and give him extra alone time with you too. He needs to know that he is still the apple of your eye!

If you are gone the majority of the day and the dogs are home alone, I would recommend separating them however. Do this until you know for sure that they get along and in your case that the puppy isn’t going to destroy anything too valuable 🙂

4. Feeding time- I recommend separating the dogs (at least at first) when feeding. If the puppy is bothering your current dog during feeding time or vice versa it is better to separate. My dogs ate in different rooms for the first year or more of living together. Now they are in the same room and have no problems. But, they know each other, they are comfortable with each other and they have established their pack order.

5. Exercise- Tired puppies are good puppies and are more tolerable to older dogs. Gradually increase the length of your pack walks as the puppy grows and ensure that the puppy and your current dog are getting the right amount of exercise for their age and ability.

6. Supervision and attitude– Always remember that you are the Pack Mom, the leader. A calm, assertive attitude and a lot of love will help you raise a healthy, happy pack. Positive reinforcement for good behavior will go a long way too. The dogs should feel that all wonderful things come from being “good dogs” especially around each other.

Supervise your puppy and current dog and make corrections as needed. Your new pack will work, just give it time. Rome wasn’t built in a day, right?

Enjoy your dogs and best wishes!

Websites and Blogs on this subject that I like are:





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Category: Training

About the Author ()

Jenn Fadal is a national Pet Wellness & Lifestyle Expert. In addition to being the founder of her own holistic pet boutique, Wag, this Tampa native can be seen frequently on Media General’s Daytime Television across the country, as well as on FOX, NBC and ABC. She is also a writer and subject matter expert for various publications.

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