Bringing a new puppy into the family is a big deal for you, any existing fur babies, and your new fur baby. Planning, patience, and taking everything into consideration is key. First you will want to plan the best time for you and your family to take the time for an introduction of a lifelong family member. You will need to figure out the best time for the introduction, whether a weekend is best or if you have any free time or days off to dedicate your time to acclimating your new pup.
Depending on your current fur baby’s temperament, it is best to introduce them first on leash and in a neutral area rather than your house if you are anticipating your current fur baby to be territorial or protective, as well as putting away any toys or food. Walking the dogs together for a bit is a great idea to get them comfortable with each other and be easy going like it’s any other day and normal. Eventually you can drop their leashes and allow them to introduce each other, investigate, and just be dogs!
There are other things that need to be planned out like feeding areas and schedules, sleeping arrangements, potty areas and what to do if the dogs are not getting along or if one needs a little break. You will want to pay close attention to how your dogs are reacting and treating each other, for example avoidance cues like downcast eyes and sulking away, any signs of aggression or jealousy, too rough of play, dominance, energy and anxiety level. Over time you will learn your dog’s personality, quirks and tendencies, as well as their way of communicating with you and your other dog.
Once you are comfortable with both dogs, it is then time to socialize outside your house and assess how they are together and separate with other dogs on and off leash in different environments like quiet parks, beaches, or busy restaurants. You want to be patient with your pup and give them time to figure out themselves. You don’t want them to feel overwhelmed, so reassure them constantly and give them lots of rewards and attention as well as making sure the love is equally shared between pups.