The desire to add a new pet to your home is natural, and with a little preparation, you may be surprised at how quickly your adult dog welcomes the new puppy. Adding a dog of the opposite sex, such as a female puppy if you have an adult male, improves your odds of success. For best results, make the introduction over a weekend or another time when you or others in the family will have a few days to monitor and supervise your dogs' interactions.
Step #1 - Make the introduction in a neutral area. Rather than bringing the new puppy into your home, have a friend waiting with her at a park. Bring your adult dog and make the introductions there. Keep both dogs on a leash, but allow them room to maneuver, so they can make a friendly overture or back away if they want.
Step #2 - Give the dogs plenty of time to get used to each other. Talk casually with your helper, rather than fussing over either dog.
Step #3 - Watch for signs of aggression. If either dog curls its lips, baring its teeth, raises its hackles or stiffens its legs or tail, it may be feeling aggressive. At the first sign of aggressive behavior, walk the dogs off in opposite directions. Once they have calmed down, casually meet up again. Repeat the process until both the adult dog and puppy seem comfortable, and perhaps are even showing signs of playfulness, such as rapid tail wagging and bowing in a play stance.
Step #4 - Head home. Walk back to your house and let the puppy get to know your adult dog on his home turf. Keep both dogs leashed until you are comfortable that they will get along unrestrained.
Tip: Minimize conflicts by having multiple water bowls and dog beds and feeding your pets in separate areas.
By Stephanie Dube Dwilson
About the Author
With features published by media such as Business Week and Fox News, Stephanie Dube Dwilson is an accomplished writer with a law degree and a master's in science and technology journalism. She has written for law firms, public relations and marketing agencies, science and technology websites, and business magazines.