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How to successfully introduce a new puppy to your dog

Have you decided to welcome a new puppy into your family? It’s so exciting having a new little furry friend around the house. But did anyone ask your current dog how they feel about this? 

Even if your current dog is well socialised with other dogs, introducing a new puppy can be different because they lack social and communication skills. They won’t recognise your dog’s boundaries and when he or she has had enough of their playtime! If your current dog is used to being the only fur baby prying for your attention, jealousy can come into play too.

Not to worry though, as we are going to provide you with our top tips on how to successfully introduce your new puppy to your current dog.

New Puppy
Gursimrat Ganda via Unsplash

1. Introduce your new puppy’s scent

Before introducing a new puppy to your current dog for the first time, we recommend letting them sniff an item that has your new puppy’s scent on it. This is because when they do meet for the first time, your dog will recognise their smell and feel a sense of familiarity.

Breeders may give you a blanket or towel with your puppy's scent to introduce to your dog. 

puppy in blanket
Isabela Kronemberger via Unsplash

2. Prepare your home for the new puppy

Before introducing your new puppy to your current dog, it's important to prepare your home for their arrival. For example, you may need to think about objects that your dog could be possessive over. This might include their food bowl, toys, bones, and bed. 

If your dog tends to be possessive, safely store items to prevent aggression or guarding behaviour. Equally, ensure your new puppy has separate food, toys, bed, and crate to avoid conflicts with your other dog's belongings. Check out our First 30 Days with your new puppy article that contains a handy puppy checklist to help guide you with what to buy.

Place a couple of water bowls around the house and make sure both dogs eat in a separate room where they can have their own space. Similarly, their beds should be a place where they can have a “time out”. Whilst some dogs would like to cuddle up once they get to know each other, before this occurs, it’s best to have the beds separated to avoid potential squabbles.

Puppy happily in crate or playpen
Ayla Verschueren via Unsplash

It's also important to have a puppy playpen or crate. Young puppies have not learnt socialisation skills so they may find jumping and nipping at your older dog fun. So, if your puppy is getting over-stimulated and your older dog is getting fed up, the puppy can be placed within a pen to give your dog some quiet time alone.

Ensuring that both your dog and new puppy have their own space and places where they can go eat, sleep, and play, will create a much more relaxed and less stressful environment for them. 

3. Introduce your new puppy and current dog in a neutral area

The first meeting between your dog and new puppy should be in a neutral area. It’s best to avoid the house because your current dog may feel territorial. You could take your dog along to pick up your puppy so they can meet somewhere other than the house or garden. They can then ride home in the car together (with the puppy being in a separate crate).

When you are home, walk both your dog and new puppy around the garden on their leads before going inside together. This way, your older dog will not feel like your new puppy is immediately barging through the front door of their home as this can make them territorial.

Even if your dog does not come along to pick up the puppy, it’s best for them to first meet in the front garden before you bring the puppy into your home. 

4. Always supervise your dog and new puppy’s interactions

Always supervise your new puppy’s interactions with your older dog. Let both dogs sniff, circle, and play together to establish a relationship. It’s a good idea to keep the puppy on the leash during initial interactions so that you can be in control.

Only intervene if it looks like they are both going to fight. But do not pull on the leash as this can signal ‘danger’ to your dog and make them react accordingly. Instead, have some yummy dog treats on-hand to lure them away if they start squabbling.

Dog treats can also be used to reward both dog and puppy for positive interactions with each other! At WOOOF, we have dog treats suitable for puppies like Harringtons Grain Free Puppy Nibbles and Denzel’s Salmon, Peanut Butter & Sweet Potato Puppy Bites for your new puppy to enjoy during training. Here are some more tips for their initial interaction:

  • Ensure none of your current dog’s toys, balls, chews, or beds are around when your new puppy first comes into the home. This is to avoid any territorial behaviours occurring!
  • Have a family member or friend tag along for when the dogs first meet. You’ll be able to focus on one dog at a time and monitor their behaviour. 
  • For the first meeting, 10 minutes is enough time to let them interact before giving them both a break to wander around and relax.

Always supervise your puppy’s interactions with your dog for the first few weeks until they are fully accustomed. As much as you want them to be best friends, don’t force interactions and let them get to know each other at their own pace. Make sure your new puppy gets sufficient exercise and mental stimulation to prevent them from directing excess energy towards your other dog.

Once your pup is old enough, take them for walks together to help with the bonding experience. In time, your dog and puppy will hopefully be the best of friends and a comfort to each other!

Two dogs running
Alvan Nee via Unsplash

Introducing a puppy into your home with WOOOF

At, we have a variety of puppy products to help you introduce your new puppy into your home. From cosy beds to puppy bowls and puppy-specific toys, we have everything you need to prepare for your new arrival. Head over to the ‘new puppy’ section of our website to see all our available options:

Alternatively, check out the product reel below for some of our favourites!

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