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How to Introduce a New Puppy to Your Older Dog

| Updated September 26, 2017

Families that own dogs must be careful when purchasing a new puppy. When they introduce the new puppy to the older dog, the older dog might react negatively because dogs are territorial. If you introduce a new puppy to a dog you already own, use caution and be extremely patient. It might take some time for your older dog to accept, or tolerate, the new puppy.

Visit a neutral location. Bring both dogs to the park, or a friend’s house, and let their first introduction be in a place that neither dog has attachments to. Depending on the dogs, you may want to keep them both on a leash, but definitely keep the new puppy on a leash.

Keep them separated. If you prefer to introduce them at home, keep the dogs separated at first. Allow the older dog to remain in its own habitat, and give the new puppy a small portion of it, such a single room. Choose a room, such as the bathroom or laundry room, that the older dog does not spend a lot of time in.

Talk to the dogs. Whether you meet at the park or separated in two rooms let the dogs slowly interact a little at a time. When doing this, pay more attention to your older dog to make it feel secure. This will cause it to begin associating good experiences with the new puppy.

Reward the dogs for good behavior. The process of getting the dogs to know, tolerate and like each other can take time. Each time you allow them to mingle, give each dog a treat to acknowledge their good behavior. This also reinforces a good experience with each other.

Increase the frequency of their meetings. As the dogs begin to know each other, begin allowing them more time to spend together. Always monitor the dogs when they are together until you are certain they can get along.

Give your older dog its own area. Allow the older dog to remain in its own space and doing it own routine. Teach the new puppy to work around the older dog’s lifestyle, instead of the other way around.


  • Be patient during this process and always supervise the dogs during interactions.