Introducing a New Pup to the Family
Introducing a new pup to the family can be a very exciting time for you and your family. You’ve searched for the perfect breed, found a qualified breeder, and picked out your newest family member.
However, for your old dog(s), it can be a less than warm welcome. It can take a bit more adjusting if you have a territorial breed—like a Cane Corso— that will need to accept the new pup into their already formed pack. It often takes a bit of work to earn loyalty. This effort is done before and after the initial meet.
Before the Meet
There are a lot of little house prep things you can do to ease the transition.
Your old pup may have an issue sharing with the new pup, so make sure that there is a fresh space. Meaning, there should be a different food dish, bedding, and toys for each dog. This lessens a territorial dispute.
There should also be a separate area for the dogs to go to when they need a break. This is especially the case if your current dog is older. With a new pup that is young and full of energy, the older dog may become restless and tired. It is important to let him or her have a break.
Decide on an Atmosphere.
Decide on rules before bringing the new pup home so there is no mixed messages. There should be an absolute zero tolerance for bullying. One method for this is to outwardly reward good behavior with treats and praise. Make it fun and intriguing to be friendly towards the new pup. This will also help to extend the pack.
New Pup Socialization.
Make sure that your old pup has been properly socialized with other dogs, puppies, and sharing attention. However, it is also important to remember that this is a crucial time for your new pup to be socialized to different elements, sounds, places, dogs, etc.
Decide on a Meeting Ground.
Sometimes, for a territorial breed, it can be better to meet in a safe environment away from what they know as, “my home.” You could do it at a dog park, on a walk, a friend’s house, etc. The setting depends on your old dog’s energy level, both dogs’ vaccines, and if the young pup is leash trained. It is important to abundantly reward good behavior.
After They Meet
Maintain the Familiar Schedule
Stick to a normal routine as much as possible. While the new pup will have a lot of needs, do your best to continue walks, play-time, meal-time, and outside breaks with your older dog in the way that he or she knows. The new pup will learn to adapt to the household schedule.
Supervision ensures that both dogs have a fun time without aggression. Naturally, a pack leader hierarchy will form and both will accept new boundaries. Just make sure you maintain the ultimate pack leader status and avoid the old or young pup bullying the other.
It is normal for jealousy to form between your dogs at first. However, if you’re aware, this can be navigated and quickly alleviated. Give both dogs time alone with you. Praise them for good behavior. Finally, make sure that they play together and form a pack. Once they’re a pack, the jealousy will be greatly lessened.
Good luck and congratulations on your new pup!