Do you have a second dog moving in? You already live with an adult dog and now a little puppy will complete your pack?
The first encounter with the new dog can be quite exciting for everyone involved.
So that a lifelong friendship can develop from the first meeting, it is important to approach it calmly and carefully.
In this article, you’ll learn how to get your dogs together so it’s stress-free for everyone.
You will receive valuable tips on how to get your first dog used to a puppy and we will show you what you can do to bring incompatible dogs together.
In a nutshell: bring adult dogs or puppies together – this is how it works
For the first meeting of both dogs, you should definitely choose a neutral ground and take a friend with you who will take one of the dogs from you.
Go for a walk together and give the dogs time to sniff each other. Also make sure at home that the two don’t have to fight over resources. Your first dog has – especially in his opinion – the house rights and will not necessarily like to share his treats and berths.
Calmness and patience are required here. Create fair conditions for both dogs and deal with both individually so that everyone gets their money’s worth.
The first encounter with the new dog
And suddenly they stand in front of each other. Thrown unprepared into a situation that is supposed to be the cornerstone for harmonious coexistence. Tension spreads.
This quickly creates rivalry, which can be avoided by following a few simple tips.
Even before the first encounter with the new dog, you can prepare your home for the arrival of the puppy.
Nevertheless, you should definitely choose a neutral place for the first meeting, so that your senior does not show any territorial behavior and he wants to protect your home from the foreign intruder!
What should I prepare before the puppy arrives at home?
Some dogs are very special with their resources, which include food, toys, the garden, their own four walls, and also YOU.
In order not to provoke stress in the initial phase, we recommend that you do a few things in your home before the puppy moves in:
- Put your dog’s favorite toys away first
- Set out separate food bowls for each dog
- Collect any bones that are lying around
- Make sure both dogs have a separate retreat
Good to know:
You don’t have to banish your first dog’s favorite toy forever. It is only helpful for the initial phase (the first few days) to get rid of possible stress and conflict factors. Once both dogs have gotten used to each other, they can share the toys.
How long does it take for dogs to get used to each other?
Just like us humans, our dogs are all individual. They bring their own personalities, their own likes and dislikes. Also in relation to other dogs and people.
It’s great that you’re thinking about whether and how it works before you get a second dog. Realize that not all dogs can smell each other well.
At best, can your first dog and the puppy that will be moving in get to know each other before the day of days? This makes it a lot easier for both sides to get used to it AND you can see in advance whether the two like each other.
There’s no telling exactly how long it takes for dogs to get used to each other. If they get along right away, there is a good chance that they will become real buddies from the first second.
Depending on the temperament of the dogs, it may also take them a few days to weeks or months to warm up to each other.
At best, you have no expectations and give them enough time and space to get used to it!
4 professional tips: bring dogs together in a relaxed manner
The big day is coming and everyone will be excited. To minimize the excitement a little, here are four helpful tips for you:
1. Neutral ground
Choose a neutral area for the first encounter between the two dogs. This can be a piece of forest where you and your first dog don’t go that often or a meadow around the corner.
At best a quiet place, without other dogs and without direct traffic.
2. Four arms are better than two
Bringing a second person to meet you can also be helpful. So everyone can concentrate on one leash and you can walk a few meters together in a relaxed manner before you go home.
The dogs are of course allowed to sniff each other extensively and their body language should not be impaired by a leash that is too short.
3. Always stay relaxed
Your new puppy will be ecstatic and excited about all the new things anyway. Bringing your old dog together with a lively puppy can also be a real test of nerves for your old dog.
It is all the more important that you are the calming influence in the story. If your energy is relaxed and calm, the dogs can orient themselves to you. Conversely, you push them when you bring nervous/excited energy into play.
4. It’s better to be safe than sorry
If a new dog moves in with you, it is important to take the time to sniff it, especially in the initial phase. At best, you can take a few weeks off so you don’t have to leave the dogs alone for the time being.
Make sure that the puppy does not annoy and stress your senior too much, nor that your first dog becomes threatening or aggressive towards the little one. They need you, especially at the beginning, so that you can settle any disputes and ensure peace.
What to do if the old dog does not accept the puppy?
Your old dog won’t accept the new puppy in the house? He constantly wants to discipline him and defends everything that once apparently “belonged” to him alone? Or is he just annoyed by the constant mood to play and the boorish behavior of the newcomer?
Many older dogs, and especially those who have been used to life as a lone prince or princess, just like to be left alone.
Is it logical that a puppy like that doesn’t quite fit in there?
It’s now up to you to “keep the rascal away” from your senior. You should make time to spend alone with both dogs, according to their preferences. This can be quiet cuddles for your old dog and energetic games for the little ones.
Make sure your first dog can relax and your pup has enough mental and physical exercise. The Lütte still has to learn how nice an afternoon nap is, that rest periods are part of everyday life and what respect and individual distance means!
Good to know:
Would you like to learn more about individual distance? Take a look at what dog professional Martin Rütter has to say about it.
Bring incompatible dogs together
To get two incompatible dogs used to each other, you can also follow our four professional tips.
It is important to pay very close attention to the body language of the two dogs and to create enough space so that they can avoid each other.
Neutral ground and second person present? Excellent!
Then you can slowly approach and approach each other with the dogs in an arc. If both animals seem relaxed, you can reduce the arc and the two can sniff each other.
If one of them starts to freeze, growl or raise their hair, you should distance yourself again and do the whole thing all over again.
Then walk a few steps together and make sure that the two dogs have no reason to argue and that they have positive experiences together.
It will help the dogs a lot if both people are very easygoing, happy, and relaxed. You’re happy that the dogs are sniffing each other, so let them feel it too!
Many older dogs have adapted to a quiet life in well-deserved retirement. But then mistress comes up with the idea to bring a bit of momentum into the booth and brings a puppy into the house.
In this way, the dog’s entire everyday life is turned upside down. This can work well and also help your senior to enjoy life even more. It just depends how you approach it.
Give both dogs enough time to get to know each other.
Especially in the early days you are the supervisor and referee when it comes to food, toys or berths.
Create enough quality time for each dog individually, in which you do things with him that he likes. So no one feels neglected and everyone gets their money’s worth.
Would you like to learn more about the behavior of our dogs? Then take a look at our dog training bible. Here you will find valuable tips and tricks for dealing with your dog properly.