13 min

How To Introduce A New Puppy To Your Dog

It’s important to prepare to introduce your new puppy to your dog. Here’s how to do it correctly to build life-long friendships between your beloved pets.

Bridget Reed

Updated January 10, 2023 • Published August 25, 2021

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How To Introduce A New Puppy To Your Dog

Congratulations on deciding to add a new puppy to your family! While it’s important to think of ways that you can make the transition to your home seamless for your new addition, it’s equally important to think about how you can ease that transition for your dog. That’s why Pawp is here to help. 

It can be intimidating to think about your dogs interacting. It can be even more intimidating to think about how to introduce them properly. You want to avoid aggression and jealousy. Nevertheless, it’s definitely possible with the correct preparation and some insight as to how to do so tactfully. 

This article will share with you the ways that you can properly introduce your new puppy to your dog. It will begin by sharing information about how you can prepare for the interaction between your new puppy and your dog. Then, you’ll learn how to handle the dogs’ first time meeting each other. You’ll also learn about how to bring your new dog into your home.

Of course, there are also some things that you shouldn’t do, which will be discussed so that you know what to avoid. Finally, the article shares things you should make sure to do when you’re introducing a new puppy and your dog. By the time you’re done reading, you’ll be well-versed in all things related to helping facilitate this bond between new puppy and older dog. 

How to prepare for the interaction between a new puppy and your dog

The first thing that you should do before bringing your new puppy home is to put anything and everything that your dog (your “resident dog,” for clarity) guards in one place. This could include their toys, bones, beds, or even food bowls. 

Make sure that the new dog that you’re introducing will have a separate area for all of their items. It doesn’t matter if your pet has never shown signs of being possessive in the past; this is an important step to take regardless. Therefore, err on the side of caution and avoid putting your dogs in a position where they might feel territorial and fight over their personal items. 

Another important tip is to be sure you’re avoiding clutter and congestion. If your dogs are in a congested area with little space of their own, this could potentially trigger aggressive behaviors. This is due to the fact that dogs will feel like they’re being forced on each other. 

One way to alleviate this problem is to use a tall baby gate. This can help you keep your dogs’ spaces separate from each other. This won’t be a permanent situation, just until your dogs are used to being around each other and coexisting. Think of it this way: taking the time to introduce your pets properly now will help ensure that they will get along later. 

How to handle the dogs’ first time meeting

It’s time to discuss how to handle the first time that your dogs meet. The most important thing is to be calm and stable throughout the entire interaction — no matter how it goes. This is because your dog picks up on your emotions

Therefore, if you’re stressed, your dog could get stressed. Your dog looks to you to comprehend how to handle a situation. If you’re not calm, your dog will notice that and react accordingly. 

Introducing your dogs

First, think about where you should introduce your dogs. The resident dog thinks of your house as their house. If you introduce your resident dog to the new puppy in the house, there could be signs of territorial aggression. 

Pawp veterinarian Dr. Laura Robinson weighs in with advice on how to introduce two dogs. She recommends exposing each dog to the other’s scent “in the weeks leading up to the introduction, get them used to each others scent with blankets or beds.” Dr. Robinson also says before meeting, both dogs need to be “up to date (on their vaccines), and they have been tested for parasites.”

The best place to introduce the two is in a neutral place, such as a dog park. An open area is a good choice, as there will be plenty of other stimuli to distract the dogs. 

Once you have picked your spot, it is time to introduce the dogs. You should go to the meeting spot with the two dogs separately. You should ask a family member or a friend to do this. Having this person there will also be valuable because they will be present to pay attention to the new dog. You can pay attention to the older dog. 

Let the dogs greet each other

Next, bring the dogs together. Allow them to greet each other. You and your companion should keep the leashes slack. This is important so that the dogs do not feel like they are being restrained or held back. 

There are a few things to expect. Your dogs could sniff, play with each other, circle, urinate, or even ignore each other entirely. The most important thing is to not force anything on them — let them do as they want to start a relationship. Try not to intervene too much.

Let them walk or play together

If the animals begin to fight, then you should intervene. But be careful to do this tactfully. Don’t pull the dogs away with the leash harshly. Instead, be gentle. You can even consider using treats to get the dogs away from each other.

If the interaction went well, however, the dogs could get some exercise together; try going for a walk. The key is to be sure that your interaction is short. Don’t make it too long or elaborate.

If the walk goes well, consider that your sign that you can move the next meeting onto home turf. If it didn’t, and there were signs of aggression, more meetings on a neutral ground might be necessary. 

How to bring a new puppy into your home

Once you’ve introduced your dogs in a neutral area and it went well, it’s officially time to take things a step further. This means that you can try to introduce the resident dog and new puppy in your house. 

You should begin this by starting at a neutral location. Then, walk home with the two dogs together. Act natural. If your house has a yard, you can allow the dogs to spend some time there together for a while. Be sure to supervise. Then, you can let them into the house when you’re ready. 

Assuming these dogs have interacted pleasantly in the park and the yard, you can let your resident dog off the leash first. The new puppy can begin exploring your home on the leash. If your resident dog is acting amicably, then you can remove the new pup’s leash, too. If there appear to be any signs of territoriality or aggression, you should keep the dogs apart while they get used to living with each other. 

The first couple of weeks that your puppy and resident dog are together, you should be sure to monitor them around the clock. This will ensure that your dogs are comfortable with each other and no situations arise. You should also follow your resident dog’s routine. You can also start creating a routine for your puppy.

Be sure to keep an eye on your dogs’ body language, as this can help you gauge how they’re getting along. Your new puppy might not be fully able to comprehend body language, so it’s up to you to make sure that your resident dog — and your puppy — are comfortable. 

What not to do with your dog and new puppy

It’s just as important to know what you shouldn’t do as it is to know what you should. There are some things that are off-limits to ensure that this is a peaceful transition. You should make sure that the following things do not happen: 

  • Do not allow your resident dog to bully the new pup.

  • Do not allow the two dogs to fight with each other. 

  • Do not hold the puppy in your arms when you introduce the two dogs.

  • Do not force the two dogs together.

  • Do not let the dogs share a crate; they need their own space.

By following these guidelines, there’s a higher likelihood that your dogs will get along. Review these rules carefully before any interaction or introduction, and it’s more likely to be a success.

What you should do with your dog and new puppy

There are also some things that you should definitely do to help ensure that your two dogs’ meeting is a success. Keep these in mind when you’re introducing your new puppy to your resident dog:

  • Do introduce the dogs in a neutral place where neither will feel territorial.

  • Do allow them to interact positively if they want to.

  • Do feed them in different areas.

  • Do allow them to spend time in their crates if they want.

  • Do allow them to get acclimated at their own pace.

  • Do supervise them constantly for the first few weeks.

  • Do allow them to play together — just keep an eye on them.

  • Do spend time with the dogs separately. 

A sweet meet and greet

Introducing your new dog to the resident dog could seem overwhelming — for you and the dogs. But if you follow these steps and keep the dos and don’ts in mind, you will be well-prepared to tackle this challenge.


How to Introduce a New Dog to Your Current Dog | Cesar

Reasons for Possessive Aggression in Dogs and How to Stop It | The Spruce Pets

Your Dog Can Hear Your Emotions, Research Shows | AKC

How to Introduce a New Puppy to an Older Dog | The Spruce Pets 

Introducing your new dog to your other dogs | Humane Society

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