Intruducing Your New Pup
to an Older Dog
Ideally you will introduce your new pup to your older dog on neutral grounds: a park, road side rest stop, or a friend’s house would be ideal. That way, neither dog would feel like they had to defend their territory. Typically, the introduction of the dogs will be no problem. Allow the older dog to initiate the greeting. Perhaps hold the puppy and call your big guy over to see her.
When in your home, make sure the older dog can get away from your new puppy. Also understand that the older dog has to be allowed – within reason – to discipline the younger pup. A young puppy is usually fearless and doesn't know to back off from a warning of an older dog, so they are likely to approach the older dog and frighten him rather than it being the other way around. Sometimes a younger pup can be too aggressive for an older dog. For this reason, the older dog needs to be allowed to set boundaries and teach the new pup to respect him. This could be by growling or even a quick snap.
Sometimes people want to bring their dogs to my house to make sure they will get along with a new pup. This is usually a more lengthy process than is able to be accomplished in just a few minutes. Also, because there are so many new smells at my house, a visiting dog often acts shy and awkward – which I warn the new parents about before they get to my home. Nonetheless, we try. When people bring their dogs to my home, I usually put the puppies in a pen and allow the dogs to sniff them out and do the exploring at first. Weather permitting, I have them take the pup outside, away from all the many interesting smells so the dog and the new pup can get to know each other without distraction.
But don’t be surprised if your smaller breed is ultimately the alpha dog. Often the little breeds have larger personalities than the larger breeds. They are often more aggressive and brave – too brave for their own good. Just remember that someone has to be the boss. Even if you have two easy-going dogs, someone will ultimately be the boss; and that is okay as long as everyone is healthy and happy.