Introducing a New Dog or Puppy to Existing Dog Household
Choosing The New Dog
If the new dog is an adult, try to select a dog that is to the best of your knowledge accustomed to other dogs, (i.e one that is socialised).
You should know your current dog well enough to know how well it gets along with other dogs.
If it is a naturally submissive dog it probably does not matter too much whether the new dog tends toward submission or dominance.
However, if your current dog is dominant dog, your best bet is to acquire a dog that tends towards the submissive and is smaller than your current dog,
Size can be important as your established dog may feel threatened by a newcomer that is a larger breed.
If possible get a towel, soft toy or a small blanket with the new dogs or puppies smell on it this is especially important with puppies.
Put that into the bed where your existing dog sleeps a few days or a week before bringing the puppy/dog home.
Also, do it the opposite way round and get the smell of your existing dog and put it in with the dog you are rehoming. That is not required with a puppy
If it is a puppy also wear a teeshirt overnight with your smell on it and give or send it to the breeder a few days or a week before you pick up the puppy.
The puppy will bond and accept you much quicker and easier as your scent will be familiar and remembered when in the security of the mother and siblings.
All dogs have what is known as a scent memory. Yours will be a familiar and therefore more acceptable when you take it home.
Introduce your established dog and the new addition in a neutral place, like a park or a neighbour or friends garden. It is better they meet outside then neither should feel cornered, threatened or territorial in that environment. Both dogs should be on a lead. If your current dog is obedience trained, put him/her in a sit or down stay. Allow them to sniff one another and encourage play, discourage all aggression.
This is especially important if you are bringing home a new puppy as the older dogs will think it has found it and will more readily accept the pup when you bring it finally into your house. Se puppies below
Anxiety or Aggression
Should your new dog show anxiety or aggression, take the introduction slow and easy let the dog realise your existing dog is no threat, do not force the situation, allow your established dog to come and sniff the new dog. The new dog should learn to trust the established dog by realising that he is not going to attack him, and your established dog learns that the new dog is acting either submissive or friendly to him. This fosters trust amongst the two animals.
If the dogs want to play, let them. In fact, encourage them, and do not interfere unless you feel you must. If you are in a secure area, you can let both dogs off the lead at this time.
Bringing Them Home
When you get them home the first thing you must do is establish a spot for each dog that is initially physically separated from each other. In other words kennels, crates, or even different rooms. We are always being told never feed the dogs together. I have five dogs and all of them eat at the same time in the same room without any problems.
Having said that do not do that straight away with new and existing doge either adult or puppies until they have really bonded and got to know each other Until that time feed the dogs if possible simultaneously in separated areas, such as one in a crate and one out but in the same room.
I never leave dogs food down longer than ten minutes, This type of free feeding makes dogs picky, as they realise they can eat at any time and wait for the special stuff to come along.
Do not just bring the puppy initially into the house to meet your existing dog, as this may cause problems related to territory.
Because the puppy will probably not be vaccinated then you cannot get your existing dog or dogs to meet in a park.
Your best bet is to arrange with a friend or a neighbour to use their garden.
Then gently introduce the existing dog to the puppy, if you have concerns over possible aggression or rejection then this should be on a lead.
Let your older dog find the puppy in the garden, then it will think when you take it home it is because he or she has found it.
Remember to get a toy or a cloth with the puppies scent on and put it in your existing dog’s bed about a week before you pick up your puppy.
Bring what is left of the tee shirt you left with the breeder, it will have the siblings and mothers scent.
Put this it in the puppies bed or crate, you may also want to have a clock ticking and a radio left on to a talk station to give the puppy some comfort and reassurance.
The second thing that is required is that you must be sure to spend quality time with your established dog.
You may even need to increase the frequency of normal activities you would have with your established dog.
This should keep him from feeling misplaced by the newcomer.
Finally, be sure and do activities with both dogs. This encourages the dogs to do fun things together, as well as fostering pack cohesion and communication.
Make sure that both dogs realise you control the household and all the resources in and out of the household. See (1) The Alpha Myth
They will need to work out their own hierarchy themselves. Do not get involved in this process, as it may cause insecurity and possibly fights and bad feeling.
This is especially true if you support what appears to be the underdog. In a dogs World, position within dogs is not really based on democracy, it is more a benevolent autocracy.
Having said that but they must understand that you are the controller of resources and you are ultimately in charge of all that is good and important. Other links to help you with your new puppy are shown below.