Are you planning on or have you added a new member to your pack? Congratulations! You may be head over heels in love with your new pup but your current canine resident member of the family may not be as enthusiastic...at first. Here are some things to remember to help with the transition:
It's almost ALWAYS the right and privilege of the resident dog to set the rules for the new pup. For 48 hours it is common for the resident dog to give the new arrival the cold shoulder. They may
Phase Two (3 days in)
After the initial 48 hour cold shoulder treatment, your resident dog may start engaging in play on occasion with the pup. This play may include short bursts of chase, mouth wrestling or tug with toys. This play may end when you enter the room and the resident dog may suddenly revert back to it's snarky ways in your presence. That's normal...don't worry. After all, they can't possibly admit to you that they LIKE the pup? Eeegads! If the 2 continue to play in your presence a simple verbal "Thank you Fido" is sufficient. Don't make a big fuss or start petting or touching the dogs. SImply acknowledge that you appreciate their willingness to tolerate the new arrival. Keep it short and sweet!
Phase Three (Day 5-6)
Now that play is happening on occasion you will see the resident dog "accidently" letting go of the toy they were chewing on and looking away from the puppy. This is a non verbal invitation for the puppy to slowly come in and take the toy and walk away with it. Then the resident dog will look at the puppy like "Yeah, I was done with it you miserable puppy...you can have things when I am done with them." You may be tempted to scold the puppy for taking the toy but don't! The resident dog just gave the puppy permission so it's okay! It's not stealing!
Once these signals are being read and understood, play is happening, and everyone is settling into a new routine, they will be fast friends in no time.
Call us if you need us or if you have any questions! That's what we are here for!
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Teri Thomas- a Certified Professional Dog Trainer and the owner of Angels in the Making, LLC