How to introduce a new dog: Tips & tricks for a smooth transition

by HeartStone Realty 09/19/2023

black and white jack russell

Knowing how to introduce a new dog into your household is key to a smooth move-in transition. While every dog is different, there are some tried-and-true tips for managing first meetings and keeping both your new pup and existing pets comfortable. Here are some things to remember when introducing a new canine family member:

Introducing a new dog: How to prepare

Before bringing your puppy home, gather and arrange pet items into a single area. It can be a bowl, bones, bed or toys. Make certain the puppy has their own area for everything they need, separate from your other pets. 

Cleaning up clutter can help avoid messes and overwhelming your furry friends. You can also use a high baby gate, as it keeps your dogs separated - but still able to communicate - until they get used to one another.

Knowing your dog’s body language

To introduce two dogs, start with a supervised meeting. Watch both dogs’ movements closely, including the way they walk and react to the environment. They might make some aggressive posturing or noises, but if they are not openly hostile, you can give them some time to calmly interact.

Introducing a dog to new people & other animals

Generally, introducing a new dog or puppy to humans is a bit simpler than introducing them to other dogs. Still, it’s important to keep first meetings calm and quiet. It’s also a good idea to allow the new dog a place to retreat if they want their own space. 

For other pets like cats, you can try a similar method as you did with introducing dogs. Body language and behavior is crucial at this stage - if you notice any signs of aggression towards a cat or smaller animal, separate them immediately. 

The importance of verbal feedback

Being aware of your own body language and verbal communication during this stage is just as important as being aware of the dog’s. Emphasize positive feedback for calm behavior by keeping your own vocal levels soft and encouraging. 

Bringing home a new puppy or dog is an exciting experience. Paying careful attention to how dogs interact with each other and other animals is important for keeping everybody happy and comfortable. Though it will take a few weeks for the new pup to get acclimated, these tips will help you prepare for the process.