Monday, July 10, 2017

Hello, My Name is Petey Introducing the new puppy.

Even before we brought home new puppy Petey, our first thought was how would we make sure it goes well between him and Ernest?

"I'm so cute. How could anyone not adore me?"
Ernest is almost 9 years old. Petey was almost 9 weeks old. Would they like each other? Would Pete be too much for Ernest? Would Ernest be too rough on Petey?

The first thing we did was walk them together in a neutral area. Ernest gets along well with other dogs so I didn't feel too concerned that he'd have a problem. He and the puppy walked well, mostly doing their own thing. Then we let them loose in the fenced yard together. When all went well we brought them inside. Luckily Ernest is a very mellow older guy.

In the house, we supervise all interactions. At first Ernest was mildly interested, then he seemed to say, "Okay, he's small, he's cute I take him back." The puppy enjoyed following Ernest around and biting his tail. Sometimes we interpreted Ernest's sad looks up at us as if to say "Help me!" I'm not sure if that's really what he was thinking or not, but in the very beginning it was really hard not to feel guilty for bringing in this tiny needle-toothed competitor for attention.

"Okay, he's cute. But I'm not so sure I want to keep him."

When Ernest needs a rest, sometimes we use a puppy corral. We put it in the middle of the living room so Petey would feel in the middle of the activity, throw a bunch of toys inside, and let him play.  If he barks or whines to get out, we just ignore him and because he had so many exciting toys to play with, he soon forgets to whine and just has fun. We give him a tiny training treat when he's being quiet. This works well, when used sparingly, as a great time out--I know Ernest is glad to have a break from the puppy chewing on his ears, biting his tail and pouncing on his back.

"I love to playyyyyyyy!"

Ernest chews on a nylabone occasionally.
Petey pounces, tugs, and chews and attempts to destroy everything he sees.

Since Ernest is a laid-back dog, he isn't very assertive at correcting the puppy when he's pushed too far. Sometimes we step in so Ernest won't be too tired or gnawed to shreds. 
Most adult dogs will growl to teach a puppy that he's gone too far. A puppy usually learns the rules well from the older dog. We think Ernest could be a little more bossy!

I think most important of all we give lots of encouragement and attention. We spend time cuddling with each dog, and other times playing and running with each dog. Lots of walks, too. We've already come together as a family. And I think Ernest and Petey like being brothers.


What about you? Have you introduced a puppy to your resident dog? How did it go?

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