We have a very friendly female dog and are going to get a male puppy. We are wondering how best to introduce them? Would it be a good idea to bring the puppy to our home for a few hours to meet our dog before we officially bring him home?

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Whatever your reasons you decided to add another dog to the family, just be aware that bringing in a new dog is a huge change for an older dog and unless you go about it the right way, it could create a lot of stress. With the puppy in your lap and your older dog on a leash held by someone else, let the older dog sniff, lick and explore the puppy. A couple of minutes will be more than enough time for this initial introduction. Remove the puppy from the room, then lavish your older dog with attention and praise. On the second or third meeting, if all seems safe, allow the puppy onto the floor, and monitor that situation carefully for a few minutes. Remove the puppy from the room, and again, give your older dog praise and attention. Repeat this exercise at least twice daily until you’re comfortable that the two will get along. It’s not a good idea to leave your puppy alone with your older dog. There should always be someone there to supervise. When you talk to each of the dogs, use a happy, friendly tone of voice. Never talk to them in a way that is threatening. Reward good behaviour with treats and/or compliments of ‘Good dog!’ Monitor their body language! Give your older dog some quiet time away from your new dog or puppy every once in awhile – he’ll appreciate the break. And be sure to give him lots of individual attention so that he’ll know that he still holds a special place in your heart and hasn’t been ‘replaced’.

Question by – Gabriela Martin, Mumbai

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