How To Introduce Your Puppy To Visitors & Other Pets

How To Introduce Your Puppy To Visitors & Other Pets

Having a puppy join your family is very exciting. So it’s important that introductions are managed to avoid overwhelm or negative experiences for both the puppy and humans; even if your puppy seems comfortable

Visitor numbers

Limit visitors as much as you can in their first few days to avoid overwhelm

Gradual introductions

Meeting lots of people at once can be intimidating for a puppy, so give them chance to get used to each person individually where possible

Preparing children before meeting your puppy; helping them to understand the role they have in your puppy’s development, safety & happiness and sharing how to behave in all situations

Stay calm

Calm voices and slow movements help keep your puppy calm and confident. Encourage children to sit still and use quiet voices

Leave puppies alone while they are resting and sleeping

Let your puppy make the first move

Ask people to sit quietly and wait for your puppy to approach them. Any quick moves can make your puppy feel threatened

Create positive experiences by letting your puppy take their time. This will build confidence and they are more likely to be successful when meeting people outside of the home

Watch their body language

Learn about your pup’s body language and how they display anxiety. Monitor them during any interactions and when you see signs that they are anxious or overwhelmed take them out of the room so they can have some quiet time alone preferably in their crate

Don’t tease your puppy with toys or food this can encourage the wrong type of behaviour

Supervise children

Teach children how to respond when your puppy becomes over excited and nippy. Get them to stand still and plant their feet on the ground, keep arms folded and not reacting to the puppy

Ensure everyone but especially children know how to stroke and pick up your puppy correctly

Avoid hugging or fussing your puppy too much

Children should never be left alone with a puppy, and an adult should always be there when children and puppies are playing together

Introducing your puppy to other pets

Pets can feel very territorial, so it’s important you introduce your new puppy to any other pets in a controlled, sensitive way. These are the important things to bear in mind:

Introduce scent early
  • Before bringing your puppy home, it’s a good idea to give them a blanket carrying your existing pets’ scent and vice versa. Then they smell familiar to each other when they meet

  • Check vaccinations - make sure your dog has been vaccinated before introducing them to your puppy

  • Reduce the threat - introduce other pets to your new puppy one by one on neutral ground, such as the garden, so they’re less likely to feel threatened. Keep them both on a lead and give them plenty of time to sniff around and get used to one another

  • Be patient

  • Avoid chastising other pets if they don’t react positively. Animals need to establish their own rules and hierarchy to live harmoniously and older pets usually lead the way with this.

  • Set up a safe zone - give your puppy a place to escape to when they’re tired or intimidated

  • Always supervise - never leave your puppy alone with other pets

  • Allow individual spaces - each pet needs their own territory where they can rest and eat undisturbed, so make sure yours have separate beds and feeding areas. Cats, in particular, will need peace and quiet out of your puppy’s reach

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