How to introduce a puppy to a dominant dog

If you are planning to introduce your new puppy to an older or existing dog, it must be a well-planned event. Proper introduction can avoid territorial aggression. This will ensure that both the elder and the puppy find comfort in each other’s company and share equal space. In this article, we will learn a few tips and strategies on how to introduce a puppy to a dominant dog. Read on for more information.

Tips for a successful first meeting between the puppy and dog

Remember, when you are thinking of how to introduce a puppy to a dominant dog, it must be an event planned well. An important aspect you must remember is territorial aggression, which must be avoided at all costs. Also, the new member must feel comfortable around the older one and vice versa.

If the new addition to the family has a habit of biting, it is best to prevent your puppy from letting bad habits grow further. The tips below should help you in this regard.

  1. Select a neutral place that will serve as the meeting place
  2. The leashes must be let loose so that it appears as an etiquette to welcome the new addition to the family.
  3. Offering ample treats as rewards for maintaining a calm disposition. Not only that but positive reinforcement is also used.
  4. Allowing adequate time for the dogs to get acquainted with each other and their language.


What strategies must you adopt to prevent conflict?

You must exercise extra precaution if you already have a dominant dog. This will ensure that there is no conflict in the induction process. Fundamental obedience training is a must. For instance, teach your dog how to roll over and set up boundaries. This will ensure that the adult dog gets to know or at least assess its position in the family of human beings.

As such, you can consider the following strategies as well. Go through the points below-

  1. You can arrange for parallel walks. This will allow the dogs to be comfortable in each other’s company.
  2. Arrange for separate food bowls, toys, and sleeping areas. This will ensure that there will not be any resource guarding.


How to introduce a puppy to a dominant dog, ensuring a smooth transition?

If the older dog has health issues or lower energy levels, it might pose a risk while introducing the puppy to the adult dog. However, this does not necessarily mean you cannot do so. You can follow the tips that have been mentioned below-

  1. Use a tall baby gate so that the dogs can be kept apart whenever necessary.
  2. Let the older dog set the pace for the interaction first.
  3. Also, ensure that the elder dog gets ample opportunity for one-on-one time. This will ensure that a sense of security will be maintained for you.

Introducing a new dog to existing dog


When you are planning to bring a new puppy home, it is quite likely that your existing dog might feel threatened and anxious. There should be separate crates for both dogs to have their own space. You could also offer the best natural dog treats to reward their good behavior. This will ensure that they continue with their positive behavior. Alternatively, you can also follow these tips or guidelines.

  1. First of all, before you introduce the new puppy to the older one, it is best to allow others to get acquainted with each other at a location outside the normal premises, a neutral space.
  2. Watch how they react in each others’ company and how they interact with each other.
  3. Over the days, you could increase the time frame for each one to interact with the other.

What if the adult dog is mean?

You must be even more careful if the adult dog has a past track record of being mean and having bad behavior. Possessive aggression is a common problem. Under such circumstances, hiring the services of a professional dog trainer can work wonders. The expert can offer invaluable guidance and ensure that both dogs remain safe.

How do you hire the services of a professional dog trainer?


If you are planning to avail the services of such a professional, you can do the following-

  1. The first way to lay your hands on one such service provider is to ask your peers and friends whether they know such a vendor.
  2. If you have found one such service provider whose services are proven and trusted, you need not approach someone else.
  3. If your peers are unable to help you with the names, you can look them up on the Internet.
  4. You will find many such search results that give you the names of the service providers. You must compare their services and pricing.
  5. You could settle for one depending on whether the services will meet your purpose.

Once you introduce both of them, watch out for a few signs. These are as follows-

  • Whether or not there are signs of aggression. And if there is, who initiates the same
  • Offer ample time to both dogs to adjust to each other’s company.
  • Keep a tab on their interactions and, most importantly, when and after how long they become comfortable with each other.
  • Experts say that since every dog’s temperament is not the same, not every dog will take the same time to gel with each other.

How will you tackle tension and jealousy between the puppy and the dog?

You must exercise patience and understanding when introducing a jealous dog to a new puppy. As such, you can take the following measures for the same-

  1. Spend more time with the jealous dog so that it does not feel left out when the new member comes to the house.
  2. Pay individual attention to both and ensure the bond between both is strengthened.
  3. With the help of treats and praise, positive behavior between both dogs can be reinforced.

Here are a few Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) that will help you adapt to the new situation well. The same applies to your existing dog.

Why is it necessary to introduce the puppy to an adult dog properly?

Ans: Proper introductions between the dog and the new member of the family, the puppy, are important. This is because it eliminates the problems of territorial aggression. It will also promote a harmonious, strong, and proper foundation among your pets.

Can you tell whether or not the old dog is ready to meet the new dog?

Ans: A few signs can help you understand whether or not your adult dog is ready to meet your new addition. Check your dog’s energy levels, overall temperament, and body language. If you find that they have a calmer disposition and are relaxed, it is quite likely that they are ready for a preliminary introduction. Alternatively, if they are showing signs of aggression and anxiety, make sure you wait for a few more days for the introduction session. You can also seek the assistance of a professional dog trainer.

Shall I introduce the dog and puppy on neutral ground?

Ans: A park or a friend’s yard helps prevent territorial aggression and behavior. It will also initially ease the meeting process.

How will you handle it if the dog shows aggression towards the puppy?

Ans: Intervene promptly if you find that the dog is showing signs of aggression.

What are the signs that the introduction is progressing well?

Ans: If both meetings progress well, they will show prominently. The behavior will include the following-

  • Relaxed body language
  • Gentle play
  • Mutual sniffing
  • Lying next to each other
  • Comfortable in each others’ presence.

What is the time frame for the dogs to become friends?

Ans: The time it takes for the dogs to become friends usually depends on their temperaments. As such, the time it takes for both dogs to be comfortable in each other’s company will also vary.

Is it wise to leave the puppy alone with the adult dog?

Ans: It is best not to leave your puppy alone with the adult dog until they get along well. Monitor their behavior. Allot separate spaces for both of them.

Signs the jealous dog is starting to accept the new puppy

Ans: Relaxed body language, sharing space, and involvement in gentle play are the sure signs that the dogs are starting to become comfortable in each other’s company.


As mentioned above, following the above tips and strategies will harmonize both members. Careful planning can lead to lifetime bonding if introduced carefully in the initial phases.

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Josie Patra comes with 7 years of blogging experience. She has completed her degree in medicine and studying post-graduation in veterinary science. Josie has two dogs of her own and is an ardent pet lover.

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