Updated: Mar 21
We are one month into the beginning of my puppy Brilliant joining our family! And it really has gone so quickly and smoothly all things considered. Our family has another 5 dogs, that I need to make sure aren't being harassed or stressed by the new addition and I felt a big responsibility to try to maintain harmony for all.
I have practiced this enough now that I have a pretty standard way that I do this now! I don't just let the puppy loose in amongst the adult dogs and let them all work it out. First up, it's a lot for a baby puppy to suddenly meet 5 new adult dogs, while arriving into a brand new place to live. They have enough stress in those first days of adjusting, without having to navigate whether adult dogs are going to tell them off for things as well. Secondly, I don't want my adult dogs to feel like they are on edge and going to have a puppy jump on them suddenly when they are going about their business. I also don't want adults to feel stressed out about having to discipline the puppy and I want the household to be as in harmony, as I can make it. A new puppy is always going to change the balance and mood in the house as everyone adjusts to the new family member, so it's my job to keep everyone as safe as possible!
I set up a puppy play pen in my kitchen, which fences the puppy into the kitchen but doesn't allow the adult dogs to come in that area anymore. This is an area I spend a lot of time because I often sit at the kitchen bench doing work or having meals too.
As far as introducing the puppy to my adult dogs, I do different things for each of them. In this case, Bright and Gem had both met Brill a couple of times at the breeder Sam's house. I was lucky that she is fairly close so that I could make regular trips down to visit. I thought it would be nicer for Brill,l if he already knew a couple of the dogs before he came to our place and I knew both of the girls would be lovely with him.
All of my dogs apart from one, are great with puppies. Which makes my life really easy. Initial first couple of days, I would let Bright or Gem in the pen with him briefly. Bright would have a little play with him, which was lovely and Gem is very good at just ignoring the puppy but not being mean to them. I also let Neala in with him very early as she is also lovely to baby puppies. When it came to Keen, I waited a few days for him to get used to it all but he is so obsessed with toys he was just looking at all his toys the entire time! lol As soon as I did let him in all he cared about were the toys but he is also a good dog at telling a puppy when they are being a bit too bratty without being mean. He just shows some teeth and growls if they push things too much.
Last to meet the puppy face to face will be Kwyk. She is not a fan of puppies and needs them to be about 4 months or older and she also needs them to respect her boundaries. Baby puppies are not as good at reading some signals from adults and she is not so kind in her way of telling them that. Years ago, I used to let dogs work that out themselves, but I learnt quite a few dogs ago that can cause the younger dogs to bear a grudge on the older dog, if they are over the top in how they correct a puppy. As the young dogs became adults and the older dog became a senior dog, they turned on him and I can't help but regret that I probably created that situation.
If you want more insight into how I am planning to raise Brilliant through all his key moments, then please join my online FB Puppy Diary! This audit only course will cover the first 4 months here and has lots of tips and common issues that pop up in dog training.