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How to Introduce a New Puppy to Your Dog Safely | Pupford

December 12th, 2023

Filed under Training

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While bringing home a new dog is always exciting, it’s easy to get swept up in the moment and forget that it’s a major change – both for the dog you are bringing home and the dog(s) you already have at home.

Introducing a new puppy to your dog is an important step in getting your new dog settled. Doing it the right way can ensure a smooth transition and in no time, your pups can be BFFs (best furry friends, that is). And while we are going to focus on introducing a new puppy, this can apply to bringing home a new adult dog to your current dog as well!

Here are the tips for introducing your new puppy to your current dog:

  • Make the introduction on neutral ground
  • Let your dogs interact while keeping a close eye on body language
  • Take them for a short walk together
  • Give your new dog a chance to explore their new home on their own
  • Set the environment up mindfully
  • Bring toys, treats, and chews into the mix carefully

Before we get into detail about each step, make sure to check out the New Dog Starter Course for preparing, expectations, and the first days home with your new dog or puppy.

Now, we’re curious…


Whenever possible, let the dogs meet in a place that doesn’t “belong” to one or the other. That means in a space that’s not your home, but not where you’re picking up the new dog from either.

Look for a place that neither dog frequently visits, is ideally outdoors, and fenced in. If that’s not possible, be sure there is plenty of room for each dog to move around and have their own space.

Sometimes, a meet and greet is a requirement prior to bringing your new dog home to make sure they get along. If that’s the case, try to request it take place in as neutral of a location as possible.

🐶 Don't miss out! Sign up for the free New Dog Starter Course to ensure your first week goes smoothly. Sign up here! 🐶


During the initial meeting, don’t be afraid to let the dogs interact. They’ll probably sniff and circle each other quite a bit before getting comfortable with each other.

Let the interaction progress naturally, but keep an eye on body language to make sure both dogs (or puppies) are happy and comfortable. Watch for any signs that either dog is defensive or uncomfortable:

  • Raised hackles (hair standing up on the back of their neck)
  • Teeth baring
  • Growling
  • Prolonged stares
  • Stiff-legged stance
  • Stiff, raised tails
stress signals in dogs | Pupford

If you see any of these signals, increase the distance between the dogs and interrupt the interaction by getting them focused on something else. For safety, make sure this interaction happens with both dogs on leads just in case they need to be separated.

If both dogs seem comfortable and happy, you can slowly decrease the distance between the dogs until they are close enough to touch and play if they wish.

Related Reading: 31 Vital Things to Know Before Getting a Dog


Before returning home, take the dogs on a parallel walk – this way they are close to each other but not close enough to take up all the other’s attention. In this case, you would act as a physical buffer between them.

Walk both dogs for a short distance (especially if one of the dogs is a young puppy) and give them some time to sniff where each other walks. This is a great way for the dogs to learn more about each other.

If both dogs are remaining calm and happy, you can now bring the dogs home.

Note: Be sure to check out our full article about walking multiple dogs at once!


When it’s time to go home, remember that you’re taking your new dog into a completely novel environment. It will be very stimulating and possibly overwhelming, so be patient.

It’s also possible for your current dog to get a little uncomfortable seeing a new dog in their home space. With that being said, it may be best to keep your current dog out of the house a little longer to give your new dog the opportunity to check out their new home with no interruption.

Once both dogs are in the house together, be very mindful of the environment. Keep your new dog confined to a small area while they adjust and are trained, being sure to keep your current dog’s favorite areas reserved for them.

🐶 Don't miss out! Sign up for the free New Dog Starter Course to ensure your first week goes smoothly. Sign up here! 🐶


dogs standing by stairs | Pupford

When both dogs are in the house together, it’s important to set things up in a way that prevents any defensive reactions by your current dog or confuses the boundaries for your new dog.

Some things to be mindful of:

  • Keep your dogs’ food and water bowls separated to prevent resource guarding
  • Keep your new dog away from your current dog’s favorite toys and items (blankets, etc.), until the relationship is established
  • Set up your new dog’s area in a place that’s easily within view but still gives your dog plenty of space
  • Be sure to give your dogs attention equally, as it can be easy to get swept up in the time and effort it takes to care for a new dog
  • Use separate collars, harnesses, leashes, and other gear for each dog
  • Let your dogs set the pace for how their environments mix together
  • Keep the dog and puppy separated when you are away from the house until the relationship is established

Remember, slow and steady wins the race – your dogs will bond naturally over time but forcing it may have the opposite effect.


While toys, treats, and chews are important tools for keeping dogs happy and healthy, be careful with how you introduce them into situations with a new dog.

Make sure that all interactions involving toys or chews are supervised to make sure there are no signs of guarding. Also, be sure to give treats and chews equally or not in sight of the other dog – such as in a training session.

Over time, your dogs will be able to initiate and end joint playtime on their own, but for now it’s important to control the toys in the environment so they can learn how to separately rest and relax when they get tired.

Related Reading: Top 10 Things to Teach Your New Puppy


a new puppy being introduced to a current dog on a walk | Pupford

Having more than one dog definitely creates additional challenges, and brining home a new puppy is its own challenge. But with proper training, you can set all the dogs in your home up for success. This is especially important if you brought home a puppy or dog who was not previously trained.

We highly recommend that all families bringing home a new dog check out Pupford Academy. It’s chock full of courses and content to help smooth the transition, including the Dog Body Language Course, Potty Training Course, Crate Training Course, Enrichment Activities and more!

Let us know which courses you find the most helpful for your dog or dogs, whether you’ve recently made an addition to your family or not!

Related Reading: How to Train Multiple Dogs

🐶 Don't miss out! Sign up for the free New Dog Starter Course to ensure your first week goes smoothly. Sign up here! 🐶


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