How Should I Introduce My Puppy to a Dominant Dog?

November 22, 2022

Dominant or Fearful?.

An aggressive dog

Let’s start by defining what you mean by “dominant.” Dogs’ aggressive dominance and desire to be the “alpha” are no longer widely accepted theories. It has been discovered that the motivation behind the actions we once classified as “dominant”—like resource guarding—is fear. The other dog is more likely to be scared and protective of his favorite objects if you mean to imply that he is dominating because he won’t let other dogs approach his food, his sofa, or his person.

According to the RSPCA, “animal behavioural specialists are now widely agreed that dogs that exhibit aggression toward people or other dogs are not acting in a “dominant” manner. Rather, social confusion, frustration, fear, anxiety, or learning are more frequently the causes of aggression.

Can the meeting be postponed?

Next, you must determine whether this meeting is required to take place. If the adult dog is only a passing acquaintance, it might be best to postpone the meeting until after you have learned more about your new puppy and given them some positive, positive experiences with other dogs. If this meeting doesn’t go well, you don’t want to discourage them from meeting new dogs in the future. Of course, it’s possible that the adult dog already belongs to you, a roommate, or a family member in which case the meeting must take place immediately.

Where Are They To Meet?

The meeting should often be held outside of the house. If the older dog is prone to being a bit resource-defensive, it’s better to remove him from that environment so he doesn’t perceive your puppy as such a threat. The elder dog is used to having the house to himself. Think about a secure, private, neutral area, such as a friend’s garden. Don’t forget to verify your new puppy’s immunization record before taking him anyplace!

Two dogs meeting for the first time

How to Introduce an Adult Dog to a Puppy

You want the dogs to be close to one another but not actually paying attention to one another. The distance must be sufficient for the older dog to accept the puppy’s presence without feeling threatened or the need to defend his belongings. Food or toys can be employed. If both dogs are completely calm, you can try bringing them closer while keeping the distraction going. You can try letting them smell if the adult dog is still at ease with the circumstance and you are approaching one another by a few meters.

The leads shouldn’t be held too tightly as this can affect the behavior of the dogs, but both dogs should be on leads so that you can separate them if necessary. Dogs use their bodies to communicate, so if we limit how easy they can move, this could lead to misunderstandings. It’s best to use a lengthy trailing line that you can grab if necessary. Allow both dogs to approach at their own pace, and if there are no signs of trouble, encourage them both with words of encouragement. Since pups can be bothersome and still need to develop their social skills, you don’t always need to step in when the older dog corrects your puppy. My own dog quickly realized that my mother’s dog’s bed was off limits, and they get along just nicely in the rest of the house. The dogs must mostly resolve this issue among themselves. If everything seems to be going well, I think that taking a walk together helps to strengthen the bond. However, as I mentioned before, always make sure your puppy is secure before taking it outside.

Unsatisfactory Meeting Indices

It’s crucial to learn how to read dog body language so you can recognize when a meeting is about to go south before anything bad happens or your puppy develops a fear of other dogs.

The adult dog will likely have its ears forward, its tail held high and slowly wagging, and a comfortable posture if it is interested and welcoming. Your puppy may mimic this, however at this age, puppies are typically a little more subservient to older dogs and may creep forward on their stomachs, have their tail between their legs, stay low to the ground, or even urinate (another good reason to have the meeting outside).

If the adult dog is uncomfortable with the encounter, you may detect behaviors like raised lips, growling, hunched shoulders, stiffness throughout the body, tail between legs, or upright and stiff. To give the older dog more room if any of these things happen, it’s a good idea to relocate the puppy away once more right away. If it’s critical that these dogs get along, think about contacting a behaviorist for guidance.We recommend finding one with force-free and positive-reinforcement techniques.

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