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FaustHouse Havanese

Introducing a Puppy to the Family Pets

Going slow is always the preferred method when introducing a new puppy to the family's pets.  Puppies enjoy meeting all kinds of people and animals, however, they could be shy or scared with all of the change.  A bad interaction could leave a very scaring impression for interactions.  It is never good to just coddle the new puppy when being introduced to all kinds of new things.  With that kind of behavior, it tells the puppy he should be fearful of whatever you are going to introduce them to.  In a human's perspective what that is suppose to tell them is that, you will protect them and it's okay, they should not be scared, but in reality, it tells them the opposite.

If there is time and you can get a used sock that has been rubbed on the new puppy coming to the new home, stuff it with something to give it a 3-D appearance.  Most likely, your Havanese will not be much bigger than a stuffed tube sock when they first come home.  Place the sock in the family pet's bed.  This will introduce the smell before the puppy is in the new home.

When Puppy first gets to the new home, you need to ensure the safety of all family pets.  Emotions will be high. Excitement will be loud and all involved will be hypersensitive to everything.  If this is your first small dog and the existing family pets are big dogs like a Lab or a Golden, it might be a good idea for puppy to remain in a crate for about 30 minutes to 1 hour while the large dog is allowed to sniff the crate, possibly be in a crate facing puppy's crate.  This could allow them to have a safe interaction for the first time.   You could also place puppy in an    ex-pen, while the big dog was able to check out puppy through the little fenced area, or use a baby gate between areas of the house.

Only you know your existing pet's temperament and behavior hot zones.  So go slow and be cautious, watching your existing dog's expressions, head tilts, and interest levels.  

Signs your dog is getting ready to harm puppy are:

  • Ears pinned back
  • Looking at puppy from a side view
  • Licking their lips ( Lip Smacking)
  • Growling
  • Using Shifting eyes back and forth left and right

Some puppies might become a big dog's new favorite squeaky toy with one big snap.  How horrible for your current family pet to harm, or worse yet, kill your new puppy.  Learn the signs and use caution.

Do not leave your new puppy alone with your current pet(s) until you feel the utmost certainty that the puppy will not be in harms way.  This could be as early as a week after you get your new puppy, or up to 6 months to a year.  There will be a level of tolerance, respect and bonding that you will be able to notice. One of the dogs will have to be submissive for the relationship to work well.  Things the new puppy will need to learn are; what the growl means, what distance to keep from the family pet, what things are off limits.  Things they might not understand is which toy, chewie, bed, food bowl or chair is the current dog's, and whether puppy is allowed to touch it.  There could be some jealousy and resentment towards a new puppy.  Make sure to continue to give love and attention to the current family pet, making sure to do their favorite things, whether it be a long walk, playing fetch, getting a scratched belly, getting special treats, a ride in the car or a trip to the park.  Include puppy in the activities when you can. 

Whatever you decide to do with your interactions, always error on the side of safety for all parties.  If you have doubts of doing something, then don't do it.  You have those thoughts and questions for some reason. You might not be able to put your finger on the reason, but there is something that has made you feel that way.  Listen to that gut feeling.