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A Peaceful Home:  Strategies for Introducing a New Puppy to Your Family

December 21, 2016


Welcoming a new puppy into the family is a fun and exciting time.  It can also be a stressful time as the puppy gets acquainted with the existing family members and pets.  Here are a few quick tips on how you can make this a smooth process for all.


The Kids

While dogs are man’s best friend, puppies are definitely a kid’s best friend.  Children are often excited to play with the puppy, help feed the puppy, hold the puppy, etc.  But just like kids, puppies need naps as well as play time.  Puppies require about 18 hours of sleep every day and are often awake only an hour at a time.  Make sure your children give their new friend plenty of nap time in between play.  Also, young children should be taught how to properly hold, play with, take care of and pet a pup.  Be sure to supervise their interactions until you are certain they understand the dos and don’ts of proper dog care.  Gentle and calm are the best ways to introduce puppies to children.


Other Dogs

Many people assume that when it comes to dogs it is always love at first sight, but this is not necessarily the case.  Your puppy will need to be introduced slowly to existing pets, including other dogs.  Older dogs may find this new ball of energy tiresome and irritating.  When you first introduce your puppy to an older dog, keep the puppy in their crate and let them sniff each other.  This will protect the puppy from any unexpected reaction from your older dog and will allow them a chance to “ease into it”.  From there, you can let the puppy out for short amounts of time while your older dog is on a leash so they can get to know one another better.  Always supervise interactions between your older dog and a new puppy.  Also make sure your existing dog gets lots of attention too so they don’t feel jealous of the newcomer.  You should take them on a walk together once they are more comfortable.  This will give them both a job other than staring at each other.



It is a misconception that dogs and cats can’t get along.  There are many households where both coexist peacefully and are even best friends.  That said, you don’t want to just turn them both loose to “work it out” for themselves either.  When introducing a puppy to an older cat patience is the key.  Start by keeping the cat and puppy in different rooms separated by a door.  Gently pet your puppy with a blanket or damp washcloth so their scent is on the item and put that in the room with your cat so they can get used to the puppy’s smell.  When it is time for them to meet have one in the crate so they can smell and see each other.  After you are comfortable with that step, keep your puppy on a leash and make sure your cat has an exit route or place to hide if they need it.  Reward your puppy with praise and petting only when they are calm and quiet.  Never let your puppy chase or mouth the cat.  Start with short periods of interaction that lengthen over time and keep them separated when you are not home until you feel certain they can get along.


A new puppy is a wonderful addition to the family.  With a little love and a lot of patience, everyone in the household can experience the joy of your new furry baby.  For tips on preparing your home for a new arrival, check out this great article from Cesar Millan [].  From training for older dogs to new puppy prep school, Smart Dogs Training & Lodging can help make sure your puppy experience is a great experience.  Click here to learn more!

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