Introducing a Second Puppy
1. Before you bring the second puppy home, take your current puppy and the potential new puppy on a walk together. This offers them a neutral space to interact while having another activity to focus on. Both puppies should be on a leash, but make sure the leashes are held loosely so the puppies can exhibit natural greeting behavior without restraint from the leashes. Praise them throughout the meeting, but especially when they interact directly.
2. If the walk goes well, bring them to a large, enclosed area where they can interact off leash. Monitor them and praise them throughout.
3. Try to keep items that cause competition out of the situation (toys, bones, food, etc.)
4. It’s important to be aware of the puppies’ nonverbal cues and body movements to know whether they feel at ease with each other. Loose movements, an open mouth, a wiggling bottom and tail, and playful bowing are all signs that a puppy is comfortable in his environment. Body stiffness, a closed mouth, staring, forward ears, and growling are all signs that a puppy is not comfortable.
5. Once you have found a new puppy that is a good match for your current puppy, set up a separate area for his food, water, bed and if you are crate training, his crate.
6. Do all fun things (walks, playtime, treats) together so the two begin to associate each other with good things.
If you’ve taken all of these steps to determine if a second puppy is right for you and your puppy, you are well on your way to double the fun!