Hi! George here to talk about the best way to introduce a new dog to your home, especially if you already have pups. Last time, Mozart talked about how to do a proper meet and greet. If things went well, you may have decided to bring the new dog home. We want to help you make that transition as smooth as possible.

Now, if you’re bringing in a puppy, some of these rules may not apply. Puppies are young, and we learn pretty quickly. Still, it’s a good idea to keep everything in mind as you integrate the household. If you’re bringing in an older rescue, you’ll want to keep a list of these rules—well, we’ll call them guidelines, because every pup is different, right?—on hand around the house.

Keep the First Day Quiet

Everyone you know will be excited that you’re bringing a new pup home. They’ll probably want to come visit as soon as possible, because who can resist the charms of a new furry friend? As much as you might want to show us off, ask everyone to stay home for a bit so your new pup can get the lay of the land without a lot of distractions.

Start Outside

Bring him into your yard and let him sniff around a little on his own. You may need to keep your other doggos locked up for a bit so your new guy doesn’t feel threatened. Keep family members away for a few minutes too.

Introduce the Family

Then, while you’re still outside, introduce all the family members he or she hasn’t met yet. Let him get a good sniff and maybe a small treat from everyone. Keep in mind that petting might be a no-no at this point. Puppies will probably be all for it, but older rescue dogs might be too skittish to enjoy a scratch behind the ears.

Read the Situation

Now, it’s important to remember that some dogs will just be too frightened to meet everyone or even sniff around. Rescue pups have often had a hard life, and their crate will be the most comfy place for them for a bit. In these cases, let your new dog hang out in the crate and give her some space. She’ll come out and start sniffing around when she feels safe enough to do so.

Bring the Party Inside

When your new best-friend-to-be has gotten the lay of the land, it’s time to introduce him or her to the inside of the house. Put the leash on so you can guide your new pup around the house without losing her to that comfy spot under the bed or couch. Give her time to sniff out everything, and gently admonish if bad behavior is shown, such as grabbing or chewing. Offering an appropriate toy in these situations can go a long way toward making your new friend feel welcome.

Trek Back Outside

At this point, it’s time to re-introduce the resident dogs! Trust us: We’ll be so excited to meet our new brother or sister, so be ready with leashes and harnesses to keep us all in line. Take us for a quick walk around the yard together and keep us all away from any toys or food so that no fights break out. We won’t be able to help it if we get a little territorial, even if we’re happy to have a new friend.

Time to Rest

Your new dog will be overwhelmed by this point, so be sure to give him plenty of time to rest away from the excitement. The crate will be a place of comfort, so let him escape there whenever he needs to. It’s also the perfect sleeping spot for the first night so that he or she will feel safe in the new surroundings.

When you wake up on day two, you’ll know the hardest part is behind you. Now it’s time to start establishing routines, which Mozart will talk about soon. In the meantime, best of luck to you and your new fur baby! May your pack be happy and healthy forever.

Expect big things!