How to Prevent Jealousy in Current Pets when Getting a New Dog

 

Bringing a new puppy or dog into the family can be incredibly exciting but also quite worrying if there are concerns of jealousy or problems between your established pets and the new dog. You may worry that your current pets won’t accept the new dog. 

 

 

Why do dogs get jealous of a new dog?

When you bring a new puppy or dog into the family, its natural for them to ultimately become the centre of attention at the beginning. Therefore, if you already have another dog in the house who is used to being your number one companion, they may be feeling hurt resulting in a change of behaviour and feelings of upset, jealous and potentially some anger. 

 

Signs your dog is jealous of the new dog in the family

  • Your dog growls at the new dog when they get too close to you

  • Growling, snarling, snapping, or staring at the new dog

  • Comes between you and the new dog and tries to split you up

  • Coming to you for more affection than usual when the new dog is around

  • Fighting between the two dogs

 

How to prevent jealousy and encourage your dogs to bond

It’s important not to punish or correct your dog for jealous behaviour. This will just make them more insecure and potentially inclined to pine for your attention. 

 

Assess the triggers

Look at the factors causing jealousy between your established dog and your new dog.

Is it when you give your new dog attention? 

When you feed them?

When you’re sharing the sofa?

 

Introductions

In the beginning, it’s important to slowly introduce your two dogs in a controlled and neutral environment. Keep your own energy calm and relaxed, using their lead or harness, slowly walk them by each other, avoiding letting them come close together until they’ve become used to each other, keeping them at a safe distance allowing them to be close enough to smell each other. 

Once they’re showing signs that they’re becoming acquainted with one another and their scent, you can begin letting them become closer. If any signs of aggression or fearfulness present, separate and give them some time apart and then bring them together again. 

Some dogs will immediately show signs of fun, playful behaviour from first meeting but it’s still very important to give them time apart and their own space to reduce the risk of overbearing the other dog and potentially risking a fight. 

 

A safe place

It’s important for your established dog and new dog to have their own safe place to be on their own away from a stimulated environment. This also applies to feeding times, as this can make dogs protective of their food and feeling of unease between dogs. 

 

Treat and reward

Using treats as a reward to teach your dog that the new addition to the family is a good thing! For example, every time the puppy comes close, give your a dog a treat and reward your dog when they are well behaved around the new dog.

 

If you do have any questions or concerns, we advise speaking with your vet or to an established dog trainer who can provide some helpful tips on introductions and bonding between your dogs!

 

Veterinary Nurse, Sharna Beveridge & Barking Heads

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