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Thread: Help introducing a new puppy to the family.

  1. #1

    Default Help introducing a new puppy to the family.

    We have just welcomed a 12 week old Beagle puppy into our family, which consists of an 8yo male (not entire) JRT who has been an only dog most of the time, 2 cats, horses, sheep and chooks. Admitedly we have only has "Lilly" for 24 hours but "Jimmy" the JRT is having a little trouble adapting, growls at Lilly when she goes near him or me or my husband and has generally not wanted to have anything to do with her. He is quite a dominant dog and can be quite fussy about what other dogs he likes.
    I'm just after some thoughts/idea's as to how to best manage the situation. I'm sure in time they will get along like a house on fire, but I think these early days are important especially with how me and my OH respond to Jimmy's reactions to Lilly.
    Also any tips on teaching Lilly not to chase the cats as she as already shown interest in them. It has been 8 years since we've dealt with a puppy and Jimmy was a dream pup (and admitedly we spoilt him rotten, we sure wont do that again!) so some fresh idea's would be wonderful

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Melbourne VIC


    There are a few things I would like to say, but I will definitely start with CONGRATULATIONS on the new addition to your family. May I ask why you received the pup at 12 weeks of age instead of the standard age of 8 weeks? Was it from a breeder or another avenue?

    It is VERY important that you socialise your pup with every conceivable thing it will experience throughout its life. This MUST happen within the next 2-3weeks. This is particularly important with you cats, horses, sheep and chickens. If you live on a farm, it is also important to introduce the puppy to all the equipment, such as tractors, harvesters (if you have these) and the like to ensure the puppy doesn't grow up fearful of them or learn to chase them, etc.

    To allow your dogs to bond, I would walk them together on lead, with your partner, for at least half an hour every day. It doesn't have to be 30mins all at once. You can do a few shorter sessions here and there, but doing this helps Jimmy recognise that Lilly is a new part of the "Pack". This will in turn help the behaviour at home. I wouldn't worry too much about their little spats at home as Jimmy will be (from what I've read in your post) simply showing Lilly that he is top dog. If he gets too rough then it can be a good idea to step in, but I only advise this is they are actually causing injury to each other. Some people will say that you should step in every time, as you are the leader and there should be no fights for heirachy in the followers (the dogs), but I personally don't worry too much about this, as whenever you are away from them, going to work or to the shops, etc (the "pack leader" has left), they need to have an established "2IC" between them. Again, this is just my opinion. Older dogs in particular can get annoyed with puppies more easily. Ensure Jimmy is allowed time away from Lilly to relax. This can be done by crating Lilly for "quiet time". If you need any info on crate training, there is heaps on this forum.

    Regarding the cats, have Lilly on lead and introduce her to the cats. Have your partner hold the cats (one at a time) so they can't run away. Start a few metres away and start walking calmly to the cats. If Lilly gets too excited, stop moving closer and if she doesn't settle down within a few seconds move back a little. This will show Lilly that she only has access to the cats when she is calm. If she is excited she gets further away. If the cats do a little growl at her and she backs away, this is a good sign. She is understanding that they want their space from her. Some dogs will back away and then start acting a bit playful and excited (due to adrenalin from the growl surprise) and try to play with the cat in a silly manner. This is the time when you need to ensure she is brought back to a calm state before allowing any more access to them. You will need to repeat this exercise many times until she learns to remain calm around them. You must also allow the cats to run away from her (when on lead) so she can learn that chasing them isn't an option.

    Do everything with the horses, sheep and chickens on lead. Given that she is not a herding breed, it should hopefully be easy for her to not chase these animals, but she needs to learn that she must be calm around these animals too or she doesn't have access to them. Repeating the exercise from the cats should help with this.

    If you need any ideas on what things you should socialise Lilly with (different sounds, objects, people, children, animals, situations, etc), we'll be happy to throw around ideas for you.

    P.S. Pics are a must!!!!

  3. #3


    One thing I always teach my dogs, is GENTLE and IT'S A BABY!!!, which covers everything, from foal to baby bird. Everyone gathers around, has a good look, does, "isn't it tiny/beautiful!" looks and noises and is expected to behave - except for the cats who should be thought of as beloved psychopaths and not given the opportunity to kill.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2010


    Agree with Menagerie

    And aside from that, I will just say, DONT MAKE A FUSS.
    Its a period fo adjustment for everyone, and if you make a big deal of the JRT growling at the wee one every time, you could make things worse.

    I personaly, just bring new babies home, and everyone is expected to get on with it. And they do. Its a bit weird the first day or two but because I dont act any different, everyone adjusts very quickly.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Southern NSW

    Default are two free downloads that are great reading and cover just about every subject

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  6. #6


    Thanks everyone, its hard to know when to step in, I would hate to see Lilly hurt (and I doubt Jimmy would do any serious intentional damage) but I dont want to affect Jimmy negatively either. It has been his house for so long, and I worry that by disciplining him, he will blame her and dislike her even more. They went for a big walk on our property today and Lilly followed Jimmy everywhere and he didn't growl once. She was like his little shadow. Some pics from her nap on the couch after the big walk

    Lilly 4.jpgLilly 3.jpgLilly 2.jpg

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2009


    Some JRT never adjust to family usurpers, and then it's best to just manage the situation and keep the puppy at a safe distance at all times. The best dog trainer I know, has a JRT that is getting on a bit, but will have at any of the other dogs that get in her space, and all the other dogs learn very quickly to keep a safe distance.

    I wouldn't scold the JRT for growling at the puppy, because that can back fire in a couple of ways: the JRT will probably blame the puppy and try to get in earlier and earlier (I'll get you before you get me). And the JRT may learn to have a go without growling at first or at all. Your JRT growling is a precious warning that your JRT is uncomfortable and at that point it is best just to make sure the puppy is a safe distance - no scolding, just relocate the puppy.

    If you can give the JRT yummy treats for being nice around the puppy that will help associate warm fuzzy feelings of getting treats with the puppy and help the JRT feel much more comfortable around the puppy. You may want to investigate (google) "Look at That" or LAT training (Control Unleashed by Lesley McDevitt) for both the JRT, and for the puppy. Ie you reward them for looking at that, with some self control and then looking at you... etc.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Sunshine coast Qld


    Wuppy can, love the pics, what a little hunny
    The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated.
    Mohandas Gandhi

  9. #9


    Thanks again for all the wonderful suggestions and material to read, looks like I will be spending the afternoon on the computer
    I forgot to mention Pawfectionist that this puppy did not come from a breeder as such so I will say we did aquire her through other means, she is purebred however. We had the option of going for a younger puppy but they weren't ready to be weaned for another 4 weeks, and my OH is on holidays for the next fornight so we figured it would be best for him to be able to spend maximum time with her when we first brought her home, in 2 weeks time we'll both be back to working full time.
    Things seem to be settling quite quickly I might add, much less growling today, the JRT is good as gold with the puppy when they are walking in the paddock, neutral ground I'm guessing, he still tells her to back off inside, but I've noticed that if someone is giving him attention and she comes over to annoy him, he is prefering to walk away now rather than what looked like him guarding the person patting him. Thats what I was worried about Hyacinth - I didn't want him to resent her even more, or become more bitter about the situation. I might have a jar of treats that when he is sitting happily near her, he can have one

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