an apricot cockerpoo puppy says hello to a black poodle. Both dogs are on lead.

Introducing your puppy to your older dog

Introducing your existing dog and new puppy in the right way will help set their relationship on the right path. 

You’ll need to set everything up ready for your puppy; providing beds and water bowls for both your puppy and adult dog. These can be in separate areas to allow for time apart, especially in the early days while they’re getting used to each other.

Remove toys and food

Before bringing your puppy home put all toys and food out of reach to avoid potential conflicts; you want your puppy and adult dog’s first meeting to be a positive experience.


At a young age puppies are vulnerable to infection, so it’s important that your adult dog is fully vaccinated before bringing your new puppy home.

How to introduce your new puppy to your dog for the first time

The first meeting is better done outside in the garden or on a short walk close to home, though be sure to choose a low dog traffic area to limit the risk of infection.

Have both dogs on lead and allow them to sniff and investigate one another. If your puppy or dog becomes worried or a little too excited for the other, take small breaks and continue to walk or explore the garden or environment in between interacting with one another. Bring the dogs back in the home together but leave house lines on both of them, so you can easily separate them at any point.

It’s a good idea to have a baby gate set up which can be used to separate your adult dog and puppy if they need some time out from one another. Young puppies can sometimes pester adult dogs, so be sure to monitor them and if games get too boisterous separate them and get your puppy to focus on you.

Supervise their time together until they are both comfortable in each other’s company.

— Page last updated 22/05/2023