Misadventures in Puppy Raising: Introductions

Introducing your current dogs and your new puppy is major and important! It seems like there should be some drawn out and gradual process–some form of arbitration where everyone talks a little about themselves and their expectations and I announce what will be happening in the future. But that didn’t happen. I’ve read books and articles, nowhere did I find instructions to my liking. I like side-by-side walking when introducing adults, but, wee baby pups aren’t prone to long walks in a straight line. It’s just all so casual… really, what it primarily boils down to is putting the dogs together in some neutral space for a while and being a referee. A referee who doesn’t micromanage. In fact, it all seems a bit disinterested to me. It’s a huge event! I am just meeting the little fellow and he’s going to be with us full time for his entire life and chances are that I will soon be willing to wrestle an alligator to save him if necessary. I already would for my current dogs. It’s like meeting someone for the first time and committing to them for their whole lives on the same day!

So, just putting the puppy down and standing there seemed completely insufficient, but, what else can you do? I suppose that dogs do tend to not make a huge fuss over things (baths not included), so perhaps it is fitting. This is about dogs, let dogs handle it in their way: anti-climactically.

So, that’s what we did. I drove puppy from picking him up to neutral territory. My husband drove our not-new dogs to the same neutral territory. Puppy was there first, sniffing around, so we just let the current dogs walk in and stare, and sniff, and make weird faces at us. Everybody sniffed each other, but they were thoroughly disinterested. They were acting like they didn’t know the significance of the events.

The puppy’s arrival date had been on the wall calendar. I had bought the food that his breeder had been feeding him: “large breed puppy” written in giant letters on the bag. How could my current dogs not know that the little fuzzball would be coming to their home?! It seems that they had missed the memo on this one. They all walked around ignoring each other for a while, but at least it was peaceful. After some effort to gently prod them into not completely ignoring each other, we decided that nothing else was going to happen here, good or bad. So, we took them all home.

Then it began to set in: “Why did mom put that fuzzy thing in our car?!” I thought that taking him straight into Dinky’s house would be too big of a step for her.  So, I put all of the dogs in our front yard; not neutral territory and not the inner sanctum. Now the puppy was worth noticing. There proceeded to be much sniffing and posturing, in which the referee was not needed in any way. They stood, they sat, they laid down, they stood up again. After a while, we let them all in the house. I would like to say that there was some sort of logic as to when we decided to let them in, but there wasn’t. I stood around until it didn’t seem useful, then waited a bit longer. Then I let them in.

Things progressed the same in the house. Eventually we went to bed.  Dogs don’t fuss over most things, and most of the time, when doing dog stuff, you can’t fuss over things either.