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Getting a second dog

Posted: 19 Feb 2021, 09:04
I have a 15-month old mini schnauzer, and we are getting a second puppy (a shih tzu) in approx a month’s time.
Any tips that anyone has on anything at all would be most welcome - first introductions, first night, walking two dogs, feeding time, having time alone with each one every day, play time, when to start leaving them alone together etc etc.
Thank you very much.

Re: Getting a second dog

Posted: 19 Feb 2021, 16:14
by zeta1454
Hello Jane and welcome to the Forum :)

First introductions should be carefully managed so the new puppy doesn’t feel overwhelmed. Often an older dog will act differently with a very young pup than with an adult and will naturally be gentle and get down to the pup’s level. Make sure there is plenty of space for both to feel safe and, if possible, have the introduction in your garden.

The first night is very much up to you and how you like to manage your pup’s sleeping arrangements and also bearing in mind whether or not the puppy has already been used to sleeping in his or her own crate. We prefer to have a puppy sleep in a crate with a bed or blanket sleeping area at the back and a puppy pad or special waterproof crate blanket in the front in case of accidents. Our adult dogs all sleep upstairs - some in crates, some in their own room and some on the bed - but that is our choice. I would keep a puppy in a crate though to help with house training and encourage them to hold on overnight. Small breed pups may well not be able to go through the night without needing a pee so you may want to decide if you are prepared to wake and take him / her outside if needed. Perhaps follow the same routine you did with your mini schnauzer as a pup.

Initially I would walk the puppy on its own until you are confident that he or she walks reasonably well on lead. Then, as long as your mini schnauzer is calm and well behaved on walks, you can combine the two. However, if your mini schnauzer is reactive, liable to bark or jump at other dogs or people, just walk each separately as you need the puppy to learn calm walking and to be confident on seeing other dogs / people etc. Plenty of socialisation (as much as is possible just now!) is a top priority and for that I would take the puppy out alone.

You will be feeding the puppy more often than your mini schnauzer so make sure that the extra meal/s are somewhere safe and where the puppy will not be disturbed eating. You can use a crate or playpen or just section off part of the room where the dogs eat as the mini schnauzer will be likely to finish eating first anyway and the puppy must have time and space to eat without disturbance.

As regards individual time for each, this can be factored in to your every day routine so your mini schnauzer does not feel left out or that familiar routines have been changed too much and that your puppy has time for short training and bonding with you and your family as well. Your puppy will need regular rest times throughout the day initially so these will be an opportunity for some one to one with your mini schnauzer.

I would not leave a puppy and adult dog alone for some time yet. A puppy needs constant supervision when not asleep and, when you cannot be watching, should be safe in a crate or secure playpen.

Puppies do take up a lot of time and energy but, if you start to establish a routine of what happens when as regards meals, training, play, sleep, walks and bedtime / getting up time, your puppy will soon settle into your family and should bond with you and your mini schnauzer really well :)

Re: Getting a second dog

Posted: 19 Feb 2021, 17:30
Thank you so much, that’s all really helpful 👍🏼