As the time counts down to bringing our goldendoodle puppy home (3 weeks now! Eep!) I've been starting to think of some of the "nuts and bolts" of bringing a puppy into a house where you already have an adult dog.  I know lots of you have (or have had) this situation in the past and I need your expertise!

A few things that came to mind (any and all tips are welcome!)

- Feeding in separate rooms has to happen (especially the first few weeks when they're on different foods, puppy is on TLC and Riley is on Fromm grain-free)

- Training in a different part of the house so Riley doesn't get confused, at least in the beginning while we are establishing basic commands.

- I need to buy another leash and collar, though I have to check with the breeder he is probably coming home with a collar.  

- I'm assuming they will share the big dog bed in the main living space (Riley barely uses it, she prefers the couch lol).  At night he can use Luna's old crate partitioned off for now, it may be big enough for him as an adult we will see.

- Toy sharing I'm not clear on.  I was going to buy him some puppy nylabones but Riley would likely steal them unless they're in a place she can't get to.  Riley's chew toys are all Nylabone dura bones, so probably too hard for a puppy.  We do have a number of Kongs though (some puppy Kongs) that Riley doesn't really care about that he could have.  We have random rope toys and such too for supervised play, but I need to get a few newer ones.

- Our toddler and the puppy probably won't be spending a ton of time together until puppy has learned good bite manners.  Toddler is pretty gentle with Riley but she's so big compared to him that she just doesn't worry about him.  Little fingers and sharp puppy teeth are going to take some management.


Tell me your multi dog house puppy rearing secrets! :)  

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  • I didn't feed in separate rooms, but Boca is still crated when we are gone so for feeding I just crated Boca (who eats VERY fast and would be done too soon) and puppy was fed in his expen/crate so neither could bother the other.  Puppy, of course, had one more meal so of course Boca felt hard done by, but it was fine.

    Boca does not really guard toys so the only things I would not let Boca have are the puppy nylabones because she would demolish them.  Boca also has NO idea what to do with toys that are not bones or balls.  So she doesn't touch the stuffies, or tugs, or squeeky toys.  If anything she helped "break in" the nylabones and get Milo interested.  They are constantly swapping Nylabones together (i.e. Milo takes Boca's bone and then when she gets a different bone, he wants THAT one).  Everything else was fair play and of course with any food dispensing toys, Boca would be crated while puppy used them. 

    • I have no idea if Riley guards toys with other dogs, she definitely doesn't with people though.  Our son routinely steals things out of Riley's mouth and she just sort of looks at him all offended lol.  We'll have to be careful of that with the puppy because puppy won't understand the meddling toddler.

      Riley eats pretty slowly so it may be a case of just removing the puppy when he's done if he's a fast eater.  Either that or what Karen said and just sort of play "goalie" in between them until they're done eating.

  • I would try feeding them both in the same room, possibly with the puppy in the crate; if that's not feasible, in the same room at a distance from each other, with you sitting on the floor between them to prevent sampling each other's food. Ideally, a dog eats his/her food as soon as he gets it, and that is what you want to encourage. Eating together in the same room helps foster the idea that "it's mealtime, we eat." When  that happens, it doesn't really matter if they are on different foods or not, since the food is gone before they can check out the other one's bowl, lol. This is only one of the many reasons that free feeding & grazing are just a very bad idea. 

    • Riley is a bit of a slow eater, she takes only a few tbsp of kibble at a time despite her size lol. I suppose that's a good thing but it means we'll have to just watch them closely so they aren't sampling each others' stuff.

      I hadn't thought about the teaching of "mealtime" that's a good point.

      • Bringing in another dog may help Riley eat faster. But honestly, if she doesn't eat all her food within 10 minutes of getting it, I'd pick up the food bowl and she'd wait until her next meal. Eating slowly is a good thing when it means not gulping the food down, but it needs to be slow and steady: take a mouthful, chew, swallow, take another mouthful, repeat until bowl is empty. I don't allow walking away from the bowl, wandering around, coming back for another mouthful, etc. It really makes life easier when they eat and get done in a few minutes, especially in a multi-dog household. 

        • She does what you said in terms of mouthful then chew, eating steadily.  She only takes a few minutes to eat, if she doesn't eat it all it gets removed until next mealtime.  Luna was of the "hoover dog" food-inhaler variety so Riley's leisurely eating pace is a nice change. 

          • Yes, Riley's eating sounds perfect. 

          • Milo eats that way.  LOVES food, but takes his time with each mouthful.

    • That's how I feed my guys, sitting on the floor in the middle of the dinner party. Maggie is a slow eater, and I have to protect her food from Willow, because she's a chow hound. But there's no food aggression, no arguments. She just tries to sneak in for a mouth full here and there - and Maggie would let her. Willow's on a little doggy diet though, so it's against the rules. 

      • Yeah I'll probably put puppy's bowl on the opposite side of the kitchen and just sit in between.  We like to "play" with our puppies' food while they eat anyway so they don't develop food guarding issues.  

        We have an island in our kitchen too so I could put puppy on the other side of it but that would prevent him from seeing Riley and the sort of "pack eating time" feeling.

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