Down South Westies
                                         ...Home of beautiful, loving, West Highland White Terriers!

Welcome To A Great Information Site For Westie Lovers!

 

“I’m the Queen around here.  Get that new pup out of here!  Who does that mongrel think he is?”

Kind’a like your brother-in-law, Leo, moving in!

 

Bringing a new pet into your home!

Many people adding a Westie to their family already have other pets in the home.  How is Rover going to accept a new Westie pup?  "Our Muffin, a Cocker, is 14 years old and we are not sure if she can tolerate a new pup!  What do we do?"

When properly introduced, dogs living together under one roof can learn to be best friends, and so can dogs and cats.  It’s simply a matter of negotiating their differences and desensitizing the offending pet to its housemate.  Pet owners make their biggest mistake by just plunking down the new pet into Muffin’s space.  In fact, any instant addition to the family, whether animal or human, may be enough to upset the balance in a dog’s life.

Picture this: A perfectly happy, well-adjusted dog (Muffin) living comfortably in her perfectly normal home and WHAM…someone comes home with a new puppy. With no preparation at all, this perfectly happy, well-adjusted dog has the rug pulled out from underneath her. Of course, she’s going to protect “her” territory and “her” owners, starting off her relationship with the new dog on the wrong foot. Surprising Muffin with a new dog by suddenly coming home with it is an amazingly common mistake.

 
    Let them meet on neutral turf!

Let them meet on neutral turf.  Of course, if you are driving home from Mississippi, or the airport with your new pup, where is neutral turf?  Simply try the front yard.  Let them check each other out for a few minutes, let them smell of each other, then take Muffin back into the house alone.  After a few minutes, take Muffin back out into the yard.  When the dogs seem to be really enjoying each other’s company, bring the new dog into the house.  NOW, everyone lives happily ever after!  Yea, it’s not easy, and it takes a lot of time and effort, but it’s better than dealing with an aggression problem later on.

Give them separate, but equal time!

Be sure to give Muffin and the new pup separate, but equal time.  Don’t over-do your joy of a new pup in front of Muffin.  Remember, she’s been queen for 14 years!

When pets are learning to adjust to each other, it can seem horrendous.  Muffin growls, stands over the pup, and acts like she is just going to eat him up!  When this happens, owners need to be careful not to interfere too quickly.  Often times, this is simply your pets getting to know each other.  If you jump in too early, you can actually make matters worse.  Try to understand that many times a quick tussle is more show than anything else, and may resolve itself more quickly than you think.

While some dogs are more flexible than others, and some have more accepting temperaments, some are also more stubborn or fixed in their ways than others.  Be patient.  You’ll have good days, bad days, but gradually, the good days out-number the bad.  Just remember, consistency and patience are the keys to success.

My personal opinion is that it is easier to introduce a pup that is the opposite gender of your older dog.  If Muffin is a female, a male pup is more easily accepted.  Of course, this is only my opinion!