We plan to acquire a Labrador puppy in the near future and would also like to adopt a dog (breed and age undetermined) from the Humane Society. Can you advise on the ordering of these events, i.e., would it be preferable to bring the puppy into the household first or to allow the other dog to become part of the family before introducing a puppy? Thanks!
Acquiring and socialising a new puppy takes time and dedicated effort, so my advice would be to complete this first – and wait until the puppy is four or five months old before looking for a rescue dog. Then check very carefully that the rescue dog is well socialized to puppies – because most dogs up for rehoming have little or no history, get the rehoming centre to check this out for you. To be doubly sure, before committing to a particular rescue dog, introduce it to your (now well socialised) puppy on neutral territory, and see how they get along.
The Humane Society has good advice on how to introduce dogs to one another at
http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/dogs/tips/introducing_new_dog.html, and Dr Sophia Yin’s e-book Perfect Puppy in 7 Days will give you everything you need to know about training and socializing your puppy – I recommend that you get this even if you’ve had a puppy before, because it’s got all the most up-to-date science-based information in it.