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How to keep your old dog happy when you get a new puppy.

asked 2014-09-22 17:35:33 -0500

My older dog is a little sad and quiet right now with a new puppy in the house. I want to let them play together but I don't want the little one to get hurt. Suggestions?

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5 Answers

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answered 2014-11-05 13:54:01 -0500

Always greet the older dog first!

It can be hard to maintain but in order for the older dog to let go of any worries about being replaced you need to help them feel secure about their place in the family. I've had plenty of experience with pairing an older dog with a new puppy and the only way the old dog will accept the new one with open arms is if you set their relationship up for success.


Examples of how this works in my own home:

  • oldest dog gets greeted first when I return
  • oldest dog always gets their treat/bone first(usually they respond to the "sit" command quickest anyways)
  • oldest dog enjoys free range of the house while the youngsters practice proper crate training
  • oldest dog gets their bath/gets brushed/gets nails trimmed first (they don't always enjoy this but they still like going first)
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3
answered 2014-09-24 13:25:04 -0500

Watch them together like a hawk and don't give one anything the other doesn't get!

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answered 2014-09-24 17:21:33 -0500

Devote some extra time to spend with your first dog! Make sure he gets the benefit of his experience in the world! he can go places and do activities your new dog isn't ready for yet - so take him along on some road trips, dog friendly bars or restaurants, or some of your other favorite activities - the new dog will get her chance soon enough!

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answered 2014-11-05 23:41:56 -0500

I have found my older dog likes being the leader, so I watch the way they interact. I give my older dog everything he is used to getting first and let the little one observe, so far the young one has assimilated well in our home and has established his position in the pack. He has learned a lot just from watching my older dog Levi. It is amazing how they mentor their own when allowed to do so, with guidance from their human family. Give equally and project confidence they will pick up on it and follow suit.

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answered 2014-12-10 12:36:37 -0500

I always make sure the Oldest maintains their status as the Leader of the pack......in that way, the older dog will contribute to the training of the new pup. So the oldest is always first in the house, first out of the house, first one i greet when i come in, first to get food, first to get treats, etc.

I always show deference to the oldest...and also very important that the possessions, treats, bones, toys , bedding are respected by the youngest addition. Teaching the pup, to respect the elder dog's status is KEY in them getting along in the future.... it is non- negotiable in my home.

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