Older Dogs And Puppies

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Perhaps you are considering introducing a new puppy to your senior canine companion for a playmate and to keep them physically active and “young at heart.” There are a few considerations, such as the age, temperament and health of your resident dog, to keep in mind.


If they are too old (or have been the sole dog for a long time), they might not enjoy or appreciate the energetic company of a young pup.


You know your dog best and how they react around other dogs. If they tend to be very jealous and/or aggressive, introducing a young dog into your household may not be the best idea.


It is important to evaluate your older dogs’ health to determine if they are physically and mentally up for the challenge that comes with a new puppy.

As humans, we need to understand dog behavior and allow them to communicate with each other (no matter what their age). For example, a puppy may want to lick the nose of the older dog and will attempt to jump to do this. It’s how puppies display submissive behavior. Another example would be if your docile resident dog growls at the new pup although it may look scary and intimidating to us, it is a dog’s method of teaching young pups’ proper manners and respect. Unless you witness true aggression, try not to interfere, as young dogs may learn a great deal about boundaries and household rules from the older, more experienced resident “top dog.”

A “parallel” walk is a recommended method for dogs of any age to get used to the other and form a friendship. These “parallel” walks should be done on neutral territory, so neither dog feels superior and/or intimidated.

As a final note, if your older dog has a history of not getting along with other dogs and you still decide to bring a new puppy home, get a pup of the opposite sex, as the chances of a harmonious living arrangement will increase.

New puppies will require a lot of attention from you, but it is vital that you don’t forsake one-on-one time with your older dog