Puppy & Older Dog
Hi, We have a 9 year old (will be 10 in March) Lab/Border Collie mix (Oakley) and we just got a new puppy Lab/retreiver mix (Chevy).
My husband taught it would be easier on the kids if anything were to happen to Oakley (we know won't) I think it makes it easier on him thinking that. Our son is the same age as Oakley and our daughter was a little older than a year when we got Oakley. He always gets in between the kids when their is another dog around like saying don't forget me and stay away from my kids. A few people told my husband it would make him feel younger (the dog that is).
Our 10 year old dog was hit by a car when he was 4, his hips are bad he limps a lot if he has had an active day. We have only had the new dog a few days. Our older dog growls at it and runs/walks away from him. Kinda seems like he is hiding in our basement. Maybe it's things he used to do before just never noticed.
I know it's only been a few days but will our older dog get used to the puppy, was it a good idea? I feel guilty when I am doing something with the puppy. I compensate by giving Oakley more treats than I would normally, and always telling the kids not to forget Oakley and I know they never would. My husband is away working so he is not here to tell me I am being paranoid.
So to get to the point. Was it a good idea? Will he eventually come around? Is it a good idea to get a puppy with an older dog? Hope I gave you enough information, maybe I gave you more than you wanted. Hope this letter finds you well. Take Care.
First of all, don't panic and start second-guessing yourself just yet! I totally understand what you're feeling and you gave me a very clear picture of what is going on, but I really don't think you need to be worrying too much.
What you describe is totally normal behavior :o)
Oakley is used to being the 'only dog' and is a bit confused, and probably jealous, of his new companion. It's just like when you add a second child to your family, many times the first one will have a bit of adjusting to do. But given time it all works out just fine, and in fact is beneficial to all involved!
You're doing the right things, you just need to be patient and give it time. The puppy needs lots of love and attention to feel secure and adjust to his new home, but as you have correctly figured out, Oakley needs lots of extra love too. Make sure that you always greet, pet, feed etc. the older dog first, this helps to reinforce his position as 'top dog' and the puppy will recognize this.
Although the older one is growling at the puppy and hiding (aka sulking!), the puppy will understand his body language and will soon learn where his boundaries lie with Oakley. Once they adjust to each other, I expect they will become firm friends - and yes, a puppy often does give an older dog a new lease on life. And the puppy learns some valuable lessons from an older, well behaved dog.
I'd recommend that you read my Introducing A New Puppy page. It has tons of tips and advice on making this transition run smoothly.
Hope this has put your mind at rest somewhat. Best of luck with your new extended family.
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