Introducing two dogs that have not met yet is a hard task already. It is made even more difficult when there is a multi-year age gap between them.
There are a lot of people who have dealt with this over the years. They have had a pet for years, and it is starting to get older.
They decide that before the old one passes away, they will get a puppy. Maybe they can even keep each other company when you are at work, right? Well, that’s wrong, actually. In the majority of cases, when a new puppy is brought home, it causes the older dog immense stress. That is, it does at first.
It is possible to get an older dog to accept a little puppy. You just need to know how to handle the situation properly. Once you know what to do, it is not all that difficult to get it done.
So if you have been having difficulty introducing your new puppy, you’re in the right place. We are gonna show you everything you need to know to ensure a successful transition for the old pup. Let’s get started.
Then it isn’t like there is any time to waste. The sooner you get started, the easier it will be, and the more successful the transition will be.
Help make a good first impression by introducing them slowly
If you have not already introduced both the pets to each other, then you are better off. First impressions are just as important for canines as they are for people.
The wrong one will take a lot of work to shake off. You have probably had an experience like that yourself.
Whether it was you misjudging someone else or some else misjudging you when you first introduce two new dogs, you should do it for short periods of time and slowly.
This makes it far less intimidating for the older dog and the young pup as well.
Do not punish the older dog for not liking the new one immediately
One of the most common mistakes that pet owners make is using negative reinforcement techniques during the introduction. It is understandable why this is, though. Would it not be your first response to punish bad behavior? This works quite well on human children.
Dogs do not share our same intellectual abilities, though, so it is not the same for them. Instead of learning that being mean is wrong, they learn that when the new puppy is around, you are mean to them. Obviously, that is not the effect that you are looking for.
If you notice the older one being mean, you should either distract them or separate them. If it is just some mild meanness, distraction is probably the best choice.
Hence, if they seem like they are about to lunge, you should separate them till they calm down.
Do not let them stay in the same room alone together
Of course, even when you have successfully gotten past the initial introduction, you should still have caution. You should not leave the dogs alone together until it’s been at least a month. Older dogs have a tendency to be on better behavior when their owners are around.
If you leave, the puppy may unknowingly annoy the older dog and agitate them to aggression. It is a risk that is best avoided if at all possible.
Give your older dog plenty of attention still
Older dogs often get jealous of newer puppies. People have a tendency to focus more on the puppy then the older dog after getting a new one. It makes sense why people do this because it is exciting and new.
However, sometimes people almost forget to interact with the old dog entirely. When this happens, it can make the older dog feel resentful.
They might think that they had their family stolen from them. Wouldn’t that make you pretty upset too?
Avoid this by making sure to give some dedicated attention to the older dog every day for at least a few minutes.
Feed and water them in different rooms or at different times
Where dogs eat their food is a place that is likely to have higher tensions between pets. A lot of older dogs exhibit what is called resource guarding behavior.
This is where they will intimidate or even attack any animal that approaches them while eating. It is a lot easier to avoid this by feeding them in separate locations.
Once you have gotten them to like each other, you can consider moving them to the same spot for meals. Just make sure to watch them the first time you try it to make sure they stay friendly.
Train your older dog to like the newer dog
A lot of how the older dogs feel about the new one depends on the owner. Dogs are subservient to us for a reason. If you can start training the older one to like the newer one by using positive reinforcement, you’ll speed up the process.
Start off by just holding on to the older one while in the same room as the younger one. Slowly start moving them towards each other.
Eventually, see if you can get the puppy to touch the older dog. If this is successful, then you have won the battle.
Encourage them to play together after awhile
Once they are accustomed to each other’s presence, you can start having them play with each other.
Young pups are full of energy and would love to play with the older dog most likely. It is a great exercise for the older dog as well. It should help them to stay healthier and live a happier life. Not only is it good for the health of both animals, but it’s also good for their relationship.
Dogs that play together bond together. Do not be surprised if they are soon inseparable.