How to Train Your Older Dog to Accept a Puppy

Medium
1-8 Weeks
Behavior

Introduction

You're super-excited about the arrival of a new pup.  Your much-loved older dog is getting a bit long in the tooth, and you've high hopes that introducing some new blood is going to help him feel young again. After all, what's not to love about a puppy? (OK, yes, you know it's hard work with all those puddles and accidents, but the cute face and cuddle factor more than make-up for it.) 

Sadly, things don't go according to plan. The puppy knows his job just fine and wants to play in that floppy eared, pounce-and-box-his-face way that puppies do. The trouble is the established dog is none too thrilled about it. In fact, he's downright grumpy about the new addition. So far he growled and grumped, shown his teeth and snarled, but not actually gone as far as snapping at the new bundle of fun. Oh dear, this isn't how you planned things at all. 

You're fairly confident the older dog wouldn't actually hurt the newbie, but still, this tension wasn't part of the plan for one big happy fur family. In fact, you're wondering if you made the right decision since all that's been achieved is making the older dog miserable. 

Defining Tasks

An older dog has a lot invested in his home. It's his core territory and he has things pretty much the ways he likes. He knows when meals happen, when it's time for walks, and that everyone adores him. Then along comes a new puppy and everything's turned on its head. 

Now the older dog is no longer the center of attention. To make matters worse he's expected to put up with having his face boxed and tail pulled. Then there's how the upstart steals his food, bed, and favorite toys. 

Helping an older dog accept a puppy has a lot to do with getting into the mind of the established dog, and understanding how he sees the world. This enables you to minimize the disruption to his life so that he feels less threatened and can open his heart to the youngster. This involves making sure each dog has his own resources (food, water, bed, and toys) and you acknowledge the older dog ahead of the puppy. 

In addition, you can use reward-based training methods such as clicker training, to reward the older dog when he uses an appropriate coping strategy, such as getting up and moving away from the annoying pup, rather than growling. 

Getting Started

You will need:

  • Separate resources for each dog, so each has their own bed, crate, food and water bowls, and toys
  • Treats
  • A treat bag you can wear on your belt so as to have access to treats at all times
  • A crate for the puppy
  • A pen or pet gates to corral the pup and provide the oldie with peace
  • A clicker
  • A squeaky toy

The Time with the Puppy Method

ribbon-method-3
Most Recommended
9 Votes
Step
1
Understand the idea
It is human nature to coo over a puppy, which means the older dog fades into the background. However, from the word go this upsets the balance of their future canine relationship. Dogs are happiest when there is a clear pecking order and each understands their place. As the adult dog, this automatically makes the senior top of the heap and he should be treated accordingly. If the oldie is consistently given attention first and the puppy controlled, then they will get along just swimmingly.
Step
2
When the two dogs are in the room, ignore the puppy
Both dogs are in the kitchen. You walk in. Be sure to greet the older dog first, giving him a fuss and only greeting the puppy when the senior has been acknowledged. This sends out a strong message to the oldie that he is top dog and the puppy is an underling.
Step
3
Give the puppy his own toys
In the canine world, it is the height of bad manners to take someone else's toys. It will help the doggie duo to get along if each has their own things. Present the puppy with his own toys to play with and praise him when he chooses these. If the puppy picks up his senior's toys, then say a short firm "No", distract him and remove the toy, returning it to the senior.
Step
4
Teach the puppy self-control
You wouldn't allow the kids to rampage unchecked through the house, so don't allow the puppy to do the same. If the puppy gets over excited, go for 'time out'. Stop the game and wait for him to calm down before continuing. This teaches him that the fun stops if he's over exuberant and over time, teaches him self-control that the older dog will benefit from.
Step
5
Crate train the puppy
Crate training not only helps with potty training, but can save the sanity of the older dog. When the puppy has his own place to go, this leaves the older dog with the run of the house, which does his morale (and therefore tolerance of the pup) the world of good.
Recommend training method?

The Time with the Elder Method

ribbon-method-2
Effective
7 Votes
Step
1
Understand the idea
The older dog has been your companion for a long time. It's therefore perfectly natural for him to feel unsettled, jealous, or threatened by the presence of a puppy who gets all the attention. Do the older dog a favor by understanding things from his perspective and helping to maintain a sense of order and place in his world.
Step
2
Give the older dog attention first
Yes, the puppy is intoxicatingly cute, but no that's not a good enough reason to overlook the older dog. It's essential the older dog has his place in the fur-family preserved, which means putting his needs first and have the puppy fit in second. In practical terms, this means greeting the older dog first, putting his food bowl down first, letting him through the door ahead of the puppy, and putting his leash on ahead of the youngster.
Step
3
Don't punish the older dog for growling
Puppies have very bad manners. They'll jump all over another dog without being invited and are liable to steal prized toys or food. That precious puppy has to learn boundaries and how to behave, and the older dog is the one to teach him. But more than this, it's wrong to punish the older dog for growling, as his behavior is completely natural. To inhibit his way of correcting the pup will lead to confusion and inner conflict, which could be disastrous in the long term.
Step
4
Keep the older dog in routine
Your senior dog's world has been turned upside down by the arrival of a puppy. Dogs find change hard to deal with, so don't make the problem worse by disrupting his normal schedule, which means he has no anchor points in his day anymore. Instead, try to keep mealtimes and walks at the regular time in order to promote feelings of security and reduce resentment over the pup's arrival.
Step
5
Give the older dog "me time"
Let's face it, everyone needs a break from the kids from time to time, and dogs are no different with puppies. Be sure to spend time just you and the senior, so that you have time to refresh your bond. Also, give the older dog a safe space where he's allowed but the upstart isn't, so that he can escape if it all gets too much. This will refresh the senior's stores of patience and help him better accept the newbie.
Recommend training method?

The Clicker Training Method

ribbon-method-1
Least Recommended
3 Votes
Step
1
Understand the idea
A clicker is a small plastic device that makes a clicking noise when you press the trigger. The click is a great way to 'mark' a behavior that you want to encourage. This is called capturing a behavior, and you can think of it in the same way as pressing the camera shutter captures the picture. The payback for the older dog is he gets a reward each time he hears the clicker, and so offers behaviors that are most likely to make this happen.
Step
2
Teach the dog to know a click means a reward
First, the dog needs to link hearing a click with getting a reward. This is easy to do and most dogs learn the link after as little as one or two sessions. Offer a treat. As the dog eats it, click the clicker. Scatter several treats on the floor. As the dog eats each one, click the clicker. Having got the dog's attention, throw one treat at a time and click as the dog eats each one. Then try clicking before giving the treat. You should find the dog's ears prick forward as he anticipates the reward. Job done!
Step
3
Identify a good reaction to the pup
Let's say the older dog alternates between growling at the pup and turning his head away to ignore the youngster. Obviously, ignoring him is preferable. Rather than telling the older dog off for growling (which you should not do for a variety of reasons), instead click him when he turns his head away. Then reward him. This teaches the older dog that the simple act of turning a blind eye is rewarded and he will start to do this to earn a treat.
Step
4
Identify positives behaviors
But two dogs living together is also about them getting on well together. Be alert for encouraging signs that the older dog is accepting the younger. This could be the older one wagging his tail when the pup approaches, or engaging in a game of tug. Simply click these actions as a means of showing your approval and help teach the senior the right way to behave.
Step
5
One-on-one clicker training
Consider using the clicker to teach the older dog tricks or refresh his basic training. For the dog, this represents wonderful one-on-one attention from the pet parent, which helps him feel secure and builds his confidence.
Recommend training method?
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Written by Pippa Elliott

Published: 11/22/2017, edited: 01/08/2021

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers

Question
Milly
Groodle
7 Years
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Milly
Groodle
7 Years

Trying to transition an 8 week old golden retriever pup with a 7yo groodle and a 14yo lab. The lab is getting on well with the pup and only growls if pup gets too close to his food. The groodle seems to play with pup on for a while - chasing pup with wagging tails and tug of war but then will get growls and snaps if the pup gets too close. We allow her plenty of space so when she’s had enough of the pup she can hangout in another room while we play with the pup or while he’s sleeping. The 7yo is an anxious dog and we we wanted the pup to be a new friend for her when the lab goes. It’s been a week now and she’s not a whole lot better. Do I need to just give them time? What can I do to make this better?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
961 Dog owners recommended

Hello Melinda, I suggest teaching all the dogs Out (which means leave the area) and Place - which is similar to Stay but on a certain spot and they can sit, stand, or lie down but can't get off the spot. Practicing Place with the dogs in the same room on separate place beds can help facilitate calmness around each other and respect for you. Out is great for giving direction and giving a consequence of leaving the room when there is pushiness or mild resource guarding. Out command: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omg5DVPWIWo If you haven't already done so, which it sounds like you may have, I also suggest crate training puppy and the seven year old dog so that they can have a calm place to chew on a chew toy away from each other when things are tense, or one dog is pestering the other, or you are not home to supervise while they are still getting to know each other. Crate training is an important potty training and safety measure for a young pup also. An open crate while you are home can also serve as an additional Place to practice, and feeding both dogs in separate locked crates can prevent food resource guarding and remove stress around mealtimes! Surprise method - for introducing crate for first time: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Decide what your house rules are for both dogs and you be the one to enforce the rules instead of the dogs. No aggression, no pushiness, no stealing toys, no stealing food, no being possessive of people or things, or any other unwanted behavior - if one dog is causing a problem, you be the one to enforce the rules so that the dogs are NOT working it out themselves. For example, if pup comes over to your other dog when she is trying to sleep, tell pup Out. If he obeys, praise and reward him. If he disobeys, stand in front of your other dog, blocking the pup from getting to her, and walk toward pup calmly but firmly until pup leaves the area and stops trying to go back to your other dog. If your older dog pushes pup or gets between you and pup uninvited, tell your older dog Out and enforce her leaving. When she is waiting for his turn patiently, then send pup to place and invite the older over - no demanding of attention right now from any dog. Make them wait or do a command first to work for your attention if pushiness is an issue, and make them leave if being pushy or aggressive. If your older dog growls at pup, make her leave the room while also carefully disciplining pup by having them leave the area if pup antagonized her also. Be vigilant and take the pressure off of your dogs - you want them to learn to look to you when there is a problem, and for them to learn respect for each other because you have taught it to them and not because they have used aggression. When pup first enters the room, give your older dog a treat without pup seeing so pup is associated with good things for your older dogs - treats stop when pup leaves. When an older dog is being calm, tolerant, and friendly without acting dominant and pushy toward pup, you can also calmly give a treat then as well. Keep the energy calm when interacting with the dogs. Don't feel sorry for either dog but give clear boundaries instead. Don't expect them to be best friends right now - the goal is calm co-existence. When puppy matures and they have learned good manners around each other, they may decide to be friends as adults, but calmness, tolerance, and co-existence comes first. For many older dogs this does take time. The main goal should be to mediate their interactions and teach what you expect of them around each other, and what your general house rules are, to decrease the stress and pressure of them having to figure it out themselves and trying to control each other. Instead, each follows your lead for how they should behave, can trust you to manage situations that make them uncomfortable, and they learn how to respect each other's space. I find that many older dogs do better with puppies once the puppies mature and calm down if you can prevent the competing that comes with age also through giving clear boundaries early on. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Annie
Maltipoo
3 Years
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Annie
Maltipoo
3 Years

Annie has been an angel dog… although she really never liked to play with other dogs, at all…We brought Lily into our family 7 weeks ago, in hopes that the two would bond and be companions….
Thus far, Annie “tolerates” Lily’s presence- they do have a very brief tossle in the yard about once a day, but we’re not seeing any signs of Annie actually enjoying any of it! In fact, she runs up to my lap as soon as Lily is in proximity, in avoidance- I just read your piece …. Is this a matter of time, patience, and exposure? I’m vigilant about stopping Lily’s puppy play and she does respond to “ Nice Girl” as a settle cue- shall I just persist, or is it truly damaging to Annie’s 2hole being?
Thank you for any encouragement, support, advice….
♥️🐶🐶🙏🏼Worried Puppy Mama, Beth

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
961 Dog owners recommended

Hello Beth, I find that a good number of older dogs actually find young puppies stressful at first. If you can work on teaching the puppy manners, rewarding your older dog for her tolerance to pup, and ensuring the older dog is given a lot of space when she needs it through managing the puppy with a hands free leash, exercise pen, crate, or Place command while pup is learning to respect the older dog's space still, many older dogs will warm up to a puppy once the puppy is more mature. My own older dog responded similarly to our younger dog for about six months. He was tolerant and we were sure to enforce boundaries for the dogs, give him space, and let him decide when it was time to engage the puppy instead of puppy pestering him. When our younger dog was about nine months old he started asking her to play more and they became friends. Being friends for them looking like simply enjoying each other's company though. At his age he was less interested in playing than she was, and that's okay. The goal right now for your dogs is peaceful co-existence and building mutual respect between them. It's okay if they aren't best friends and I would let your older dog decide when or if they want to play. Enrolling the younger puppy in a puppy class that has time for moderated off leash play can help with their socialization and help them learn bite inhibition so they are eventually gentler with your older dog too. Whenever the puppy first enters the room or you see your older dog being especially calm or tolerant around the pup, give Annie a small treat, like freeze dried liver or kibble, to help her look forward to the puppy's presence more. Do this without the puppy seeing you do so though because you don't want pup to run over and overwhelm your older dog or start a food fight. Once the puppy is heeling better, you can also take them on structured heeling walks together, with some space between them via two people to walk the dogs apart, or one dog on each side of you if you can manage that without pup trying to get to the older dog. The heeling walks can be a good calm bonding activity for them to do together without any direct confrontation between them. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Honey
German Shepherd
13 Weeks
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Question
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Honey
German Shepherd
13 Weeks

We have 2 adult female chihuahuas 1 male adult chihuahua and 1 senior female Lab mix. Yesterday we brought home a 13 week old German Shepherd puppy. The Senior Lab doesn't want anything to do with the puppy. The puppy is wanting to play with her but the Lab keeps growling and snapping at the puppy. The male chihuahua is scared of the puppy and just wants to hide under the bed and doesn't even want to eat. He's always been skittish since I rescued him as a puppy. One of the female chihuahuas is also scared of the puppy and just stays away but the other female chihuahua wants to fight the puppy, she literally wants to go after the puppy and has tried to attack the puppy. I feel so frustrated. I know the puppy just wants to play, but how do I get my older dogs to accept the puppy and get along before the puppy grows into the very large dog she will eventually be?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
961 Dog owners recommended

Hello, Because of the number of dogs not getting along in this situation, I will say first that I do recommend hiring a professional trainer to work with you in person at home home. Look for someone who specializes in behavior issues like fear and aggression, and has experience with puppies as well. For the puppy I recommend teaching some boundaries and self-control as well as properly managing all the dog's interactions. For the fearful dogs I recommend boundaries and rules also, but also helping them associate the puppy's presence with good things. For the dog who is attacking, a lot of boundaries and a doggie bootcamp, to remove their attempts to control the puppy and get them listening to your rules concerning dog to dog interactions in the home. First, for managing the puppy better, to teach pup self-control, keep the fearful dogs from being overwhelmed, and protect pup from any aggression, I highly suggest crate training the puppy. The crate also helps prevent future separation anxiety issues, dangerous destructive chewing habits, and potty accidents. Almost all puppies will cry the first two weeks of crate training - it is new to them and they have to be given the opportunity to learn to self-sooth and self-entertain to prepare them for environments they will have to be in later and prevent dangerous destructive chewing habits that happen without confinement. Use the Surprise method from the article linked below to gradually help her learn to be calm in the crate and to relax by using rewards for being Quiet. https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Once she is crate trained, crate pup at night and when you leave, and you can use an exercise pen with some toys in it also. When you cannot directly supervise the dogs together, puppy should be crated or in the pen. You can also have pup on a hands free leash with you when the aggressive dog who is attacking pup is confined elsewhere. When you are supervising, teach all the dogs, especially puppy and those responding aggressively, the Out command (which means leave the area) and make whoever is causing issues leave the area as needed. Out command: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ I would also teach the aggressive female Chihuahua and puppy Leave It: Leave It method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Decide what your house rules are for both dogs and you be the one to enforce the rules instead of the dogs. No aggression, no pushiness, no stealing toys, no stealing food, no being possessive of people or things, or any other unwanted behavior - if one dog is causing a problem you be the one to enforce the rules so that the dogs are NOT working it out themselves. For example, if pup comes over to your older dog when she is trying to sleep, tell pup Out. If she obeys, praise and reward her. If she disobeys, stand in front of your older dog, blocking the pup from getting to her, and walk toward pup calmly but firmly until pup leaves the area and stops trying to go back to your older dog. If your older dog growls at your pup or worse, make the older dog leave the room while also disciplining in a similar way too if pup started it. Be vigilant and take the pressure off of your older dogs - you want them to learn to look to you when there is a problem, and for puppy to learn respect for your older dogs because you have taught it to her and not because your older dogs have had to resort to aggression. For the Chihuahua I would practice the Consistency and Working method from the article I have linked below. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you In addition to Leave It and Out mentioned above, I would also teach her Place and work up to her being able to stay on Place for one hour no matter what's going on in the room. This will take time and practice to get to that level. I would also crate train her if she isn't already so that she can be crated when things are tense and she is the instigator. When you crate her, try not to do it as a punishment per say, but as a management tool with a chew toy she likes, like a dog food stuffed kong to chew on while crated. You may also need to correct the behavior more directly with her, but for that part of the training I would really encourage working with a professional trainer to make sure its done right, and in combination with rewarding her for the appropriate behavior around pup too, so it's not only corrections she is receiving but rewards when tolerant too. When pup first enters the room where another dog is, especially a fearful one, and when the other dog is caught being calm or tolerant around pup, you can reward the fearful/older dog with a treat, but do it without puppy seeing you do so, since you don't want pup to run over to get one too and stress the older dog out or start a food fight. Be sneaky and keep your small treats that can be quickly eaten (small pieces of freeze dried liver works well for this) in convenient locations around the house up high where dogs can't reach, or in a small snack ziplock baggie in your pocket or training pouch tucked under a shirt. Be sneaky with the food. I am most concerned about the female Chihuahua that is seeking a fight. You may want to desensitize her to wearing a basket muzzle until you can make some progress with a trainer. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Lucy
Labrador Retriever
4 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Lucy
Labrador Retriever
4 Months

We have had this puppy for 1 week. We just brought home another puppy 6 months old- Pitt mix. The lab mix is acting very possessive of myself and my husband. To the point of snarling, barking and starting a fight. What do I do? I was told when we adopted her she was good with other dogs as we had intended to get other dogs. I don’t want to have to return either pups. Help!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
961 Dog owners recommended

Hello Samantha, I would start by enrolling Lucy in a puppy class or moderated puppy play group that has time for off leash puppy play, to help with her socialization and tolerance with other dogs. I suggest teaching both dogs Out (which means leave the area) and Place - which is similar to Stay but on a certain spot and they can sit, stand, or lie down but can't get off the spot. Practicing Place with both dogs in the same room on separate place beds can help facilitate calmness around each other and respect for you. Out is great for giving direction and giving a consequence of leaving the room when there is pushiness or possessiveness. Out command: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omg5DVPWIWo I also suggest crate training both dogs so that they can have a calm place to chew on a chew toy away from each other when things are tense, or one dog is pestering the other, or you are not home to supervise while they are still getting to know each other. Crate training is an important potty training and safety measure for a young pup also. An open crate while you are home can also serve as an additional Place to practice, and feeding both dogs in separate locked crates can prevent food resource guarding and remove stress around mealtimes! Surprise method - for introducing crate for first time: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Decide what your house rules are for both dogs and you be the one to enforce the rules instead of the dogs. No aggression, no pushiness, no stealing toys, no stealing food, no being possessive of people or things, or any other unwanted behavior - if one dog is causing a problem, you be the one to enforce the rules so that the dogs are NOT working it out themselves. For example, if the older puppy comes over to Lucy when she is trying to sleep, tell pup Out. If the puppy obeys, praise and reward her. If she disobeys, stand in front of Lucy, blocking the other puppy from getting to her, and walk toward the other puppy calmly but firmly until pup leaves the area, herding her out of the area, away from Lucy. Repeat this each time she tries to go back to pestering Lucy until she stops trying to go back to Lucy. If Lucy pushes pup or gets between you and the other pup uninvited, tell Lucy "Out" and enforce her leaving. When she is waiting for her turn patiently, then send the first pup to place and invite Lucy over - no demanding of attention right now from either dog. Make them wait or do a command first to work for your attention if pushiness is an issue, and make them leave if being pushy or aggressive. If one dog growls at the other pup, make the growling pup leave the room while also carefully disciplining the second pup if the second pup antagonized her too, by similarly removing attention or making them leave the area too (in opposite direction of where the first pup went). Be vigilant and take the pressure off of your dogs - you want them to learn to look to you when there is a problem, and for them to learn respect for each other because you have taught it to them and not because they have used aggression. When the other dog first enters the room, give the one who was in the room first a treat without the other pup seeing so the second puppy is associated with good things for the first puppy - treats stop when the other pup leaves. When either dog is being calm, tolerant, and friendly around the other puppy without acting dominant and pushy, you can also calmly give a treat. Don't let the other puppy see you giving treats to the other one - be sneaky about it because you don't want each rushing over to the other puppy getting a treat and starting a food fight. Keep your energy calm when interacting with the dogs. Don't feel sorry for either dog but give clear boundaries instead. Calmness, tolerance, and co-existence come first in their relationship. If you continue to have issues I would hire a professional trainer who specializes in behavior issues like aggression, to help you in person at your home. They may be able to evaluate the dogs together and tailor the training more to deal with things I can't cover from afar here, and show you up close who to manage the puppies. They may also be able to evaluate if the second puppy is triggering the younger puppy in any way, and how to address that if present. Finally, for possessiveness, I generally always recommend building respect and trust for you to, since possessiveness is often related to a dog thinking they own something - in this case you. The following methods and commands are some gentle ways you can work on that with Lucy. Both dogs could benefit though. Thresholds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-w28C2g68M Heel article - The turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Working method and Consistency method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Mimi
Havanese
2 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Mimi
Havanese
2 Years

2 year old puppy being introduced to new 3 month old puppy living in the same home. The younger puppy is lively very comfy and over excited constantly trying to play. Older dog seems territorial over her things and will bark and go back and forth with the younger puppy whenever he tries to play. How do we have them accept eachother? And how do we make our old dog feel comfortable

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
961 Dog owners recommended

Hello Gabriel, First, I highly suggest crate training the puppy. Almost all puppies will cry the first two weeks of crate training - it is new to them and they have to be given the opportunity to learn to self-sooth and self-entertain to prepare them for environments they will have to be in later and prevent dangerous destructive chewing habits that happen without confinement. Use the Surprise method from the article linked below to gradually help him learn to be calm in the crate and to relax by using rewards for being Quiet. https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Crate the younger puppy at night and when you leave, and you can use an exercise pen with some toys in it also. When you cannot directly supervise the dogs together, puppy should be crated or in the pen. When you are supervising, teach both dogs the Out command (which means leave the area) and make whoever is causing issues leave the area as needed. Out command: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Decide what your house rules are for both dogs and you be the one to enforce the rules instead of the dogs. No aggression, no pushiness, no stealing toys, no stealing food, no being possessive of people or things, no bothering another dog when they want to be left alone, or any other unwanted behavior - if one dog is causing a problem you be the one to enforce the rules so that the dogs are NOT working it out themselves. For example, if pup comes over to your older dog when she is trying to sleep, tell pup Out. If puppy obeys, praise and reward him. If he disobeys, stand in front of your older dog, blocking the pup from getting to her, and walk toward pup calmly but firmly until pup leaves the area and stops trying to go back to your older dog. If your older dog growls at your pup, make her leave the room while also disciplining pup for antagonizing if needed. Be vigilant and take the pressure off of your older dog - you want her to learn to look to you when there is a problem, and for puppy to learn respect for your older dog because you have taught it to him and not because your older dog has had to resort to aggression or she has to hide all the time. If you want pup to be free but don't want to chase after him while you are home, you can also clip him to yourself using a six-foot leash, so that he has to stay near you and not wander near your other dog. Whenever puppy enters the room, give your older dog a treat while pup is not looking. Whenever she is calm, relaxed or tolerant of puppy also give her a treat. Try not to let puppy see you rewarding her though so that he doesn’t run over and overwhelm her. The goal right now is calm, peaceful coexistence. They may end up bonding and enjoy each others company as adults later! But they don’t have to play or be thrilled right now. They do need to clean how to peacefully and respectfully co-exist now though. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Success
Angel
Shih Tzu
12 Years

Caitlin Crittenden, you are a saver of lives. Praise God I found your Wag Walking site. I truly had given up hope with a dog issue. After reading a few stories in your blog, I found several people had the exact same problem as we (myself, two dogs) had. Caitlin wrote an answer of hope in our lives that in my humble opinion must have been Heaven sent. Bless you child!

2 years, 5 months ago
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Sketch of smiling australian shepherd