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 Elder Method

Most Recommended
1 Vote
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

Effective
0 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?

The Time with the Puppy Method

Effective
0 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?

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers

Question
Jackson
Shiba Inu/Mix
10 Years
1 found helpful
Question
1 found helpful
Jackson
Shiba Inu/Mix
10 Years

I have a 10 year old dog. We adopted a puppy 7 weeks ago, she is a Cattle Dog/Wheeler. When we got her I was not aware that my 10 year old dog had torn both his ACL'S . He had surgery 3 weeks ago on one..he is NOT warming up to puppy at all. I feel so bad for him...and the Puppy too. Im considering rehomi g the Puppy. What do you think??

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
112 Dog owners recommended

Hello Kathleen, I would need a bit more information to make a suggestion and of course only you can really be the one to decide what you feel is best, but there are a couple of things to consider. The first thing is the severity of your older dog's injury. Although his mobility might not change, does your vet think that he will continue to be in pain from it long-term? Part of his dislike of the puppy might be due to his pain. He is vulnerable, grouchy from hurting, and unable to keep the puppy from bothering him with his limited mobility. That can add a lot of stress to their relationship and keep him on edge around the puppy. If he is likely to get better and not be in pain often, then when the puppy gets older, calms down more, learns more manners from you, and your older dog's injury causes him less pain, then he may get used to the puppy and they could be fine together. To get to that point you probably need to keep them separate most of the time while your older dog is healing or he may come to dislike the puppy even more if he feels constantly bothered by him. You can also attach the puppy to yourself with a six to eight foot leash while your dog is resting to keep your puppy from bothering him. This will help your older dog feel like you are in control and will have the added benefit of improving potty training and chew training. You will also need to work on your puppy's manners, boundaries, and obedience over the next six months so that when the dogs are together after your older dog is feeling better, the puppy will listen to your instructions and be respectful of the older dog's space and limitations. Even healthy older dogs sometimes do not like new puppies at first. A small amount of annoyance and avoidance is fairly normal for your older dog, but if you feel like you older dog might try to hurt the puppy and he is acting truly aggressive toward the puppy, then that will be harder to address. It is not impossible but it will be work and management of the dogs on your part, and it will take time. You will have to decide if you can give the dogs that right now and while also taking good care of your older dog. The best thing to do may be to talk to your vet to get an idea of what to expect with your older dog's recovery and future pain levels, and to hire a well respected trainer in your area to simply come to your house. The trainer can evaluate the two dogs together and your older dog's reactions toward the puppy. He can also evaluate the temperaments of both dogs and how likely they are to be competitive with each other. He might be able to give you a better idea of whether your older dog is likely to warm up with time or if this could be an ongoing problem and continue to cause him a lot of stress. I hope your older dog is feeling better soon. It is always hard when our pets get injured or sick. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Marley
Min Australian shepherd
4 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Marley
Min Australian shepherd
4 Years

My dog Marley simply will not accept the female puppy we rescued. If she comes near him he is snarling and growling. Its been over a month. I'm extremely stressed worried he will hurt her. He has snapped at her but hasn't bitten her. I have done everything suggested here. I dont know what else to do.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
112 Dog owners recommended

Hello Anita, To begin, get Marley used to wearing a flexible silicone basket muzzle. That type of muzzle will be more comfortable and still allow your dog to open up his mouth to eat treats. To get him comfortable wearing the muzzle let him sniff the muzzle and then feed him a treat. When he is comfortable with that, then touch the muzzle to him and feed him a treat. Repeat that until he is comfortable with that also, then hold the muzzle against his face and feed him lots of treats through the muzzle holes while he is wearing the muzzle. When he is comfortable with that, then buckle and unbuckle the muzzle and feed him a treat. Finally, put the muzzle on him and buckle it and sporadically feed him a treat through the holes while he is wearing it. You can also use a straw dipped in peanut butter as a reward for him to lick. Start by having him wear the muzzle for only a few seconds and then gradually increase the amount of time that he wears it for, until he ignores it while he is wearing it. As soon as the muzzle is put away stop feeding him treats so that the treats are only associated with the muzzle. Once he is comfortable wearing the muzzle, then put the muzzle on him ahead of time whenever you know that the puppy will be around. A good muzzle should be comfortable so do not worry about him having to wear it often. It will be worth it. While he is wearing the muzzle, reward him with treats through the muzzle hole anytime that he tolerates the puppy receiving something like your affection or coming near him. When the puppy leaves the area, then stop giving him treats. If he attempts to nip, attack, or act aggressive toward the puppy, then correct him firmly. A good way to correct him is to immediately tell him "Aha" or "No", remove him from the area, and then make him perform fifteen commands in quick succession without any rewards, sort of like boot camp pushups. Telling him when he did something wrong will help him to learn in the future that that action is unacceptable behavior. Removing him from the area will address any possessiveness. Running through his obedience commands without rewards will reestablish that you are the one in charge who makes the rules and not him, which directly effects how he interactions with the puppy. Also monitor the puppy and do not let her pester him. Both dogs need to have clear boundaries and neither dog should be allowed to break your family rules. Decide what your rules are and be the one to enforce them so that neither dog will. Some rules examples are: "No dog is allowed to bother another dog when he wants to be left alone", "No dog is allowed to be possessive of objects, areas, or people", "No dog is allowed to shove another dog out of the way to get attention or get to something", "No dog is allowed to bite or act aggressive toward another dog", "No dog is allowed to demand your attention", "No dog is allowed to bother another dog's food or food bowl", "No dog is allowed to take something from another dog", and "No dog is allowed to make rules for another dog". Dogs will naturally establish a dominance order and unfortunately under-socialized and impatient dogs can be harsh rulers to more submissive dogs, and if the more submissive dog decides to oppose the other dog at some point there can be real fights. Do not let the dogs decide who is in charge. Neither dog gets to be in charge. You are in charge and both dogs need to follow your rules and let you be the mediator between them. If one dog takes another dog's bone, the first dog cannot attack the one who took the bone. Instead, you step in and correct the thief and give the bone back to the dog who had it originally. You are both leader, judge, and enforcer in your home. Right now Marley is trying to be the enforcer so he needs to learn to respect your leadership, trust that you will manage the puppy so he does not have to, and learn how to coexist. The muzzle will allow you to correct and reward his behavior in real life circumstances so that he can learn without risking the puppy being harmed. Work on his general respect toward you during this time also. In the end that will likely have the biggest impact on their relationship To increase his respect for you follow the "Working Method" from the article that I have linked bellow. If you are able to, you can also implement the other two methods found in that article at the same time, but if you only pick one choose "The Working Method". https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Ferdinand
Newfoundland
9 Weeks
1 found helpful
Question
1 found helpful
Ferdinand
Newfoundland
9 Weeks

We have 2 older dogs, a 7 yr old sheltie and a 4 yr old border collie mix. The sheltie has always kind of been alpha and the border collie submits and is cool with it. They aren’t best pals, but they get along fine

We just brought home the Newfie puppy about 5 days ago. We have maintained that the sheltie is alpha by feeding first, greeting first, and keeping his toys away from the puppy. He also is the only one allowed to sit with us on furniture. The puppy is naturally rambunctious and bounces and paws at the dogs. The sheltie is NOT having it. He stiffens and tries to turn away a bit, but doesn’t actually move away and eventually will snap. The puppy cries loudly and drops to the floor. I haven’t seen an injury yet from the 3 times this has been the result, so the puppy may just be sounding very dramatically out of fear and communicating submission. But it still concerns me. I don’t even expect them to be best buds. But I do expect them to tolerate each other eventually.

The 4 yr old is doing great. He doesn’t really want to play with the puppy, but he moves away and walks away, and occasionally growls as a warning without snapping.

I really am trying to protect the senior dogs from the rowdy puppy behavior, but I know this rowdy stage could last a while and the puppy being a Newfie, he will only get bigger and stronger. I separate them, but the sheltie tends to be jealous and if I’m paying any attention to the puppy, he wants to be part of it too...but then gets annoyed when the puppy plays with him.

Are there any other tips you can give me to help the older dog to tolerate the puppy’s behavior a bit more?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
112 Dog owners recommended

Hello Lindsey, Congratulations on the new puppy. When dogs in your home are not getting along the easiest thing to do is to remove the question of which dog is alpha entirely. To do this, you must be the one to make and enforce the rules for each dog, so that the dogs are not left to decide on their own. The bellow article can accomplish that without too much confrontation. Make sure that the rules apply to all of the dogs, not just your Sheltie or just your puppy. "The Obedience Method" and "The Consistency Method" are less strict methods to begin with, so I would recommend implementing steps from both of those, and if there is still a problem use the more strict method, "The Working Method". Here is that article: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you That article mentions Dobermans but the training is the same for all breeds. Also follow the steps for "The Clicker Training Method" in the article "How To Train Your Older Dog To Accept A Puppy", that you asked this question at the end of. You can also use that method without a clicker, by following the steps, using your voice in place of a clicker. The word "Yes!" in an excited tone works well for a clicker replacing sound. The timing of your "Yes!" and pairing it with rewards exactly like you would a clicker are important. Do this to help your older dog enjoy the new puppy by pairing the new puppy's presence with rewards. Also, along with working on teaching your dogs that you are the one who makes and enforces the rules, choose rules that require the dogs to give each other mutual respect. For example, "No dog is allow to take a toy from another dog", "No dog is allowed to fight another dog or be possessive of an item", "No dog is allowed to bother another dog while she is eating". If one dog tries to take another dog's bone, then scold the thief firmly and command them to leave the area, while blocking the dog with the bone from the thief so that the thief cannot get to their bone, but if the thief does steal the bone, the dog with the bone is not allowed to retaliate, that is your job! Instead you take control and go over to the thief and take the bone back and make them leave the area, and you return the bone to the dog who had it before. You can see how you are the one monitoring the dogs and creating and enforcing the rules so that the dogs do not try to do it on their own. This builds respect and also trust, because the older dog feels like you will defend him when needed so he does not have to defend himself as much. Also have a rule that the puppy must leave the older dog alone when the older dog is trying to sleep or get away or is telling the puppy without hurting him to leave him alone. Teach each dog the "Out" command, and when your older dog is trying to get between you and the puppy because he is jealous, tell the older dog "Out", so that he has to leave and not be demanding of your attention when you did not offer it to him. In the same way, when the puppy comes over to you or over to your older dog when your older dog does not want to play, tell the puppy "Out", and stand between the older dog and puppy and firmly walk towards the puppy and block him from getting to the older dog until he gets bored of trying and leaves the area. All of this will take extra time and vigilance on your part, but if the dogs learn the new order of things now, then it should get better as the puppy ages, rather than letting the puppy and older dog fight it out when the puppy gets old enough to potentially want to challenge your Sheltie's dominance status. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Kylo
Miniature Schnauzer
1 Year
1 found helpful
Question
1 found helpful
Kylo
Miniature Schnauzer
1 Year

Our dog, Kylo, is just over a year old. He is the sweetest boy. Very playful and loveable. He goes to visit his friends (a male golden retriever, a female chow and a female poodle) everyday and he gets along great with them. When he can’t go play with them he is usually very depressed and thus we decided to get a new puppy, so that he can always have a companion with him. We brought home a 8-week old mini Schnauzer yesterday. The first couple of hours went really well, they got along and played. However sometime last night he decided that he has had enough and now he is in a terrible mood towards us and the puppy. She really wants to play with him but he just growls at her. It breaks my heart to see Kylo like this. We got the puppy hoping that it would improve his live, not make it miserable. Any advice on how we can improve the relationship will be greatly appreciated.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
112 Dog owners recommended

Hello Nicole, Congratulations on the new puppy! To improve the dogs' relationships work on three things. The first is to reward Kylo with treats whenever the puppy is around. As soon as the puppy leaves stop all rewards and ignore him for a minute. The idea is to make him think that the puppy's presence equals good things so that he will begin to enjoy the puppy's presence more. When you do this, keep your body between the two dogs so that they cannot compete for the food, and stop rewarding Kylo if he starts acting possessive and mean about the treats. The second thing is to make sure that Kylo has space of his own. Many older dogs simply get overwhelmed by puppies. Be sure to give the puppy a space of her own where she can go to chew on her own toys and leave him alone when he has had enough. As she gets older she should learn to respect his boundaries better if you work on teaching her to respect his space, so that he does not have to tell her to go away by growling or snapping at her. Lastly, decide what the rules are in your household for both dogs and you be the one to enforce them instead of either dog enforcing them. For example, if the rule is "Do not steal another dog's toy", then when you see one dog start to take the other dog's toy, go over there and defend the dog who originally had the toy by making the thief leave and returning the toy to whoever originally had it. Some great ideas for rules are: "No fighting", "No being possessive of people, objects, toys, or food", "No bothering another dog when he or she wants to be left alone", "No climbing, stepping, or generally disrespecting the space of another dog", or "No pushing another dog out of the way to receive attention". By deciding on the rules and being the one to enforce them, you are taking that job away from the dogs and preventing them from fighting over who is in charge, especially as the puppy grows. Neither dog should be in charge. You should be in charge. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Jersey
Old English Bulldogge
6 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Jersey
Old English Bulldogge
6 Years

We just brought a new puppy home and we are having difficulty with toys. Our old English keeps trying to steal the puppies toys. I know it says not to yell at the older dog if he growls at the puppy taking his toy, but what do you recommend if our bulldog takes the puppy’s toy and starts to growl?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
112 Dog owners recommended

Hello Kristie, I recommend telling the older dog "Ah Ah" in a stern tone of voice, making him drop the command, which you can do by teaching the drop it command, giving the toy back to the puppy, and telling the older dog "Out" if he starts to move toward the puppy to try to take a toy. "Out" simply means leave the area. Tell your dog "Out" and then get between him and the puppy and walk toward him seriously until he backs out of the area and walks away. Your body language is claiming the puppy and the toys for yourself when you do this, so that you communicate that the toys belong to you. It is then not an issue of whose toys they are and which dog is more dominant, but rather you being in control and the leader for both dogs. Do the same thing but a bit more gently if the puppy tries to take the older dogs toys also. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Ted
Cairn Terrier
3 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Ted
Cairn Terrier
3 Years

We are already doing the things you've outlined in training older dogs to accept pups. I've got a 5 month old patterdale x cairn, they have they're own things, food bowl, water bowl toys etc.. but when he jumps on my older dog, he's biting him so hard he's making scabs on him. Ted whines and yelps, even growls at him but the pup is relentless! Ted then gets stressed and runs off upstairs. Ted's never played with toys, or younger dogs, he's really lazy. On walks my pup tries to have a go and Ted won't move, I put him back on the lead, but this makes my pup more determined to go for him. Help!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
112 Dog owners recommended

Hello Katy, For the biting, check out the article that I have linked below and first follow the "Leave It" method. Once your puppy knows "Leave It" command, then use that command when he starts to go over toward your older dog. If he obeys, then reward him with a treat. If he disobeys, then enforce the command by telling him "Ah Ah" and getting between him and your older dog and walking towards him until he backs out of the area where your other dog is. Block him from going back over there until he gives up and walks away or lays down. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Also, teach him an "Out" command. To teach him "Out", toss a large treat several feet away from you, while with the same hand, pointing to where you want him to go with your pointer finger. When he runs over to get the food, praise him. As soon as he finishes eating the treat, tell him "Okay" to indicate that he can come back toward you, and encourage him back. Repeat this often until you can point and say "Out" and he will go to where you are pointing before you toss the treat. When he does that, then toss the treat to him when he is in the correct spot, away from you, where you pointed. Next, transition to using it in real life. Whenever he disobeys the "Out" command, then get in front of him and calmly and firmly walk toward him until he backs out of the area you told him to get out of. Continue to block him and stand firm until he gives up trying to go back to where you told him to leave. If he tries to return to the area you told him to leave once you walk back there or away from there, then repeat walking toward him. Expect to repeat it a lot at first. The more consistent you are about enforcing him staying out of somewhere you have told him to leave, the more likely he is to respect your command. Practice in the kitchen, around things he wants to bother like plants, and finally, around other dogs, including your older dog. Keep him out of the area you tell him to leave, until he is told "Okay", so that he will learn to leave and stay out of an area through your consistency. This takes repetition. When he has learned the command through practice, then tell your pup "Out" when he is bothering your older dog. If he disobeys, then get between them, in front of the puppy and walk toward him firmly to make him back up. Do this until he is several feet away from him. Expect him to try to get past you at first. Be like a soccer goalie and prevent him from getting by until he gives up and leaves. With practice he should learn that you mean it when you say "Out". Finally, set up a crate or a sturdy exercise pen for pup. When he is especially crazy, then put him into the crate or exercise pen with a food stuffed chew toy to let him take out his crazies on the toy, give your older dog a break, and help him calm back down. If you introduce a crate properly and put a fun toy into the crate, and don't act angry when you put him in there, then the crate of exercise pen is not a harm punishment just a place for him to calm back down and play more quietly. To introduce the crate, check out he article that I have linked below. https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Poppy
miniature poodle
7 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Poppy
miniature poodle
7 Years

I bought a goldendoodle and he has been here for a week now. my miniature poodle is not accpeting him. she snaps when he gets too close and growls at him. she hasn't hurt him but she has snapped. she mostly likes to disappear upstairs where the puppy isnt allowed. they have the odd moments when they will sit together on the couch when being given attention but when he gets to close she gets uneasy and leaves the room or growls at him. i want them to get along and havent been scolding her and trying to give them equal attention. wanted to know of any tips or if this is going to work out. i really hope so.
Thanks.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
112 Dog owners recommended

Hello Stephanie, Unfortunately I cannot tell you if things will work out for sure, but I can offer guidance to increase the chances that it will. First, whenever the puppy enters the room or is near Poppy, offer Poppy treats. When the puppy walks away, stop the treats, so that they are only associated with the puppy's presence. Second, set up a crate or exercise pen, and teach the puppy to chew on his own chew toys in there whenever you cannot supervise him. You can encourage chew toy chewing with Kong's and other hollow chew toys stuffed with his own food that has been soaked in water and mixed with a bit of peanut butter, liver paste, or soft cheese. This will make the toys more fun. You can also feed your puppy all of his meals this way right now. To make the food last longer, you can freeze loosely stuffed toys overnight too. The cold will even help comfort teething. The confinement with toys will help your puppy learn good chew toy habits, and will prevent a number of unwanted things that puppies can get into. It will also give your older dog a break and prevent the puppy from pestering her when you are not there to stop the puppy. Third, create rules for both dogs and be the one to enforce them. As long as you are also rewarding your dog for her tolerant behavior and paying attention to her for doing the correct things, you can gently discipline her for behaviors that you do not want her to display. Just make sure that you recognize calm, tolerant behaviors also and reward them. Some examples of rules for the dogs are: "No dog can take another dog's toy", "No dog can bother another dog while he is resting or wants to be left alone", "No dog can hover near or try to steal another dog's food", "Do dog can demand your attention or push another dog out of the way", "No dog is allowed to act aggressively toward another dog", "No dog is allowed to block an area or doorway, keeping another dog from getting through". When one of the dogs tries to do one of these things, tell the offender "Ah Ah", and then give a fair discipline. For example, if one dog stole another dog's toy, take the toy away from the thief, return it to the dog who originally had it, and then make the thief leave the room. If one dog tries to push another dog out of the way to get your attention or climb into your lap, then tell that dog "Out" firmly, and then walk toward that dog until he backs out of the room or area. If he tries to slip past you, block his way like a soccer goalie, until he stops trying to get by and either lays down or leaves. You will have to repeat this often at first, until the dog's learn that "Out" means do not come back in until you are invited. When you are ready for that dog to come back, tell him "Okay" or call him over to you. Also, do not let Poppy guard you. If Poppy is standing on your lap or in front of you growling at the puppy to keep him away, then Poppy is actually being possessive of you, which shows a lack of respect for you. It is the way dogs claim something as their own. This is not okay. More dog fights happen when the dogs try to compete for who is in charge. You are in charge not either dog. If this is going on, then have Poppy work for attention, food, walks, toys, and anything else that she wants by doing a command like "Sit", "Down", or "Watch me" first. This is a gentle way to teach respect.She has to earn what she gets for a while until her attitude improves. When a dog looks to an owner to be the owner/leader, then that dog is more likely to trust the owner to handle situations rather than acting aggressively, to handle situations herself. To summarize, defend Poppy from being overwhelmed by the puppy, create rules for both dogs and enforce them yourself, reward Poppy for tolerance around the puppy, and don't let either dog take charge, show them both through your help and boundaries that you will lead and take care of things so that they do not have to. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Lucy
King Charles Spaniel
6 Years
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Lucy
King Charles Spaniel
6 Years

Hi, so we have got a new puppy a little French bulldog and our cavalier is 6 years old, she only came last night so still very early days, but the cav keeps growling at the puppy, I have read your website but just wanted to ask if all this will settle down ??

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
112 Dog owners recommended

Hello Rebecca, If Lucy is being gentle with the puppy, despite the growling, then Lucy might just be adjusting to the new puppy. That is not uncommon with an older dog and a young puppy. The main thing to watch for it whether or not your older dog is being gentle despite feeling tense. Whenever the puppy comes into the room where Lucy is or is near Lucy, start giving Lucy a treat, to help her learn to like the puppy. Whenever the puppy leaves, stop the treats, so that the puppy will only be associated with the puppy being around. Also, set up an Exercise Pen or crate for the puppy, and whenever you cannot supervise the puppy, put her in there with a fun food stuffed chew-toy. This helps the puppy learn how to be calm and chew on her toys, and it gives Lucy a break to reduce her stress about the new puppy. When the puppy is free, be the one to moderate their interactions. Reward Lucy for being tolerant and get between the puppy and Lucy, and walk toward her until until the puppy leaves the area where Lucy is if the puppy is trying to pester Lucy. You want Lucy to feel like you are in charge or the puppy and will take care of things, so that she does not feel like she has to. If Lucy gets too snippy, then send her out of the room too. Enforce your household rules for both dogs. This means, no disciplining the puppy harshly for Lucy, and no pestering your older for the puppy. Create rules for the dogs and moderate their interactions themselves, rather than expecting Lucy to teach the puppy on her own. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Coco
Shih Tzu
3 Years
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Coco
Shih Tzu
3 Years

My Three year old female Shih Tzu Coco is very well socialised and a great joy. So we decided to get a new puppy and we got it a week ago. Another female Shih Tzu. We took Coco with us when we got the puppy. As soon as she saw the puppy she ran away and started salivating a lot.
This has been continuing for the last week. She seems beyond depressed, drooling whenever the puppy is near her, has completely gone off her treats and hates the scent of the puppy. So will not even come close to us if we have touched the puppy before.
She doesn’t act aggressive at all, just watches from afar and drools and looks depressed. If the puppy goes near her she’ll turn around ignore it and go somewhere else.
I’ve just bought her an adaptil collar to see if it helps, but as she won’t accept any treats, is there anything else I can do?
It’s heartwrenching to see her so upset.
Thank you
Anna

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
112 Dog owners recommended

Hello Anna, It does sound like fear. Whenever the puppy is around, have a little party with her. Talk in fun voices, dance around, laugh, talk to her, make things fun with your own energy and confidence. Also, give her time to get used to the puppy. I suggest using a crate or exercise pen for the puppy. Put the puppy in there whenever you cannot closely supervise the two dogs together. Whenever the puppy is free, closely supervise him, and when he goes over to her, get in front of him and lure him away with a toy, treat, or by acting silly. You want Cocoa to learn that you will handle the puppy so she can relax. She does not know what to do when the puppy comes over, and that makes her feel even more anxious. If she knows that you will handle the puppy, then that helps her relax some. Practice something fun outside with Cocoa, like tricks, agility, fetch, hide and seek, or some other game. Have one person work with her, making the entire outing fun and building her confidence. Have the other person hang out with the puppy somewhere that Cocoa can see her, like the porch. Keep the puppy far enough away for her to relax with your encouragement though. The goal is to distract her with something fun in an environment where she doesn't feel trapped with the puppy. Overtime, the goal is for the puppy to become normal and boring. Practice the fun outside regularly with her. Keep the puppy far enough away that, with lots of silliness from you, she can respond to the fun while the puppy is also in the yard with the other person. If you are not seeing any progress, even small amounts, in two weeks, then I suggest hiring a trainer who is very familiar with counter conditioning and is creative enough to use means other than food to help Cocoa learn to associate the puppy with fun things and relax more. A trainer can show you how to do things in person with your own body language and communication that can help Cocoa. It may take a few months for Cocoa to like the puppy. What you are looking for right now is Cocoa and the puppy being able to coexist without as much anxiety, Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Coco is Spayed by the way.

I also forgot to say that the puppy is 9 1/2 weeks old now, she is crated and also in a puppy pen during the day. She has already learnt the sit and stay and lie down command. We try to Give more attention to Coco, and try giving each of them one on one time. But it doesn’t seem to help Coco. She seems to hate the scent of this puppy and anything she touches or licks!

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Jack Henry
Weimaraner
5 Years
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Jack Henry
Weimaraner
5 Years

My concern is anticipatory, just trying to be proactive...My 5 year old male weim mix Jack Henry is a rescue and we have had him for 4 years. He lived with our other dog and cat for a few years, both of whom have passed away. We are getting a 9 wk. old puppy in a week and although Jack has had one initial meeting, I am still very anxious. I think after some time he will learn to be okay with the new addition as he is very sweet and likes to please, but I am concerned about when we are not home. We will crate train the puppy and are hiring a sitter to come by to let the puppy out while we are at work; my question is, do I put the puppy crate out in a safe area where my other dog has access or not? I am afraid if I separate them with a door, my dog will try to get to the puppy if it whines. But I am also afraid if I leave it out, Jack will paw at the crate, chew at it etc. We plan to do a couple dry runs for minutes at a time, I just thought you may be able to share some insight. Thanks in advance.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
112 Dog owners recommended

Hello Peggy, Congratulations on the new puppy coming soon. I suggest crating the puppy away from Jack Henry. Half of the reason is actually for the sake of the puppy. One of the benefits of crating a puppy is to get the puppy used to being by himself. Give him food stuffed chew toys, like Kongs stuffed with his own food and a bit of liver paste or peanut butter, so that he will learn to self-sooth and alleviate his boredom while in the crate. By doing that you can prevent future separation anxiety, so that he will not always have to be with your other dog or you. This is very important for trips, if you other dog is ever sick, or if he needs to be boarded. It also makes it more likely that he will sleep while you are gone and simply relax, rather than try to interact with your older dog through the crate. Once both dogs are used to each other and the puppy is crate trained, you can crate the puppy in the room where Jack is some of the time, since the puppy will be less exciting and use to being crated and settling down by then. Even when you do that, I recommend still giving both dogs times where they are separate to prevent over-dependence on one another. To keep Jack from scratching at the door, if you live in a two story house, then you can put a tall baby gate at the entrance of the bottom of the stairs, then put the puppy's crate in a back bedroom or bathroom. That way the noise will be muffled and the first barrier will be a gate and not a door that he will scratch. You can also crate the puppy in a large closet or bathroom that you have to go through a bedroom to get to, put a baby-gate at the bedroom door entrance, and then close the bathroom or closet door, to muffle the noise and prevent door scratching. You can also purchase protective screens for doors to use when you are gone. Practice the training during the day, by crating the puppy during the day at times also. When you are home, you can crate the puppy in a more central location if you wish, since you will be there to keep Jack from bothering the puppy, and since the puppy will have other times, when you are gone, to learn to be by himself. When you first bring the puppy home, give both dogs boundaries and be the one to both make and to enforce the rules for both dogs, so that neither dog is in charge or bugging the other one. This helps both dogs learn to relax around each other, not be pushy, and enjoy one another when both dogs want to play, rather than being pestered while trying to relax and sleep. Also, reward Jack whenever the puppy enters the room and he is being tolerant of the puppy at first, to set a good foundation for their relationship. It sounds like Jack is likely to enjoy the new buddy. Don't be surprised if it takes a couple of weeks for the dogs to calm down around one another though. Rules and rewarding the behaviors that you want to see more of should help though. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Simon
Great Pyrenees
2 Years
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Simon
Great Pyrenees
2 Years

Hi so me an my husband decided to get a 3rd puppy my dog simon is having a hard time having this puppy around he is 6 months okd enerjetic aimon grawls at him is this normal before we got this ouppy it was only my two dogs that grew up together one yr apart

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
112 Dog owners recommended

Hello Blanca, Most socialized adult dogs will be tolerant of young puppies, but once a puppy approaches dog adolescent and starts maturing more, many dogs become less tolerant. The six-month old male puppy might feel like a threat to Simon's ranking in your household. Many six-month old puppies are rude and pushy because they have not learned proper doggie social rules or how to interact with other dogs properly. If the aggression toward the puppy is bad enough that you feel like Simon might hurt him, then I suggest hiring a professional trainer, who will come to your home, to work with you. If Simon is just giving the puppy warnings when the puppy is bothering him or his stuff, but is otherwise controlling himself and never harming the puppy, the work on teaching your new puppy boundaries around the other dogs. Also, work on helping Simon like the new puppy, and be the one to create and enforce your house rules for all dogs and how they are allowed to interact with each other yourself, and areas of your home. First, don't leave the puppy unattended with Simon. Crate Train the puppy and crate him or put him in an Exercise Pen with a fun, food stuffed Kong or chew-toy, whenever you cannot watch him carefully. This is important for potty training too. When Simon is free, if he goes over to Simon or your other dog and won't leave him alone, then get between the dogs, tell the puppy "Out", point to where you want him to go, and then walk toward him until he backup or moves to where you pointed. Block him from getting around you or past you and wait until he stops trying to go back to Simon before you move out of the way. After you move out of the way, if he goes back over to Simon, then repeat walking toward him again. Expect to have to repeat this a lot at first. He will come to understand these boundaries with time and lots of repetition. Doing this not only keeps Simon from lashing out at him, it also teaches the puppy not to pester the older dogs, and helps Simon relax more because he feels like you will take care of the situation so he is not forced to deal with it himself. Next, whenever the puppy enters the room or Simon is being tolerant of the puppy, then reward Simon with a treat. Preferably where the puppy does not see it. Do not let the puppy rush over while Simon is eating. Recognize when Simon is not reacting poorly and praise him and reward him for that good behavior so that he will give you more of it. Finally, decide what your house rules are. Some examples can be, "No dog is allowed to bother another dog when he wants to be left alone", "No dog is allowed to be pushy for people or dog's attention", "No dog is allowed to take another dog's toy he had", "No dog is allowed to bother another dog's food or hang around while he is eating", "No dog is allowed to keep a dog from getting through a space or moving about", "No dog is allowed to shove another dog out of the way when he is getting attention or in general", "No dog is allowed to act aggressively toward another dog and take matters into his own paws". Whenever you see one of the dogs breaking one of these rules or another one, then you be the one to deal with the rule breaker, so that the other dog does not have to handle the situation himself. Do not leave the dogs to work it out for themselves. If all dogs view you as in charge, fair, and taking care of situations, then they will have less to compete for and fights will be less likely. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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