Friday, January 14, 2011

Grandma needs something to do?

All to often, I hear about pet parents that have older dogs wanting to get a new puppy. Many times the reasons are some variation of the following;

"We have always had dogs, we would like to get the puppy now while our older dog is still around."

"My older dog is such a wonderful dog, I think he could help teach the puppy."

Whatever your reason, have you thought about it from your dog's perspective? Have you asked your dog about this?

This is no different than living with an 80 year old grand parent in the house, and feeling that it would be the perfect time to have a child, or adding to the family.

How would grandma feel about this? I think quite annoyed. The screaming, the crying, the restlessness, the fighting, the arguing, the constant quarrelling for toys, attention, candy... and it goes on and on. Her peaceful world... no longer!

It would be no different for the older dog. Making matters worse, pet parents panic when the older dog growls and the young puppy to tell it to back off.... no he is the bad dog.

If you know you must have a dog, maybe you should plan on getting the dog while the older one is still up and about, and in its prime. If not, the responsible thing would be to wait.

For those in this boat already, here are some recommendations to ease the discomfort your older dog may be feeling:

1. Seek professional help in introducing both dogs.
2. Crate train the puppy.
3. Allow equal amounts of quality time for both dogs individually.
4. Enroll your younger dog in an enrichment program.
5. Allow your older dog a safe, comfortable place to rest. Do not allow the puppy to
6. Depending on the nature of your older dog, it may be a good idea to allow
supervised interaction... growls are good! But then, don't force the issue...
remove the puppy and do not allow it to repeat.
7. Tether your puppy to you while in the house. If puppy is not tethered, it should
be crated.
8. Provide your puppy with interactive toys to keep it stimulated mentally and
9. Ensure your puppy good socialization with dogs it's age or ones willing to play
with it.
10. Understand and RESPECT your older dog's body language.

Dog Responsibly

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