When a new puppy joins the family, it seems like everything revolves around him for a while. There are big changes. Many are wonderful and others are puppy phases that you'll be glad to see end. But how does your older dog feel about the situation?
The American Kennel Club presents some ways to ensure a peaceful transition to becoming a multi-dog home and to prevent your established older dog from feeling jealous or hurt.
• Introduce the dog and puppy outside, on neutral ground. Parks or other public spaces, such as parking lots, are good places. The first meeting should not be in what your established dog considers to be his personal territory. This would include the home, the yard, and probably the neighborhood he gets walked through every day.
• Give the older dog lots of one-on-one attention, without Junior crawling all over him. Put the new puppy in his crate or pen for a while. The puppy will be just fine. He needs to learn that sometimes it's not all about him, and he will forget all about it the moment it's his turn for attention.
• Never leave an adult dog and a puppy alone together, no matter now nurturing the older dog may seem. If the puppy gets too annoying, as only puppies can be, the older dog may unintentionally hurt him. This too shall pass, but supervision is required while the two dogs are getting acclimated.
• Be very careful with toys and treats. Be sure that there is something for each dog, and if it's really high-value, it's better to separate the dogs while they enjoy them to avoid an altercation.
• Train each dog separately. When working with the puppy, take him to a place where the older dog won't see him getting all those treats. You can put the senior dog in his crate with a special treat reserved for just this scenario.
• Your senior dog needs to feel secure about his place in the family. If he can't handle a long walk anymore, then take the younger one for the long walk and your senior dog for a shorter one by himself.