I found my Old Dog sometimes bored and looking for a friend, and at that exact moment, I thought of introducing him to a new puppy. To my surprise, my older dog is attacking the new puppy. In such situations, what must be done?
There is always room for a new one in the dog family, the love they offer is never enough. A puppy can easily win anyone’s heart. Really anyone? This is a doubtful question, Dogs don’t like when something new is added to their old house. They can’t cry and complain like humans, but to resist change they attack. If you plan to bring in a newbie, the older dog may be attacking the new puppy. Let’s have a look at how to deal with it.
Why is my Older Dog Attacking a New Puppy?
Is your older dog growling at the sight of a new member? Are you confused as to why is it happening? There may be several reasons why the Older Dog is attacking at the New Puppy.
Older Dogs don’t like Change
Before we move forward, I want you all to know older dogs have a difficult time adjusting to new changes. These changes could be as small as changing their diet plan, or crate and as huge as introducing a new member in their confined space.
Most dogs are set at a particular routine. They get stressed with changes. Introducing a new puppy? The older doggo’s stress levels are now at their peak!
And remember dogs don’t have a lot of ways to show how they are feeling, so they’ll leash, growl and attack the NEW SOURCE OF STRESS.
Puppies are Full of Energy
Being a dog parent, I am sure you all know puppies are full of energy. Once they wake up from their sleep, the energy has recharged and the boy is now ready to move till he drops.
Not just play with you, the fluffball is going to nag and try interacting with the older fellow. He will tug the dog’s ears, or nurse him with his new teeth. Whereas, older dogs don’t like so much energy around them. They’d rather choose to sit beside their owner and enjoy a Netflix show.
However, some older dogs do give puppies the doggy license. Meaning they’ll let them interact. But all dogs aren’t the same. Are they?
Few dogs don’t like to socialize and others are just aging. This type of energy from a cute pup may look positive to you but for your older pet, it’s chaotic.
Thus, if an older dog is being aggressive when the puppy tries to interact, the doggo is just telling him to stop. He is clearly irritated with the ball of energy.
Is your older dog attacking the new puppy when he comes near his food, space, or even you? This is a matter of Resource Guarding.
Resource guarding is something you learn about as you get a dog in your house. A dog likes to guard the things he thinks of as his belonging. This may include his toys, his food, his space, and even his owner.
However, puppies learn this over time. As socially illiterate, energy balls they’ll try to put their mouth into everything. Sometimes taking away the toys, other times trying to win all your attention. Such behavior makes the older guy growl, bark that scares the little pup away.
Oldie is Jealous
Dogs love hard and that’s the reason sharing becomes a problem for them.
When you add a new member to the dog family, naturally the newbie attracts all the attention and takes most of the time, even the time you gave the other dogs in the house. What does this do? This will make the older dog jealous, he will start taking the new puppy as a threat. And you know what dogs do with a threat? Yes, they attack!
Has the dog turned six months old? Is it somewhere between six to twelve months? Could age be the reason my older dog is attacking the new puppy?
Six to twelve months is maturing age for most dogs, this time is the adolescence period.
Naturally, you could expect the dogs to be angry and reacting differently than before. Anything new added to the routine brings about a change in their behavior, and whoever they think is the cause, gets in danger. Can the target be the new puppy? Why not!
Moreover, this behavioral change with age is especially seen in female dogs.
Fear of puppies
This may sound absurd but yes a dog could be afraid of a puppy. Some dogs would just walk away at the sight of pups. If you’d force the dog to interact, results can end in unpredictable scenarios. The cowardly old dog may attack the new puppy and that’s just his way of protecting himself.
On the other hand, certain dogs don’t like socializing. This is especially true of the breed Basenji. Can you blame the dog now? Absolutely, not! Should you blame his origins? Damn yes!
Is it suitable to get a new puppy if I have an older dog?
To find the answer you will have to notice the body language, see the degree of attacking and study your pets in detail.
Firstly, it’s totally normal to have a new puppy in the house. With a bit of planning and some new setting, you can settle the matter and introduce the new member to Dog fam.
Before you arrange a meeting make sure all the dogs new or old are vaccinated. You don’t want either of them sick, right?
Next, you need to note down a few steps before introducing a new fluffball into a boring dog’s life. How to go about it?
The first and foremost action is to let the pets adjust to each other’s sound and smell. Keep their face-to-face interaction on hold for 3-4 days, or until you find a neutral ground.
Now it’s showtime! Put them together in a large area such as a garden or ground, a neutral place. Notice the body language, if the neutral ground plan seems to be fading, stop immediately! Do not let the two mingle! Also, keep toys and treats away.
Note– A little growling is okay if the puppy is nagging the old one too much. However, if the old fellow is attacking the new puppy often, your little being could be in danger.
Has your dog shown aggressiveness before? Is she showing behavioral disturbances often? Then I suggest it’s not a good idea to get a new pet. You will need extra supervision and still put the new puppy’s life in danger.
In the end, remember it may seem that the two can’t get along but you’ll notice as the two grow together with positive interactions, the older dog will start tolerating the younger doggo. Even, the younger dog will now understand that he should stop being annoying.
Thus, it’s going to take a little while before the older dog stops attacking the new puppy but it can surely work out! Beware if your dog has behavioral issues because that way you’re putting the newbie’s life in danger.
How to prevent the older dog from attacking the new puppy?
Since you are now aware of the reasons why your dog is showing such aggressiveness. It’s time to deal with the issue.
When an older dog attacks a new puppy, who should be corrected? In my opinion, we need to notice who is triggering the other fellow and then work on strategy.
However, in most cases, both old and new fluffballs are to be correct. Sometimes one at a time and other times altogether. After all, we want peace and harmony at home, don’t we?
Avoid prioritizing Newbie over Oldie
Do not play favoritism, just because the new one is fragile and small don’t show the older one he’s got your heart. Treat the two with the same amount of love and kindness.
Teach Newbie to respect Oldie
Teach the little one that old dogs get the turn first. How will you do it? When you enter the room greet the older dog first and then turn towards the other one. This way the newbie will learn to respect him and the oldie won’t get jealous.
De-excite the puppy
The puppy, who is filled with energy may irritate the older puppy. To drain down his energy levels give him loads of exercises, toys, and other means of engagement so that he stays away from danger, I mean older dog.
Reward the Oldie on Calm behavior
For calming the behavioral problems, specialist Dr. Patricia suggests a calming behavior technique. She says give both dogs treat one after another calm behavior, this is assuming there is no tension between the dogs while they’re in one place.
Reward the older dog when she patiently lets you play with the newbie.
Another trick is to stop playing with him and let him calm down when the pup gets a little too excited. Practicing this a few times will teach him self-control.
Keep the two separately
Keep the two dogs in separate rooms. Why? This is especially important because you can’t supervise both of them at all. Besides, dogs are territorial species who don’t like new members introduced into their space instantly.
Moreover, provide the little one a separate crate and do his proper training. Dogs are territorial and the oldie wouldn’t like sharing his space at all.
Add barrier in the sleeping space
Add barriers in the room. Do not add crates, as crates can be opened by the old dog
Train the two dogs together
Train two dogs together but make sure to get one more person with you too. Take them out in open spaces, offer treats, let them run around. You can also use the clicker method here. However, if one dog tries to steal another dog’s toys, stop immediately!
Take dogs for parallel parking
A parallel walk is a great way to decrease tension between the two. You may walk with an older dog and have someone walk the puppy parallel to you. This is going to establish positive interaction. One of the walkers should be a few steps ahead and keep changing the lead every few minutes. Once in a while have the two dogs walk side by side.
For Aggressive Dogs Seek Professional Help
This implies two conditions. Let us just say your dog has a history of aggressive behavior, you need to get some professional help. Anything you do is not going to help.
The second condition is when everything else mentioned above fails and your older dog is still attacking the new puppy, he needs to go to the doctor.
In a nutshell, it can be concluded that when an older dog attacks a new puppy he could just be acting his dog-self. A few healthy activities can help accommodate the two guys together, and you can enjoy time with both. Just be prepared to work hard for the first few months.