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Introducing a new dog to an oldie!

Today the refuge was shut for All Saints Day and apart from the arrival of one dog, dumped in the external boxes (how brave of you!), nothing happened. So even though today isn’t Sunday, we have a Sunday-type blog!

This week we received an update on Habbie (Noosa) who was recently adopted into a family with an older dog, Biba. Biba was used to having all the love and attention to herself, and her owners were quite nervous about bringing a new, young dog home. Would Biba be upset and feel usurped? As this week’s email and photos show, all their fears were unfounded. Biba has found a new lease of life and the two dogs play happily together.

Introducing two or more unfamiliar dogs is tricky no matter what their ages, but the task is even more complicated when one dog is a hyper puppy and the other is an aging pooch used to being the top dog. However when introductions are done correctly the outcome can be really amazing!

So how do you set up these introductions for a successful outcome? Please remember that dogs, given a choice, do not  raise puppies when they are advanced in age. They want to raise their “kids” when they still have the energy to keep up with them. It’s not that the puppies are “obnoxious” to them – it’s just that they have another state of mind and.in order to be around the older dogs the puppy has to learn social skills.

It is sensible to introduce your old and new dogs on neutral territory. This reduces the risk that your existing dog will see your new puppy as an intruder in his space. Watch both dogs for signs of discomfort and aggressive posture. If the hair on your dog’s back stands up, if he bears his teeth or if he stares for a prolonged period, separate the dogs and try the introduction again on another day. Feed older and younger dogs separately. This keeps your puppy’s nose out of your older dog’s bowl and prevents jealous fights over food. Eating together should be one of the last things your dogs learn to do..Remove objects from the environment your dogs can’t or won’t share or that might start fights. Make sure both your older pooch and your new puppy have their own food and water bowls, beds, toys, leashes and other supplies.

It is very important to offer your older dog at least as much love and attention as you did before the new puppy moved in. Having two or more dogs should not mean that each dog is loved less. Allow your older dog to warn your puppy with a snarl or growl. This is natural behaviour and is designed to set limits for the puppy. Make sure your older dog has a safe place away from the boisterous puppy. Just like small children can tire adults, puppies can quickly get on the nerves of older dogs. Let your older dog have a break in a safe place the new puppy is not allowed.

Remember that a young dog will have different exercise needs to an older dog so structure your walks accordingly. It’s nice to reward all your pets for behaving nicely but when you offer love, praise and treats you are settling both dogs up for a happy future together!

Habbie ( Noose) and Biba are perfect examples of how well youngsters and older dogs can get on. Hopefully their success story will inspire more families with older dog to give a home to a youngster and don’t forget, should you ever run into any problems with a SPA dog, just lift the phone and call us. We have two dog trainers on staff and are more than happy to help! And if your French isn’t up to it, just send a message to this website and we will happily give advice.

Habbie (Noosa) and Biba

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About Darcey Dyson

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