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Getting a puppy with an older dog...thoughts?

Sillygirl45Sillygirl45 member
250 Love Its 500 Comments First Anniversary Name Dropper
edited April 2014 in Pets
I have a 12 year old. He is deaf, but otherwise in excellent shape. He is great with other dogs and used to going to my in laws where there are both small and large dogs. 

I would really like to get a puppy. I'd love for him to have a pal and I think it would make puppy rearing a little easier to have an established, well behaved dog for the puppy to follow. 

The dilemma...My H thinks our dog is too old and spoiled for a puppy. He thinks current dog would be sad if he had to share my attention. IL's seem to think the same. I disagree. 

Anyone have any advice or personal experiences? 

Re: Getting a puppy with an older dog...thoughts?

  • How does your dog behave around younger dogs?

    if you go through a humane society they should require that they observe a meeting between your dog and your potential new dog, they could help you assess whether your dog is open to having a new friend or not. 
    Me: 28 H: 30
    Married 07/14/2012
    TTC #1 January 2015
    BFP! 3/27/15 Baby Girl!! EDD:12/7/2015
  • He's been fine. The youngest dog he is around regularly is three, and he's been around her since she was a puppy. 

    I think H is just really attached to our dog and doesn't want to upset him.
  • You and your H know your dog best, so it's tough when you disagree on something like this. While your pup's behavior around other dogs (especially younger ones) is helpful in assessing how he would do with a puppy in the house, being around other dogs periodically is very different than living with another dog. I agree with PP that if you decide to get another dog, a shelter or rescue should be able to help you choose one that's a good fit for your family (especially your current dog).

    It's also important to properly introduce the two dogs (on neutral territory) and integrate the new dog into the family. We had our first dog for almost 3 years when we decided to adopt a second. We went through a breed specific rescue and brought our dog to meet the potential new dog to make sure there weren't any issues right off the bat. Once we adopted the new dog (who was actually older than our first dog), we implemented NILIF with the new one (we already followed it with our first one), took him to basic manners class, followed the same rules as with our first dog, made sure to monitor all of their interactions closely, and didn't leave them alone together until we trusted them (they eventually stayed together in our spare bedroom when we were at work). They got along wonderfully. Our second guy passed away suddenly last year. Our first guy seems to be fine being an only dog again and loves our attention, so we aren't planning to adopt another dog anytime soon (we also have a 7 month old baby!).

    GL with your decision!
    [url=http://www.thebump.com/?utm_source=ticker&utm_medium=UBB&utm_campaign=tickers][img]http://global.thebump.com/tickers/tt136343.aspx[/img][/url]
  • Thank you for the advice. We dog sit our IL's dog and they take ours when we go out of town so he is with them for a few days to a week or more at times. Though he's used to them and I do know adopting one will be different. 

  • You could also consider doing foster care to test the waters.  That's how we got our second cat, we fostercared for the humane society and cat #1 formed a bond with one of the kittens from a litter we were fostering, so when the rest of the litter went back to the humane society to be adopted out we adopted kitty #2
    Me: 28 H: 30
    Married 07/14/2012
    TTC #1 January 2015
    BFP! 3/27/15 Baby Girl!! EDD:12/7/2015
  • Ultimately you know your own dog - if you think he will be able to handle it then I do think that puppies tend to transition a little better with an established dog in the house. And it sounds like if your current pup is in good heath and generally gets along with other pups - then go for it.

    One thing to think about - what IF your current dog really doesn't get along with the new puppy?? What if this puts you in a position to choose between your fur-baby of 12 years or the one you just adopted? Would you be able to do so?? (because of stress, aggression, or any other situation that may arise)

    I only ask because I have seen people have to make the choice (both ways - euthanizing the older dog, or having to return the pup to the breeder/shelter) and its not easy either way. 


    Have you considered adopting a younger adult? You said he gets along with dogs as young as 3 - which is still considerably calmer than a 'normal' puppy - if you want breed specific some breeders will adopt out their retired breeding dogs. Which are usually very well behaved and very well socialized. And shelters will have young mature dogs for sure.

    FWIW - from what you've posted, and obviously not meeting your current fur-baby, if I was in your position I would probably adopt another dog - either puppy or adult.  . . .  I hope it all works out for you!
  • Thanks to everyone! H is coming around. I think the "what if it doesn't work" is his big concern.

    If it didn't work out I don't think we would have a problem finding a new home for puppy. I would be sad to have to do that, but no way would I put my guy down over my decision to get a puppy. 

    I guess we will see. I just wonder if he would feel better with his hearing (or lack of, actually) if he had a buddy to tell him what was going on too. I hope it would to be a win/win. He gets a hearing ear dog, I have him to help with teaching the puppy good behavior. He's so good and laid back, very well housebroken and crate trained (though we rarely use his crate). He's not too timid or too dominant...just a good boy all around. 

    Thanks again, and please, any stories or thoughts...good or bad are welcome!
  • Thanks to everyone! H is coming around. I think the "what if it doesn't work" is his big concern.

    If it didn't work out I don't think we would have a problem finding a new home for puppy. I would be sad to have to do that, but no way would I put my guy down over my decision to get a puppy. 

    I guess we will see. I just wonder if he would feel better with his hearing (or lack of, actually) if he had a buddy to tell him what was going on too. I hope it would to be a win/win. He gets a hearing ear dog, I have him to help with teaching the puppy good behavior. He's so good and laid back, very well housebroken and crate trained (though we rarely use his crate). He's not too timid or too dominant...just a good boy all around. 

    Thanks again, and please, any stories or thoughts...good or bad are welcome!
    Bolded - makes me so happy to hear you say that! Because unfortunately not everyone thinks that way. . . 

    Anyway - good luck again and keep us posted!! 
  • Sillygirl45Sillygirl45 member
    250 Love Its 500 Comments First Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited April 2014
    @LabLove86...On no, breeds are expensive and hard to come by in our area. I would have no problem finding a home for puppy. Our responsibility is to our old guy for sure. 


  • Sillygirl45Sillygirl45 member
    250 Love Its 500 Comments First Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited April 2014
  • There's a pic of the little monster in question, he needs a pal!
  • We had a 9 year old Blue Heeler before we gout our Aussie Shepherd puppy three years ago. He had always been social with dogs, and never had aggression issues. We wanted to get him a friend because as he got older he seemed a bit lonely, and so we adopted Juno. They did great for about two years, until she was much bigger than him and he grew tired of her young dog antics (Aussies are a bit crazy even into early adulthood) and didn't always want to play like she did. We did our best to never leave them alone, but eventually they were put in a situation where he was sitting with my daughter for a minute or two when I left the room and our aussie came up to play and he snapped at her, and ended up biting my daughter in the face. She was absolutely terrified of him, after that, and as much as we tried to explain to her that it was an accident, she was too scared of him. Luckily we have a friend who has known him his entire life (and used to be our roomate, so he had lived with her for years before we had our daughter) who decided to adopt him. She doesn't have kids(and never wants them) or other dogs so it was a really good situation for him. We were heartbroken, and it was the hardest decision of our life to choose between our dog we'd raised for 9 years, and the new dog we'd only had for 2 years but who was amazing with our daughter. In the end we decided to re-home him because of the issues with my daughter and on the notion that once a dog bites, it's bound to happen again. Our vet, friends and family assured us that we did the right thing, but it was still very hard for us. I love our Aussie, and she has turned out to be an amazing dog who is just wonderful with our daughter, but part of me still feels incredibly guilty that  we got a puppy intending to make our older dog less lonely, and that it drove him to bite and need a new home. He is definitely happier with my friend, as he was never incredibly fond of our daughter either, but we still miss him.

    Obviously this situation isn't definitely going to happen, and if you don't have young children then it would be very different for you, but I wanted to share my experience. Be very cautious when introducing a new puppy to your dog.
  • We had a 9 year old Blue Heeler before we gout our Aussie Shepherd puppy three years ago. He had always been social with dogs, and never had aggression issues. We wanted to get him a friend because as he got older he seemed a bit lonely, and so we adopted Juno. They did great for about two years, until she was much bigger than him and he grew tired of her young dog antics (Aussies are a bit crazy even into early adulthood) and didn't always want to play like she did. We did our best to never leave them alone, but eventually they were put in a situation where he was sitting with my daughter for a minute or two when I left the room and our aussie came up to play and he snapped at her, and ended up biting my daughter in the face. She was absolutely terrified of him, after that, and as much as we tried to explain to her that it was an accident, she was too scared of him. Luckily we have a friend who has known him his entire life (and used to be our roomate, so he had lived with her for years before we had our daughter) who decided to adopt him. She doesn't have kids(and never wants them) or other dogs so it was a really good situation for him. We were heartbroken, and it was the hardest decision of our life to choose between our dog we'd raised for 9 years, and the new dog we'd only had for 2 years but who was amazing with our daughter. In the end we decided to re-home him because of the issues with my daughter and on the notion that once a dog bites, it's bound to happen again. Our vet, friends and family assured us that we did the right thing, but it was still very hard for us. I love our Aussie, and she has turned out to be an amazing dog who is just wonderful with our daughter, but part of me still feels incredibly guilty that  we got a puppy intending to make our older dog less lonely, and that it drove him to bite and need a new home. He is definitely happier with my friend, as he was never incredibly fond of our daughter either, but we still miss him.

    Obviously this situation isn't definitely going to happen, and if you don't have young children then it would be very different for you, but I wanted to share my experience. Be very cautious when introducing a new puppy to your dog.
    Thank you for your story. That is so sad. I'm glad it ended up ok with your dog finding a new home. 

    We're leaning toward puppy, but still not sure yet.

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