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Introducing a new puppy to an older dog, your experiences?

NollieNollie Posts: 7,014
We lost our dear Sandra just over a month ago and 10yr old Bill is lost without her as he used to follow her everywhere. He is adapting but really needs a companion, he hates being alone. He was 5 when he came to us 5 years ago via a friend and Sandra accepted him immediately. We would consider adopting another older dog, possibly less stressful, but OH is determined to have another Spanish Water Dog, another girl and adoption opportunities are scarce.

I have read all the advice on introductions, boundaries, space for him to retreat etc., but would be interested in your personal experiences. He is pretty laid back for an SWD as they can be nuts, but still, he has strong territorial guarding instincts. Is it fair to expect a 10yr old to accept a rambunctious puppy? 


Mountainous Northern Catalunya, Spain. Hot summers, cold winters.


  • B3B3 Posts: 25,161
    I have had experience with introducing a pup, but the older dog was a bitch. This might have made a difference. She was extremely tolerant, until one day she decided the pup had grown up and let the pup know its behaviour was no longer acceptable.
    I wouldn't put them in an enclosed space at first. Make sure the adult dog has an easy exit route. Make a fuss over the adult and feed him first for a while so that he knows he hasn't lost his place in the pecking order
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • raisingirlraisingirl Posts: 6,634
    sorry you lost Sandra  :(

    Crate training is hugely valuable. If Bill isn't crate trained, at least do it with the pup so he/she will sleep in a crate, which gives Bill time to move about without a puppy swinging on his ears.
    There's a really good book called 'perfect puppy' by Gwen Bailey. I've not looked in there for advice on this specifically but I expect she's covered it
    “Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first” 
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Posts: 10,244
    I don't know the answer, but when I was looking for a new dog after I lost my beloved Tia at 15 yrs (long haired border collie) I got a great deal of support and advice from Val Grays on Facebook. Don't worry that they mainly deal with BC's they offer help and advice on many breeds.

    Bill has such a sweet face, I hope you find a new best friend for him
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 21,654
    I had Border Collies for years, we always had 2 at a time, but they weren't the same ages. We had a male then a female then a male etc and bought them as puppies from farmers. There was never any problem. Make fuss of the older dog and make sure he doesn't feel left out. The time I had a problem was when baby Tigger arrived and Cassie adored him, thought he was her baby and started making milk! Tigger was weaned so it meant a visit to the vet for Cassie. We had wanted puppies from Cassie but she wouldn't let male dogs near her. She loved puppies but never learnt how to make them!
    Dordogne and Norfolk. Clay in Dordogne, sandy in Norfolk.
  • thevictorianthevictorian Posts: 906
    If you have some breeders nearby selling puppies then see if they have any older dogs that they might not want to breed from anymore, or some puppies that they might have grown on for a couple of years but not decided to breed from. 

    I think dogs that are used to company will often be fine together straight away. Even solitary dogs are normally really well behaved with puppies and know how to control their play with them.    
  • KT53KT53 Posts: 8,027
    That sounds a bit like my sister-in-laws Border Terrier @Busy-Lizzie .  My s-i-l wanted to breed from him and apparently the bitch they took him too was receptive.  All he wanted to way play.  They tried several times but the result was always the same.
  • NollieNollie Posts: 7,014
    Thanks for all your thoughts and advice. Bill does love attention and cuddles so it would certainly need careful handling to make sure he didn’t feel left out. He is naturally slowing down at his age, hence not being sure about introducing a puppy, for him or us!

    The friend he came from was a breeder who had to give up all his dogs for personal reasons. He is asking around his old contacts re older dogs and put us in contact with other breeders he knows well, so we’ll see what comes out of that.
    Mountainous Northern Catalunya, Spain. Hot summers, cold winters.
  • WAMSWAMS Posts: 1,502
    I did have one negative experience- the older dog did not like the puppy at all. They are very very bitey and energetic and disruptive when young, you do forget once they are no longer ath the pup stage just how awful the little tykes arem and not all older dogs can cope with it. Our old girl (9 at the time) ended up bullying the pup/ young un quite mercilessly for the remainder of her life, just being nixe as pie to everyone else and a conplete snappy grump to littledog, who ended up a bit of a nervous wreck around her.

    You can't really plan for that scenario and I don't think it's the norm. Very awkward and horrible, though, as both dogs are family members and you can't keep them separate all the tine.

    On that note I would be wary of getting a girl pup in with a dog. It's rather hard having to keep them separate when they come into season, which can be any time after 6mo, and you can't get the girl spayed for some time after that. It's cruel to let a young one fall pregnant (though some do).

    Valgrays is an excellent  FB group. Appledown also has some good advice.
  • LoxleyLoxley Posts: 5,222
    Perhaps OH might soften on his stance if he visited a few adoption places, sometimes the right dog isn't the one you had your mind fixed on - they choose you.
  • Nanny BeachNanny Beach Posts: 8,426
    I did this. We had 2 Border Collies, both around 5, (I always have 2 dogs together, though not usually this close in age) Our youngest daughter wanted her "own" dog. We settled on a Phalene. My Vet said as soon as you get him home, put him straight in with the other 2. This isnt the normal advice, which is, to let the dogs meet on neutral ground, a friends house/garden. We were exhausted, had driven acouple of hundred miles, everyone went off to bed, apart from me. I put him in with the 2 (bitches) Merl became her best friend straight away, Holly never "liked" him. She wasnt a nasty dog, just not really interested in other dogs or people. They all slept in the utility room with dog flap. Fast forward, Merl died suddenly at 12, he wouldnt sleep downstairs with Holly, slept on our bed. When moved here, January, 2015 Holly put to sleep,(she was 17) Leo would sit by the door and cry when I went to work (nights) I was retiring in the autumn,. desided to get a puppy then. We ended up getting another Border collie puppy in July, 8 weeks old.  she was half the size of him, and hes a toy! Best friends from the beginning. Hes 16 now, I am 71, not sure what we do next time! We did actually try rescue organisations, and found they ruling to be unrealistic.
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