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AIBU to bring a puppy into a home with a 12 year old dog?

(27 Posts)
MrsGloop Mon 12-Feb-18 16:06:49

Posting from traffic, as In the Doghouse doesn’t get much.

Briefly, we have a 12 year old lab mix who we’ve had since 12 weeks old. We also have three children - 9, 6 and 3.

We went to a rescue adoption event this weekend and were besotted with a 10-week-old mutt. He’s adorable, and we had a home visit which went well.

Only concern is our 12 year old dog. She didn’t seem too terribly impressed with the new pup. Growled when puppy got too close, which was not unexpected, but then just basically ignored her.

I am going back and forth between “it’ll be nice for her to have a companion” and “she’ll feel rejected/replaced/resentful and she’ll spend her last months/years unhappy.”

We need to let the rescue know today, and we just don’t know what to do.

Anyone have experience - good or bad - of introducing a puppy to an old dog?

bilbodog Mon 12-Feb-18 17:20:57

My dog is 15 now and i wouldnt bring a pup into my home now - i think he will feel replaced - with the best will in the world he has been king of his own castle for 12 years and you are going to bring in a young pup who will take everyone's attention all the time as well as being really annoying and wanting to play.

treeofhearts Mon 12-Feb-18 17:23:01

No. I brought one in when mine was 9 and that was rough. Certainly wouldn't any older.

BastardGoDarkly Mon 12-Feb-18 17:24:17

I wouldn't. I rescued (unplanned) a 4 month pup once, my old boy at the time was 11. Honestly, he got properly depressed, thoroughly miserable.

I gave pup to my mum, who had her for 15 years.

Think by his reaction so far,;you can rule out.... it'll be lovely for him to have a companion.

WorraLiberty Mon 12-Feb-18 17:25:58


Also, what rescue place provides a home check that quickly? They done by volunteers and generally take far longer to arrange than that.

Plus, no rescue place worth its salt would allow this puppy to be placed with a dog that growled at it, let alone be hurrying you into making a decision confused

What is the place/event called? They should be investigated imo.

MikeUniformMike Mon 12-Feb-18 17:26:10


WorraLiberty Mon 12-Feb-18 17:27:15

*They're normally done by volunteers

LaGattaNera Mon 12-Feb-18 17:29:09

I agree with everyone else - your dog is in its senior years and any senior dog would find this very stressful but your dog has already communicated how she feels - it wouldn't be nice for HER to have a companion, she doesn't want a companion - sorry but it seems you want a puppy and are trying to make out that you are also doing it for her. Let her live the rest of her life as she has lived her life so far not fair to have a puppy. Puppy will find another home.

WorraLiberty Mon 12-Feb-18 17:29:10

Forgot to add, I can't think of any decent rescue center that would place a puppy in a home with 3 kids of that age either.

MrsGloop Mon 12-Feb-18 17:30:10

Worra goodness, that was a slightly hysterical response 🙄

The event was on Saturday, application made that day, filtered down that night, and home visit the next day. Efficient and entirely the norm where I am. Also, it’s entirely normal for a dog to give a warning growl to another dog who gets “in his face.” It was a “back off buddy” growl, not an “I’m going to eat you” growl.

Storminateapot Mon 12-Feb-18 17:30:14

We got a puppy when our old dog was about 12 and it seemed to give him a new lease of life. He lived until he was 15 and they got on great.

MrsGloop Mon 12-Feb-18 17:31:13

And more nonsense from you - there is absolutely no reason why a puppy can’t be housed in a family of children. Good grief, have you ever actually owned a dog?

KarmaStar Mon 12-Feb-18 17:31:58

Although my first dog was only two when we got a pup (we got him on the advise of a dog trainer as dog1 was scared of other dogs)he was not very amused to have this little bundle of fluff clambering over him.
We used a crate(filled with soft bedding,toys fresh water)which pup went into when tired which gave dog1 space.the other times he would just go and lie on the top stairs where pup could not reach.
They were given strictly the same amount of attention,treats etc.
Gradually they worked it out and now are the very best of friends,they play,share chews and are cuddled up together all the time.
It can work,the first dog needs plenty of love and downtime,but don't use pups /crate as a punishment else he won't want to get in needs to be a quiet nice place to go where nobody,is allowed to disturb's the pups place to go for safety.
Dog1may growl but he is just telling pup off.that's how they learn.
I hope this is of some help and you are all happy together🐕

MrsGloop Mon 12-Feb-18 17:32:06

To everyone else, thanks for your thoughts. We are certainly leaning towards passing on this puppy and looking again when our old girl dies. Thanks for your input.

WorraLiberty Mon 12-Feb-18 17:36:46

It's not a hysterical response at all and to address your other post...

I have recently (10 weeks ago) adopted a puppy. I had signed on with 7 or 8 rescue homes.

Not a single one of them would place a dog or puppy in a home with a child under 8 years of age and certainly not in a home with a 3 year old child.

None of them would allow a puppy/dog to be placed in a home with another dog, until the dogs had met in a neutral place at least once and then a trip for the new dog to meet in the older dog's home.

They certainly would never rush anyone into making their minds up that quickly.

It's standard good practise, not 'hysteria'.

Thehogfather Mon 12-Feb-18 17:36:56

I have, but the dog in question was a small breed and more like a younger dog, very active and practiced at putting puppies or anything else in their place without any stress. So only old in years, not behaviour. Puppy more than happy to defer to older dog. Also older dog was always happy for friends dogs of various ages and temperaments to visit and was generally sociable. So not really the same as your scenario.

Agree the rescue shouldn't be pushing, in my case they were keen to do several visits with the pup and to meeting on neutral ground for a walk together etc. With no pressure to decide.

Topseyt Mon 12-Feb-18 17:37:30

I have a 13 year old labrador. The last and only time I introduced a new dog (my cocker spaniel) was when he was 2.5. Cocker spaniel was then about 18 months old and they had also known each other well previously for about a year.

It still wasn't without some challenges, although I was confident we would get through them, and we did.

At the age both are now (labrador 13 and cocker 12) I personally would not introduce another. I just don't think it would be fair on them.

I know some people do it, and many may be successful. This is me though, knowing my own limitations.

Sharkofdestruction Mon 12-Feb-18 17:38:45

My DSis has just taken on a 12week old pup with her 9yo dog, and 2 kids aged 4 and 6. They are getting on great, pup in a crate at night, older dog sleeps upstairs. The older dog seems to be enjoying teaching the young pup too.

Hopingnwishing Mon 12-Feb-18 17:49:09

OP there are a few rescues which allow you to foster the dog for a month before committing... could this be an option?

stayathomegardener Mon 12-Feb-18 17:49:58

We introduced a puppy when our original dog was 10.
It was very hard work which we fully expected.
Both dogs were/are exercised/fed separately and even now two years later never left alone together without puppy being crated.
Positives are puppy taught old dog to play and really rejuvenated him, they do have an amazing time together although arthritis in old dog means we limit play.
Old dog finds puppy annoying and comforting in equal measure.
We certainly protect old dog from anticipated annoyances and puppy is quickly put in his place if we miss something.
Not always a disaster.

stayathomegardener Mon 12-Feb-18 17:55:48


Confusedbeetle Mon 12-Feb-18 18:01:23

It is a wonderful thing to take a rescue, but they sometimes come with issues and rehoming is stressful. The addition of small children and an older dog adds to the stress and personally not a risk I would take

wisterialanes Mon 12-Feb-18 18:08:13

No experience with dogs but when our dcat was 9 we took on a kitten that was going to be drowned. No regrets but it was very difficult, dcat9 really could not be bothered with dkitten who just wanted to be best friends and play. Dcat went through months of hissing, biting, going off his food; I was at my wits end. We tried to rehome dkitten as dcat had made it clear he was not happy, but we couldn't find anyone reliable and didn't want to put him in a rescue shelter. In the end we went to a pet behaviourist who said keeping them completely separate was the answer. Sadly dkitten had to be pts at 8 months due to a heart problem, but we wouldn't think to bring in another cat again.

BastardGoDarkly Mon 12-Feb-18 22:21:30

I'm also sceptical of any rescue that would rehome with children so young.

We tried loads, they wouldn't entertain us until ds was at least 8.

We bought a pedigree in the end.

ozymandiusking Mon 12-Feb-18 22:29:26

Yes, it's downright mean.

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