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How do older dogs cope with younger canine additions?

(14 Posts)
doglover Wed 31-Aug-11 16:43:34

We had our much-loved Lab Harley p.t.s last month - you may remember my threads - and have come to terms with his absence. We miss him terribly but know that he is at peace. His sister, Maggie (12 yrs), has coped well without her beloved brother but is still quite needy, understandably.

Anyway, some friends have just told us about a dog that needs re-homing and I'm sorely tempted! He's a 3 year old chocolate Lab who comes with a full history of ownership . He's typically bouncy - would need a firm hand - greedy, lovable, dozy etc.

How do older dogs cope if a new one is introduced? I realise every situation differs but do any of you have any words of advice / cautionary tales / success stories?

Part of me thinks it might help Maggie to have some company again and the other part would hate to upset her with a new intrusion.

Words of doggy wisdom, please!!

doglover Wed 31-Aug-11 17:01:50

bump

DooinMeCleanin Wed 31-Aug-11 17:07:32

It depends very much upon the older dog, it's often not a good idea. Maggie will be needing peace and quiet in her older years, not a bouncy adolescent getting in her face every second wanting to play.

All is not lost though, if you want another dog you could adopt an oldie to keep her company. Many of them still have a good few years left in them. You also get the benefot of knowing back up is there if you need it and you won't be given a dog that would not compliment Maggie and what she needs.

doglover Wed 31-Aug-11 18:40:55

Yes, I understand what you mean. I'm going to see the younger dog later this evening to assess his personality etc. Many thanks for your reply.

WoodRose Wed 31-Aug-11 19:13:04

Many Tears has a lovely bundle of chocolateness by the name of "Den" who is being fostered near Milton Keynes. He is 6 so not too old, but old enough to be sensible smile.

doglover Wed 31-Aug-11 21:59:00

Back from meeting the new boy. Well, we're going to have him!! He's an intelligent boy who needs some decent training and to know who's the 'leader of the pack'. Bringing him home tomorrow! I'll keep you posted............

DooinMeCleanin Wed 31-Aug-11 22:01:56

I would advise you to think more carefully. If things do not work our what will happen to the younger dog?

ivegotalovelygrowler Thu 01-Sep-11 09:40:55

re.'pack leadership' read a book called 'In defence of dogs'.

doglover Thu 01-Sep-11 12:16:23

Our newbie, Bertie, is home. We walked him on the way back to expend some energy and introduced him to our other dog in the garden. Maggie gave a couple of throaty warning growls which Bertie responded to immediately, backing away hesitantly. He knows she's the boss! Similarly, the cat stood her ground and no chase entailed. So far, so good..........!

doglover Fri 02-Sep-11 16:24:30

An update for you about Bertie! I suppose we've been terribly fortunate but things are going so well. Both dogs slept in the kitchen all night and have enjoyed 2 walks together. Maggie hasn't had to growl at all today - he knows his place - and respects her seniority. In fact, the cat and chickens have all chased him so he's really at the bottom of the pecking order! Seriously, it's been an absolute pleasure to have him join our family.

chickchickchicken Sat 03-Sep-11 22:13:11

sad at dooin's link. billy, the jrt, has been looking for a home for 7 years

OP - i would have advised caution but glad it worked out for you smile

mymumdom Sat 03-Sep-11 22:23:32

I'm glad it's worked out for you.
We have an older collie x who was 8 and had had a spinal stroke about 3 months before got a lurcher pup from rescue in Jan 2010.
She was small enough to put in her place when she arrived and has certainly perked him up a bit. She attempts to give him a hard time but he can still get the better of her even now. I do worry a little about what will happen in a couple of years time if she doesn't calm down a bit but we will deal with that as it happens.
I just wish our cats would have been a bit feistier, they have both moved out and now live with neighbours.
sad

RedwingWinter Sun 04-Sep-11 00:01:14

Doglover, that sounds like an excellent start. Congratulations on the new addition. Do you have photos?

EttiKetti Tue 06-Sep-11 14:16:45

Glad its gone so well, our 4 year old rescue soon put our rescue pup in his place 18 months ago and within weeks they were best of friends. They drive us mad playing like a whirlwhind around the house, but the excitement on their faces in the morning when they meet up is heart melting (sleep in the same room but pup still loves to be locked into his crate while older dog likes her blankets on the floor!).

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