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Will our old dog be depressed and resentful if we get a puppy?

(14 Posts)
MrsGloop Mon 12-Feb-18 00:48:45

We have a 12 year old lab mix and we got her from a rescue organization when she was 12 weeks. She was our “baby” until we had children. She is sweet natured but a little barky, and although she’s in decent health she has certainly slowed down.

We have been thinking about getting a puppy for a while and to cut a long story, we have been offered a 10 week old rescue mutt. We had a home visit tonight and all went well so now we just have to tell the rescue if we want to proceed.

Puppy is pretty chilled although I expect that will change. We think she’s part Great Pyrenees and part golden retriever, but we are just guessing.

Our old dog didn’t seem terribly impressed with puppy. Puppy got a little close and old dog growled but there was no aggression. Old dog basically ignored her. I think she looked sad, but I know I’m projecting human feelings onto her.

I suppose my question is - do you think a dog can feel depressed and resentful? I would hate for old dog to feel as though we’re replacing her. Or do you think they are dogs and dogs just live in the moment?

PositivelyPERF Mon 12-Feb-18 00:56:00

Please don’t. You know you’re getting the pup for your benefit and not your loyal companion that you’ve had for twelve years. Even with the best will in the world, you know your poor old dog will not get the attention it deserves, with a wee pup in the house. The pup will be cute, fun and adorable, so people, including your DC, will be naturally drawn to it. This is the time that your poor old dog needs that extra love and care, not competing for attention with a youngster. You don’t suddenly start giving your love and attention to someone else when a parent gets old, why do it to your old dog?

DonnyAndVladSittingInATree Mon 12-Feb-18 00:56:28

Well I don’t know about resentful but I do know older dogs can feel incredibly overwhelmed and pissed off with young bouncy puppies. Which yours will be for about 2ish years. Bad enough when they encounter them on walks but in their own home, their sanctuary, 24/7, in what should be their peaceful years? I wouldn’t do it to my boy.

Floralnomad Mon 12-Feb-18 00:57:05

My mum had 2 rescues and when one died of old age she got a pup because the other dog seemed so miserable , old dog hated new pup so much that they had to be seperated . The cat also hated the pup so we ended up having old dog and cat living in one side of the house and new pup ( which then became pups so he had company) living in the other side , with everybody swapping over at set times of the day so they all got equal human attention . You know your dog , my current dog would hate another dog in the house because he prefers his own company / humans to dogs , so we will remain a single dog household

BettyBooJustDoinTheDoo Mon 12-Feb-18 01:00:53

Yes get the puppy if you want to make the final months or years of your dogs life miserable, you are doing this for your benefit only, your current dog will be on sidelines again, like when you had children.

BitOfFun Mon 12-Feb-18 01:01:03

I think it can work with a younger dog, but it's going to be pretty stressful for an elderly one.

LindyHopSkipRunner Mon 12-Feb-18 01:05:48

A friend's family did this and the older dog killed the younger one. Very traumatic all round.

SuperBeagle Mon 12-Feb-18 01:05:59

We got our 12 week old beagle puppy when our old Jack Russell was 12 years old.

We were concerned about it, and she wasn't thrilled with him for the first week or so (territorial about her bed, for example), but she truly grew to love him quickly and we were very relieved to have gotten him in the end so that she had company when we weren't there during the day. The beagle thought the sun shone from her behind, and she would often be seen to be licking him and behaving "motherly" towards him. He ended up sleeping in her bed with her, keeping her old arthritic bones warm.

I did have worries about it, and I don't think that all dogs would respond as my DDog Lucy did, but it was a great decision for us.

ZivaDiva Mon 12-Feb-18 04:54:18

I don't think you can assess based on the fact that your old dog ignored the puppy.
I've just got a puppy and have a four year old adult dog. For the first two weeks the older dog would not allow the puppy to go near him, growled and told him off at every opportunity. After that they started playing and now 6 weeks in the older dog initiates play and all is well.

BiteyShark Mon 12-Feb-18 06:50:38

The dilemma you are having is why I don't think I could get a second dog because you can't guarantee they will like each other and by that time it's too late.

Floralnomad Mon 12-Feb-18 12:34:50

I think it’s totally different getting a second dog when the current dog is still fairly young to getting one when the dog is in it’s old age .

Wolfiefan Mon 12-Feb-18 12:36:59

Could you foster with a view to adopt? You must ensure that the older dog can get away from the pup. Playpen, stair gate etc. is there room for them to sleep separately?

yellowfreesia Mon 12-Feb-18 13:30:20

I know you didn't ask this, but are you prepared for differing exercise needs if you take on the puppy? In a year's time you may have to walk them separately, with one needing long walks and the other not, which can be very time-consuming.

My eleven-year-old would not like a puppy in her face and sharing her space, though I know it can work with some dogs.

HonkyWonkWoman Mon 12-Feb-18 18:40:50

Don't do it! It's not fair at all in your old dog. I've got an old cross lab (14)who is very friendly with pups on walks but a friend brought her new pup round and I had to ask her to put her back in the car as she was driving my old girl crazy. Jumping all over her until old girl came to me and looked pleadingly at me.
I understand how tempting it is to get a pup when your dog gets older and believe me I've been tempted myself but my old girl deserves the best old age I can give her, she's been wonderful and I'm not about to make her miserable now.

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