My adult cocker spaniel HATES our new puppy! Advice please!

(63 Posts)
TomHardyswife Sun 12-Aug-18 20:22:36

We have a gorgeous, placid 8 year old male cocker spaniel.

For many years, he has been our only dog in our family.

On Thursday, we brought home a 10 week old cocker spaniel male puppy.

Puppy has been used to playing (and serious rough and tumble!) with his brother from the same litter, and his mum.

However, when we introduced our adult cocker to the puppy, things didn't go well. Our adult cocker absolutely hates the puppy to the extent he more or less refuses to be in the same room as him. He won't interact with him, won't even look at him and has on occasions preferred to sit staring at the radiator on the wall as opposed to looking in the direction of the puppy and everyone else.

Puppy just sees our adult dog as another version of his mum and just wants to snuggle up to him and play. And box his ears.. And swing off his tail! Whenever he is in the vicinity, our adult dog growls at him and retreats. Yesterday, the puppy stepped into our adults bed but we got him out. Since then, our adult won't go in his bed.

Although the puppy is demanding a lot of attention, we are aware of our adult feeling left out, so we are trying to make sure we are devoting lots of time to him. Lots of walks, playing with his ball and so on.

The sleeping arrangements are hard as we do not want to put them together (in seperate beds) in the same room (the growling from our adult does not seem to deter puppy from wanting to play) so we have kept them in seperate rooms at night and when they are unsupervised.

What the heck can we do? I really hope our adult comes round and starts to accept the puppy as I would hate for things to carry on for good the way they are now!

OP’s posts: |
whatthelump Sun 12-Aug-18 20:38:44

We have two cockers too - the oldest is 10 and was 9 when we got the puppy. She hated him to start with, we let her assert her place though. She slowly learnt to tolerate him and he learnt the boundaries, and now they're inseparable. She still won't "play" with him but she won't play with any dog.
They do snuggle and sleep in the same bed and he cries like a baby if they're separated to the point they have to be walked on a dual lead 🙈

TomHardyswife Wed 15-Aug-18 09:28:49

Well nearly a week on and things are still are terrible!

Puppy just wants to play, cuddle and be with my older dog but my older cocker is having none of it!

Yesterday he went outside and refused to come in, choosing to be out in the lashing rain than come inside as he knew puppy was around waiting for him.

He's doing lots of growling too which isn't like him as he is usually so placid.

I really hope he starts to come round as we surely can't carry on like this!

OP’s posts: |
BiteyShark Wed 15-Aug-18 09:32:50

Are you separating them so big dog can have some peace and quiet? If not I would start to do that so your older dog isn't being pestered constantly by the puppy.

Then you can do short managed interactions together.

TomHardyswife Wed 15-Aug-18 09:47:19


Yes older cocker chooses to be in a different room so he gets plenty of time away from puppy.

OP’s posts: |
SisterNotCisTerf Wed 15-Aug-18 09:51:11

Had you tried him out with other puppies/dogs in the house before you decided to get one?

BiteyShark Wed 15-Aug-18 09:51:14

The thing is puppies are full on for us humans so I can imagine that they aren't necessarily a joy for a much older dog who had been used to being an only dog.

Guess it going to take a long time, maybe when the puppy has grown up a bit?


Changenameday Wed 15-Aug-18 09:51:29

When the adult is growling or the puppy is getting too rough do you intervene? They need to work out the dominance between them so the pup can learn when enough is enough.

TomHardyswife Wed 15-Aug-18 09:55:51

Yes we always intervene and pull puppy away when he growls. On the rare occasion puppy has gone near him and he hasn't growled, we have praised him and given him a biscuit.

He previously had an older bitch living with him which he got on fine with. He's fine with other dogs but prefers humans IYSWIM

OP’s posts: |
Changenameday Wed 15-Aug-18 10:13:26

Is he likely to hurt the pup? He needs to be able to set his own boundaries for the pup, if you step in every time the pup won’t learn, it’s not nice to watch but it would mean the puppy will learn. When we brought our spaniel cross pup Home to our 11 year old westie they only sorted their boundaries when we’d left them to it (obviously still supervising). They will now curl up together as the pup knows that the westie doesn’t want to play.

SisterNotCisTerf Wed 15-Aug-18 10:14:56

But had you tried him with puppies? Why did you get a new puppy?

I have an 8yo dog and tbh I wouldn’t dream of turning his world upside down by introducing a puppy unless I had tried and tested him with lots of puppies/dogs in our home to see how he responded. Some dogs love other dogs, some don’t. It’s a huge change!

noitsnotteatimeyet Wed 15-Aug-18 10:20:24

It can take a week or more for the puppy to smell ‘right’ - when we brought our new puppy home a few weeks ago our nearly 5-year old dog was extremely disgruntled for the first few days but we kept them separate for most of the time and suddenly, just over a week later he decided that she was ok and started playing with her. He will still tell her off if she jumps on him when he’s trying to sleep which is fair enough and we make sure he has plenty of breaks from her so she’s not constantly hanging off his ruff but on the whole he’s decided that she is a Good Thing

TomHardyswife Wed 15-Aug-18 12:06:17


No we didn't try him with a new puppy as he has normally been fine with other dogs no matter what the age. And as I've said he is a very placid dog.

The reason why we have a new puppy is irrelevant hmm

OP’s posts: |
adaline Wed 15-Aug-18 12:08:38

Eight is quite old to be introducing a bouncy, hyper puppy!

My dog is also fine with other dogs on walks but he wouldn't want to live with one full-time. Puppies are full of energy and are exceedingly full-on.

What are your plans if your older dog doesn't take to the pup?

TomHardyswife Wed 15-Aug-18 12:08:47

Also how on earth can you try and test your dog with lots of puppies in your home?

OP’s posts: |
TomHardyswife Wed 15-Aug-18 12:12:32


We haven't discussed what to do if it doesn't work out.

The breeder is a decent breeder though and has said that she has had a puppy returned before due to the older dog not taking to one of her puppies so I'm sure she will do the same with us.

But it's not something we are prepared to do at the moment.

OP’s posts: |
adaline Wed 15-Aug-18 12:15:10

You could take the older dog with you when you went to look at the puppies, see if you had any friends with puppies who could come over to play - the list is endless.

Your older dog sounds miserable and stressed if it's been a week and he's still growling and choosing to stay outside rather than in the warm where the pup is.

TomHardyswife Wed 15-Aug-18 12:20:24

We took our older dog with us when we went to pick the puppy up and he was fine in the breeders home.

I don't have any friends who have puppies

OP’s posts: |
TomHardyswife Wed 15-Aug-18 12:22:06

I'm aware my older dog is miserable and stressed which is why I have posted looking for advice on what to do.

OP’s posts: |
villainousbroodmare Wed 15-Aug-18 12:24:11

I would keep them completely separated for the moment, except on walks (when most dogs tend to get on better). Unfortunately your puppy is not getting the "back off" message.

Peaseblossom22 Wed 15-Aug-18 12:24:16

Have you looked on the forum of cockersonline there is quite a lot of advice about this sort of thing . If I remember rightly there is a poster on there with a cocker called William who didn’t like a new puppy , they got to a point where he tolerated the newcomer but I would ask advice there .

adaline Wed 15-Aug-18 12:24:21

I'm afraid I don't think there's much you can do except wait and see if your older dog settles. Make sure he never has to be around the puppy if he doesn't want to be, and remove the puppy when the older dog growls or shows that he's unhappy.

The other thing could be to get them both to sleep on old towels and then switch the towels so the dog is on the pups and vice versa, so they get used to each other's scents. Also make sure the older dog gets separate walks and time to himself with you.

Whisky2014 Wed 15-Aug-18 12:28:37

I dont understand why youd get a puppy when you already have an 8 year old dog. Their needs are so different. Its like putting a newborn with an 80 year-old. It doesnt work. Its like your 8 year old dog is past it so you want a newer model. I feel sorry for him sad

Blobbyweeble Wed 15-Aug-18 12:43:06

It took just over 3 weeks for my 5 year old collie to accept the puppy, we were faintly depairing and then suddenly the older dog took a toy over to the puppy and offered him the end to tug. Until then big dog growled at the pup when ever he came near, play is still very much on big dogs terms which is fine.
The puppy seemed to accept big dogs'management' and it has stood him in good stead for playing with strange dogs, he waits for approval before getting stuck in and doesn't just assume everyone wants to play all the time.
Puppy is still crated at nights and I always feed him in his crate so that he can't try and steal food.
It has been the best thing we ever did, the big dog is much more confident now he has his little side kick and wanders round looking lost if I take the puppy out alone. Walks are very rewarding as they race around together.
i did wonder if we'd done the right thing at the time but now, 8 months on, they are the best of friends.

llangennith Wed 15-Aug-18 12:46:03

Get a large crate for the puppy. They need lots of sleep anyway and he needs to have a quiet place of his own. You shouldn't be keeping the puppy with you causing your older dog to have to be away from you. Older dog is 'top dog' and puppy will learn this gradually but you stepping in to rescue puppy will be seen as you taking puppy's side.
You need to ignore puppy and not keep interacting with him. If you're interacting with older dog keep puppy away.

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