We have an 11 week old puppy boy and an 11 year old female, who is almost blind and a diabetic. Consequently, she's not quick and agile like a dog that can see at her age. She lived all of her life with our big male that we had to put down a few months ago, so she's used to another older dog, but the puppy is a different story Of course the puppy wants to play and harasses her constantly unless we separate them or put the pup in his crate so she can spend quality time with us. At first she wouldn't even be in the same room with him, but now she plays with him a little after "putting him in his place in dog language." That took a couple of weeks because she is a very submissive dog and never growls at other dogs. So we had to encourage her to "talk" to the pup when he got too rough. She doesn't have the same energy level as the pup, plus we have to watch her blood sugar, activity raises it so we must give her consistant, moderate exercise, and not allow too much demanding spontaneous play. Aside from keeping them separate by crating the puppy, any suggestions? Both of them need our love and attention, and we want them to live together in harmony. We realize it's going to take some time for the pup to calm down and some patience from everybody.
well thats the number one problem people encounter with pups and senior dogs but eventually it all works out. Honestly there isnt anything wrong with crating the pup that much. Altho, I know you want him to hang out with yall and give him a chance to be "free" from the crate. But like you said, its just gonna take patience and consistency for the pup to understand that he cant be in the older dogs face every minute. Distract your pup with a toy, when he walks away or moves away from the older dog, give him lots of praise, give him a toy or something like that. Slowly but surely he will get the hint. Also you can help with the process of determining the senority in the house. For example, when walking through a door with the dogs, allow the older dog to go first, then let the pup go. When feeding, put the seniors dog food down first then the pups. The pup will pick up on this and it will help him understand who is boss. The senior dog will do the rest by, as you put it, letting him know in dog language. It may be a long road but I am sure you and your dogs will eventually have a harmonized household.
I also am in a similiar situation. I received some great advice from people on this forum. I have a 9 year old - Nadja (who is actually old beyond her years) and at that time a 4-5 months old - Mya. Nadja lost her sight shortly after I brought Mya home. It was difficult to play with Mya without Nadja wanting to participate so I found if I didn't vocalize while I was playing with Mya it wouldn't frustrate the older one quite as much.
Also a guy from this forum suggested getting a little bell and putting it on the younger dogs collar. This serves to warn the older one of "incoming" : and also lets her know where the younger one is.
Good luck, I do know it can be done leaving both dogs happy and loved.
Teach your pup the command "leave it". Practice this with both dogs on leash during a walk or out in the yard and when the pup wants to jump on your senior give a correction with the leash and the verbal command at the same time.
Eventually just the verbal command should work when pup is too rough.
"leave it" is the best command I have ever used. It works for just about anything.
Thanks for the good suggestions. I like the bell idea and the "leave it" command. The pup is getting better around our older lab, I think it will just take a little time and some maturity. Pups just want to play with everybody!
Hi Brockersmom - I agree leave it is the first thing I teach my puppies and it works for the cat, rabbits and kids ice creams! I start if my puppy is eating well to use his food bowl and get him to leave it for 10 seconds and work up he gets a great reward if he does it! Obviously if you have a fussy pup then you have to find another method but they do pick it up quickly.
Am about to be in the same situation as we are expecting our first puppies and I have a 11 1/2 year old male - he likes to take himself off away from the other dogs for peace and quiet and he is allowed in places the others aren't. He is after all top dog!