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I'm inheriting a puppy about 4 months old (max.) to live with me and my 4-1/2 year old half-chocolate lab - half I don't know. Both are female. Small house, small fenced yard, they've spent time together twice before and got along fine. Neither of them exhibit any aggressiveness, alone or when they were with each or, ever. Both very gentle. I'm thinking there may be some weird things happening though, because my 4-1/2 mixed lab has been the sole 4-legger resident (plus just me) since she was 8 weeks old. Anyone do this before? Any recommendations, cautions, "make sure ya do's" etc. They will have their own sleeping area, the 4-1/2 year old usually on the bed along side me, the pup in a 3' x 30" "cage" when not outside or when she's sleeping until she's house broken. I'm not worried, but I'd appreciate any comments/things to look out for. Thanks!
 

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Just keep giving a lot of individual attention to your 4yo and it should be fine. Just watch out as the puppy gets older.
 

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Just keep giving a lot of individual attention to your 4yo and it should be fine. Just watch out as the puppy gets older.
Thanks! I was thinking there could be some jealousy by the older one with me doing what ya gotta do with the pup. The older one is my best friend in life ever, she won't get any less attention.
 

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When pups are growing, older dogs may be disinterested or annoyed by them. As long as they’re exhibiting no aggression, this isn’t much of an issue. Jealousy is a valid concern, and your dog may react with jealousy at the idea of sharing their owner’s love with a new dog. However, as they begin to see this new dog as part of the normal routine, they should have less issues. Make sure you’re also giving her lots of love!
Other than remembering that they may not be best friends instantly, I have nothing to add. Puppies are a lot of work- so your focus should largely be on the care of this new pup. Show lots of love, and train her well. Congratulations on the new addition! Have fun, and try not to worry!
 

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Well, they met at home for the 1st time about 5 hours ago. The 4-1/2 (Ellie) is NOT happy, the pup is fine. Ellie is ultra-hyper, races around, done some sniffing, barks at the pup a LOT, I keep them near each other but not in the open together. Pup is right now in a good sized crate, eats and drinks well, Ellie WON'T come inside when the pup is inside. She seems like there's an intruder. I realize the time has been short, but this reaction by the older dog Ellie is bizarre. She's not very comfortable with the pup AT ALL.
 

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Use gates and crate to separate them so each has time with you and without the other. I do not keep my dogs together but I have a dog I compete seriously with and that is his job. One dog is retired from competing and is soon to be rehomed and the other dog is the house dog.

I would not allow the puppy and the older dog together except for very limited time playing until the pup is a year old. I would work training the pup. I would want the pup to bond to me before bonding with the other dog.

To that end, I would not isolate the dogs from each other. I use baby gates, crates and kennels (not everyone has room for outdoor and indoor kennels so I am fortunate). I would feed them in separate places and I mean separate by physical barriers (separate rooms is best, crates etc. also work well).

I would also make sure I spent time with both dogs. The time won't be equal as far as training and walking goes. The older dog can walk further and the younger dog needs more training time and interaction time.

Another "trick" to get them used to each other is to separate them in different rooms and crates and then swap them so they get to smell where the other one has been.

A word of caution. I know a lot of people keep females together and it works for them. I also know a LOT of people who cannot keep females together because they will fight and I mean fight to the death. I currently have the latter situation brewing (so I cannot take the retired dog in as a second house dog). I know of many others with that situation as well. It usually happens after a bit of time.. and I "think" your young dog is still too young for this to happen in your house (if it happens at all).

Right now your older dog has been the queen and only dog. You have brought in an interloper on her turf so to speak. Advocate for her by using gates and separation and time.

Good luck.
 

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Many people successfully incorporate a puppy into a mature dog's household just fine. They have already met and gotten along, so that's good, but I would still take it slowly. Perhaps keep them separated by baby gates or crate and rotate for a few days so they can get used to each other's presence in the house. Only allow them to play together under your supervision (but that's something I would recommend for any multiple dog household). If puppy is being too obnoxious, separate from your older dog and give her a break. Feed separately, train separately, make sure the pup bonds with you and not your older dog.
 

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Thank you 3GSD4IPO and Lillith. I'm pretty much doing (on instinct, not knowledge) what you both recommended. My front room is tiles with a large area rug by the couches where the older one often hangs out. Where there's no rug, that's the pup area. I have a decent size cage/crate in the tiled area, and the pup uses it comfortably as a getaway. I use a couple segments of a doggy pen between the sides (has opening door) , they can see each other and interact, and I open both spaces occasionally for them to mingle. So far so good. The only concern might be their occasional rough play. The older is slightly more docile, the pup always "starts it" by putting her paws/legs on the back of the older dog, then the craziness begins. Not fighting, but a lot of seemingly aggressiveness. NO biting, no snapping or snarling, just rough play. It doesn't stop until I grab one and get one of them into the house (if we're outside) or the divider between them in the front room. It might possibly stop if I leave them alone, but I don't want things to get out of hand. Maximum time I've allowed this so far is maybe 10 minutes, and that's in the yard. Pup starts it, big girl takes the offense, they scurry, knock each other over, seem to want to grab each others ears, but never any yipping or sounds like anyone gets hurt. I just want to be real careful - they're like people, they can suddenly have enough and possibly get serious. I suspect it's to establish the hierarchy, or maybe just play, and I never let them do this alone. Thanks AGAIN for your input. By the way, I live in a godforsaken sweat box, so we aren't "going for walks." Our time outside is short.
 

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It seems you are doing a lot of things right so take it second for second.

Some sorting out of pack structure is normal so don't be surprised if the older dog puts her paw down (so to speak) if the pup pushes her buttons too much. It sounds like the older dog is mentally stable so things shouldn't really escalate out of control.

I have a 8 year old GSD/ Collie cross that's very stable that will tolerate a lot from other pets but even she once grabbed my Jack Russell pup around the muzzle, flipped her over and held her down for a few seconds. The pup didn't listen to any human or dog so I decided to let the older dog handle it within limits. My reasons for this was that they both speak "dog", I don't... And the older dog has more weapons to sort it out. Please note that the pup was never in any physical danger. It was a simple case of "I have warned you before and you don't listen so I'm teaching you the hard way". The tricky part is knowing that the older dog will break off the discipline in time but that comes with knowing a dog.
 

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I forgot to add this to my previous post regarding the incident between my dogs.

After the pup realized the error of her ways (confirmed with a yelp or two) the older dog let go, got up and simply walked off as if nothing happened. After that the pup decided discretion is the better part of valor.

It just goes to show that a balanced older dog is perfectly capable of setting boundaries and sorting out unwanted behavior without causing the culprit any damage.
 
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