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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi I am new to the forum and need some advice. My beloved lab of 11 years died suddenly last year 10 days before my daughter was born. I was devastated, and still cannot believe she is gone. I have 2 other dogs, a 9 year old beagle and a 10 year old German shorthair pointer. My daughter just turned 1 year old last week, and we decided to get a lab puppy which we picked up 1 week ago. It has been 10 years since I’ve had a puppy. And with a 1 year old...what was I thinking lol. But the adult dogs do not like her and growl at her constantly. I’m afraid they’re gonna hurt her. Any advice on how to get them to accept the new dog? They had a really hard time when my lab died, and then had a new baby in the house less than 2 weeks after that. And now a new puppy. So I get it. But I just don’t know what to do. Thanks guys!
 

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Way too many changes for your senior dogs. Older dogs don't always find puppies adorable. Sometimes they're just annoying.

You may need to keep them separated, both to protect the pup and to protect the older dogs.
 

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It takes a long time for the older doggos to adjust. My senior dog never liked our 1 year Golden Retriever until recently. They stopped bickering and just ignores each other. Just be patient and try to separate them for a while and slowly introduce the puppy. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Way too many changes for your senior dogs. Older dogs don't always find puppies adorable. Sometimes they're just annoying.

You may need to keep them separated, both to protect the pup and to protect the older dogs.
Do you think they will ever accept the puppy and like her?
 

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I think it's more a matter of the pup settling down some, rather than the older dogs making adjustments.

With multiple animals (dogs or cats) changing the dynamics with the addition of another animal always carries some risk.

We had three dogs who had been together for many years and got along famously. Two of them died about a year apart and I thought the surviving dog would be lonesome and depressed.

We were amazed when she seemed to thrive as an only dog. She's a senior herself and just wants attention from her humans and to be left alone by other dogs.

Then we rescued a young, small breed dog. Molly, the senior, was not thrilled, but the new dog gave her plenty of space. Now, while they are not exactly pals, they do seem to enjoy each other's company at some level. Franklin is smart-enough not to try and initiate play (he gets play-time with other, like-minded young dogs) but they keep track of each other and, if one is away for any reason, they seem genuinely happy to see each other when they are reunited.

Most important, we make sure the senior dog gets plenty of individual attention.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I think it's more a matter of the pup settling down some, rather than the older dogs making adjustments.

With multiple animals (dogs or cats) changing the dynamics with the addition of another animal always carries some risk.

We had three dogs who had been together for many years and got along famously. Two of them died about a year apart and I thought the surviving dog would be lonesome and depressed.

We were amazed when she seemed to thrive as an only dog. She's a senior herself and just wants attention from her humans and to be left alone by other dogs.

Then we rescued a young, small breed dog. Molly, the senior, was not thrilled, but the new dog gave her plenty of space. Now, while they are not exactly pals, they do seem to enjoy each other's company at some level. Franklin is smart-enough not to try and initiate play (he gets play-time with other, like-minded young dogs) but they keep track of each other and, if one is away for any reason, they seem genuinely happy to see each other when they are reunited.

Most important, we make sure the senior dog gets plenty of individual attention.
Thank you so much for your response! The dogs do growl at her at times but I try to keep them apart as much as possible. I hope one day they will be somewhat friends. Thanks again!
 

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If it's possible (eg you have at least two people to be able to do this safely), and once the puppy is old enough for longer walks, parallel walking can be a good bonding experience. This usually needs to be done in an area that's highly stimulating for dogs - eg a hiking trail vs. a town sidewalk - so that the environment is more interesting than each other, and the dogs should be far enough apart that they can't physically interact, but they're aware of each other's presence. This is often a way that's recommended to introduce a new dog to others in the household, but it might help a bit with dogs who don't get along well too (this is not necessarily a good or safe option for dogs who are actively, physically fighting, just putting that out there in case someone with a more severe dog-dog aggression problem than yours is reading this).

You can also try parallel play, where two or more people play or do fun training individually with each dog in a setup where the dogs can see each other but there's a physical barrier (gate, leash, etc) preventing them from interacting. Like the parallel walking, this allows the dogs to be aware of each other and get used to each other to some degree without fixating on each other and getting worked up.

Either way, I agree with making sure the older dogs are getting puppy-free time and one-on-one attention from you. With a lot of change and disruption in the household, it's especially important to make sure every dog has their physical and mental needs met to help reduce and manage the stress.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you all for taking the time to respond to my post. I’ve taken all your advice and used it to help the pups bond! I let the puppy out and although the older dogs get a little irritated they only growl, and at that point we take them outside and leave the puppy in to spend time with her and give her some time out of the cage as well (the older dogs LOVE being outside and we have a great fenced in back yard). We go out with them half the time and spend time with just them, and then we go inside and spend time with the pup. I feel like it’s going ok. Now I just have to figure out how to get her to go to the door when she’s got to go to the bathroom lol.
 

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Any time you add a dog.... .There is no guarantee that your current dogs are going to accept it.... or even tolerate it....
 

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Great advice by many above. One small thing that’s we’ve found that helps contribute to tolerance early is hand feeding old dog and new dog at the same time. One on each side. They’re distracted by food but aware of “sharing” an enjoyable experience. And you are present and providing food to both. Many benefits. Good luck 😁
 
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