Are there any tricks to introducing older dogs (around 4-years-old) to new puppies?
Invite the new puppy onto the property (not into the house) and then take your older dog outside and let them sniff one another. After that, take the dogs into the backyard and then observe them interacting. If they are playing, that's a good sign; if one is still cautious to the other, you will have to show a little bit of discipline (nonphysical discipline) to the older dog or the puppy. They should be encouraged to play.
Well this is what the dog whisperer would say!
The first thing to remember is, when you have a stable pack, they don’t “hate” anything. You or someone you know may have caught the episode of Oprah where I showed her how to introduce her new puppies to the very dog-aggressive Sophie. That’s a good visual for you to focus on. In a stable pack, there is always room for growth and change.
The nature of dogs is that they don’t raise puppies when they are advanced in age; just like us, they want to raise their kids when they still have the energy to keep up with them. It’s not that the puppies are “obnoxious” to them - it’s just that they have another state of mind - puppy hood vs. senior hood. In order to be around the older dogs, the puppy has to already have his social skills and his energy drained so they will accept him into the group. Think about kids who are raised by older parents or children visiting their grandparents. Those kids are the ones that are able to sit down in grandma’s lap and stay quiet while she reads them a book.
The best thing we can do for the grandparents to coexist with the children is that we have to get the children tired. In order for them not to have a bad experience together, make sure you begin with the one pack member who is youngest in mind to guide and take this puppy under his wing because he can also prepare it. Eventually the parenting instincts can kick in make this dog feel, ”This is my puppy.
Constant supervision is absolutely a must, and when you can’t be there to supervise, tire the puppy out before crating so it feels more natural to rest. Crating a puppy all the time until it is big enough is absolutely the wrong thing. Crating doesn’t create social skills – and social skills are what are going to get him through. Of course always, always consult a professional, and if your gut feeling tells you there’s a real danger for the puppy, then don’t do it. Always listen to your gut feeling.
Stay calm and assertive,
I can't answer your whole question, but I have heard from several reputable sources that you should never introduce a dog to another dog, baby, or puppy on its home turf: find "neutral territory" for the introduction.
We just purchased an eight week old puppy, she was introduced outside of the dog room to the other two dogs a four and two year male and female. We then set one of our crates up in that dog room and the first night the puppy was in the crate with the door latched. She barked nonstop for hours, annoying everyone in the house. The second day, we let the older dogs out first to do their business and then I let the puppy out. All three dogs sniffed one another and the four year old male wander away grumbling, he spent the next four days to a week trying to avoid the puppy. Our two year old female was inquisitive and interacted with her front the start, but was a bit aggressive with the puppy. She was scolded for being over aggressive, but the puppy hung out with her. The second night I put the puppy in her crate for about a half an hour before I could not tolerate the barking any more. I opened the door to her crate and let her out, but kept her in the dog room. I took the older dog inside the house and left the puppy and the two year old female in with the puppy. She was aggressive once or twice, nipping at the puppy, but after a anew minutes alone with each other they were lying on the same bed together, back to back, but nevertheless still on the same bed. The older male is coming around, the puppy is playful but not constantly running around and barking nonstop. He has stopped pacing in the dog room when he is in with the puppy, even when she is playing or trying to take a toy or a dog chew from him. I think they have also realized that she is getting bigger, in the last three weeks she has grown about four inches taller and almost six inches longer, she has gained 16 pounds. We are lucky to have a pair of accepting Dalmatians, both have been fixed which may reduce the dominance issue between the dogs.
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