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hi. I have a question about getting a new puppy. My friend fosters dogs and she is currently fostering an adorable girl puppy(8wks) that i would love to have. my only problem is that i would need to convince my mom because i already have an older dog(11yrs old) who in the past has been know to be grumpy because he came from an abused home and was a stray. I would like them to at least give me the benefit of the doubt by introducing them but im not sure where to begin. So, what would be the most effective way to introduce them and build a good relationship between them?

Hi Maddie,

Actually, you've got more than your mother to consider. At 11 years old, your other dog might not enjoy the company of a little puppy, or be happy about sharing it's home and family with another dog.  You already know your current dog is "grumpy" around other dogs. This might well be an uphill battle for you. Some dogs just don't like to share.

If you'd like to introduce your dog to the puppy, do so on "neutral" territory, meaning a place your dog has never been. Keep your dog on a leash, and give him lots of praise and treats during the introduction. It should be a good time for him. If he growls or shows any aggression towards the puppy, separate, and move the dogs closer again after a period of time, until he seems to tolerate the puppy better. Doing this over a couple of different days will give you a better idea of if your dog will get along. Once they seem to get along, then bring the puppy and your dog to your back yard (your dog's territory), to see how the puppy is tolerated.

Even still, living with the puppy is a lot different than supervised and leashed play. A puppy doesn't know the rules of dog behavior, and can pester an older dog mercilessly. If you end up taking in the puppy, you shouldn't leave them alone together for about 2 months, and supervise them closely all the time is rule number one! You should play special attention to your older dog, make him know he's still loved. He should be petted and fed first, played with first, do things with just your older dog, his sleeping locations shouldn't change. Don't try to force a relationship between him and the puppy. If it's going to work, it will be on his terms. They might never be pals, tolerating one another is what you're looking for.

Read more about introducing a puppy to an older dog here:

Best of luck,



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To date, I've owned 7 dogs, all of which have lived into old age. Having cared for them in all stages of life, I feel I can offer sound advice to other pet owners, and people considering getting a dog. I am knowledgeable about the AKC (American Kennel Club) dog breeds, training and exercise, caring for sick and elderly pets, feeding, as well as many holistic treatments pets can benefit from. My only request is that you write me using standard English and punctuation.


My life experience in this field is more like "on the job training" rather than an actual degree in animal welfare. You may benefit from my experiences over the past 30 years. Aside from the dogs I've owned, I'm also involved in "breed rescue" and have fostered several dogs, all of which have been adopted to wonderful "forever homes". I find helping people who want a dog very rewarding.

Real life experience, based on over 30 years of dog ownership.

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