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Dogs/Introducing puppy to elderly resident dog


We've been with our male, neutered mixed dog, Moe for 13 years now. About a month ago, we've brought home a 2-month old male golden retriever puppy that we’ve named, Tobey. Moe has free roam around the house but we've opted to have Tobey crated while we're still in the process of housebreaking and getting Moe used to his presence in our house.
During the first few days, Moe although already blinded by cataracts, seemed curious and sniffed around Tobey's crate and peed around it. He wags his tail whenever he sniffs around Tobey's cage and he still does this.
As of now, Moe occasionally pees around Tobey's crate. He still sniffs (still while wagging his tail) around Tobey's crate for a brief moment, lets out a soft whine then leaves as though uninterested. He hasn't really shown any signs of aggression towards Tobey but I'm not yet sure if it's already advisable to let Tobey out of his crate to meet Moe face to face. As a puppy, Tobey could get quite rowdy at times while Moe, being elderly and blind, is usually content to sleep all throughout the day. Given the circumstances, would you recommend a face to face introduction between the two or should we still wait around for Moe to be more accustomed to sharing his home with Tobey? Your thoughts on this would be greatly appreciated. Thank you! :)


Hi Winona,

Am I understanding this correctly that you brought Toby home a month ago, but still haven't allowed the dogs to interact? If this is the case, by all means, let the dogs meet face to face!

After Toby has relived himself outside would be a good time to begin the face to face introduction in your home. It's good that Moe isn't aggressive, but still have their first meeting with both dogs on their leashes. Keep it a happy and positive occasion with lots of treats and praise for both dogs. When it's apparent that world war three isn't going to break out, you can let Moe off of his leash, but keep Toby on his leash, so you have a means of controlling him. Allow Toby to explore your home, just be sure to supervise the two dogs closely over the next week or two. Don't leave the two dogs alone during this time period.

Anytime you are at home and able to supervise your two dogs, it's okay to have Toby out of his crate and in your home with Moe. Just be sure to take Toby outside as often as he needs to go, and of course continue to crate him during those times you can't supervise or when you leave the house.

Given Moe's age and cataracts you may need to supervise Toby if he gets too playful and begins to bug Moe. But it's okay to allow Moe to correct the puppy (it's how puppies learn limits), just step in if there is any real aggression.

You didn't say where Toby's crate is located, that you have been allowing Moe to pee near it (peeing inside your home should never be seen as a behavioral option!). This doesn't sound like a good thing. Moe is marking the crate as being his "property", when the crate needs to be Toby's go-to spot.  If  I were in this situation, I wouldn't allow Moe to be marking Toby's crate.

I hope I've been a help.
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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