When a dog has lived with you for some time and you introduce a puppy to the household, the older dog may react in a jealous manner. This is an instinctual, pack-hierarchy reaction. Here are a few tips to help your dog adjust to the new addition to the pack.
Don’t Get in the Middle
At first, your older dog will attempt to establish her dominance over the new puppy through aggressive posturing or some rough play. Unless things become too violent, try to remain passive and avoid adding to the problem by scolding or hitting her. The dogs most likely will work out this hierarchy thing without bloodshed.
Don’t Take Her Stuff
Allow the older pooch to keep her bowl, bed and toys. Giving any of her things to the puppy will create or increase jealous feelings and cause aggressive behavior. Get the pup his own bedding, toys and food bowls, and position them away from your older dog's possessions.
Reward Her First
When offering treats, praise or grooming, show a preference to the older dog, offering her the reward first. She is the lead dog, and he is the younger, lower-ranking member of the pack. When arriving home, greet her first and the puppy second.
Don’t Change the Older Dog's Schedule
Keep your older dog on her normal daily walk, play and feeding schedule. Changing her routine to accommodate the puppy may be misunderstood as preferential treatment and lead to jealous behavior. Spend plenty of one-on-one time with your older dog. This is the special kind of attention she has been conditioned to expect.
- Dog and Puppy image by Philip Date from Fotolia.com