How To Get an Older Dog to Like a Puppy

Bringing home a new puppy is always an amazing experience that can fill a household with love. It’s always great too, when you know that a new puppy would bring so much joy – especially in a household that would welcome it greatly. However, if you have an older dog, things can get a little bit complicated. If the introduction is done incorrectly, tensions could be heightened and it could take a while for your older dog to get accustomed to your new puppy being around. So then it is important to know how to get an older dog to like a puppy – especially if it’s your 2nd ever dog, and you’re introducing the pup to your dog that you’ve had for many years.

An older dog that’s been with you for years without needing to share your attention will certainly feel a lot of jealousy and sadness about the new addition (if you don’t introduce them right). If that is the case then you may want to be more careful when you first bring your new puppy home. I’ve personally brought a puppy home without being careful to introduce him properly to my old dog, and my old dog started getting really depressed! I even had to bring my dog into the vet. She had to be admitted because she wouldn’t eat, wouldn’t interact with us – she was just so sad.

Do you know how to get an older dog to like a puppy? If you do not, don’t worry. I am here to help.

Preparing Your Home for Taking Your New Pup

how to get an older dog to like a puppy

Before you can even bring your new puppy home, and before you can ever think about how to get an older dog to like a puppy, you must first prepare your home to take in your new pupper. First you have to designate a separate location for where your puppy will stay. For instance, you must put your puppy’s crate in a different room from where your older dog’s crate usually stays. There are a lot of other different things for you to remember when it comes to prepping your home for a puppy. Here is what you need to remember:

Make Sure You Have Separate Everything for Your Dogs

You can avoid jealousy and depression for your older dog (or at least lessen its impact) by making sure that you have separate supplies for both canines. Your older dog, which has never in their life had to share anything with anyone before, will certainly feel uncertainty and sadness when they realize that the new dog you took home is starting to take and use their things. As a result, I always recommend having separate items for both dogs. For example, you certainly should get separate crates, separate blankets, separate toys, and most definitely separate feed and water bowls.

It is important to make sure that they do not share any items unless you see that it is the older dog taking the initiative to share. If your puppy is trying to play with your older dog’s items, it’s best to make sure they are always supervised.

Although it can sound a bit expensive to start up needing to buy everything new for your puppy, it’s definitely one of the best ways on how to get an older dog to like a puppy. In the end, you’ll find it’s certainly worth it.

Make Sure You Have Prepared Your Puppy’s Crate

Your puppy is going to need some help when it comes to you getting adjusted to their new home. To be completely honest, adopting a new puppy is just as daunting and overwhelming for them as it is for you . After all, the puppy must be taken from their previous environment (be it a shelter or a proper breeder) and be brought to your home where everything is new and they do not know anyone. This is basically why it is paramount that you prepare their crate and make sure that it is comfortable for them because their create is going to be there new safe space.

Perhaps you can put some blankets inside the crate to make it soft and cozy. This is even more important if the weather is cold, because it allows your dog to get cozy and warm. You can also include a small pillow, stuffed animals, or a chew toy appropriate for the puppy’s age. However, try not to overstock the crate because too much it’s still not a good thing. You might find that your pet does not enjoy having a lot of stuff in their environment, because it will just prove to be overwhelming rather than helpful.

If you feel as though your puppy will experience some separation anxiety, you can put some things like an old T shirt of yours that you have recently worn into the crate. You can also choose to put your puppy’s crate near your bed when you go to sleep at night because this will make it’s easier for them to not get too scared their first few nights in their new home.

Make Sure You Purchase All Necessities

Preparing your home for a puppy by purchasing all of the necessities it’s part and parcel of new puppy ownership. Even though it will probably cost you a bunch of money up front, you will need to do this to make sure your new pup has a much easier time trying to adjust to their new home. Therefore, you should not forget a collar (adjustable so that you can use it even as they age and grow), a leash, 2 bowls (1 for water 1 for food), a crate, and any other comforts you would like to give. Don’t forget the dog food (buy a small amount at first to test so you can see if your pup will like it or not) specific to your new pooch’s age and/or breed.

How to Get an Older Dog to Like a Puppy

how to get an older dog to like a puppy

Now that we have finished talking about getting your new puppy all set up for their new life in their new home, it is time to talk about how to get an older dog to like a puppy. Remember that you should take things slow, because a rushed introduction can cause mayhem in your home! Ultimately you want your pets to get along well so that you can have a nice peaceful household where everyone is good friends. Therefore, take your time and observe how your 2 pets get along before you decide once and for all how to handle the situation. Regardless, here are the steps on how to get an older dog to like a puppy. I hope that you find it helpful when it comes to introducing your new pet to your older one so that you don’t run into any trouble or problems in the future.

The Introduction

Undoubtedly, the first and most important thing that you have to do when it comes to how to get an older dog to like a puppy is to make sure that you introduce them properly. You want to conduct the introduction in a neutral place come out where your older dog will not feel territorial. Therefore, it is a good idea to bring your pup and your older dog to meet at a relative’s house or a neighbor’s house. Barring that, you can also choose to have your dogs meet at the park or even at the next street over. However, if you were going to introduce your pups outdoors you have to make sure that your puppy has at least some of its vaccinations to ensure that they do not get sick.

If you don’t want to have them meet outdoors, you can also choose to bring them to a room in your house where your older dog does not usually frequent. For example, you can bring them to a spare bedroom where your older dog is less territorial.

However, if you really don’t have a neutral place for them to meet, then you can simply bring your new pooch home. However, you will need to do a few things.

Things to Do for The Introduction

  • Put all of your older dog’s possessions away. Toys, bowls, crates, leashes, and collars – all of them should be put in a room out of your puppy’s reach. That way the new puppy can’t get near the older dog’s stuff and spark some possessive jealousy.
  • Be calm. It is important to make sure you are calm as you first introduce your new pets because your older dog can sense any tension. If you are tense and concerned, your older dog will feed off of this energy and meet your new pup with apprehension. This is certainly something you do not want to happen.
  • Have some treats handy! This is important – not for your new puppy, but for your older dog. You want to make sure you have some dog treats to give to your older dog every time that he positively interacts with your pup. For example, if he acts playfully or gently, offer a treat! This way you can show that the new puppy means good things rather than bad.
  • Give your older dog plenty of love and affection, making sure that they do not feel as though the puppy is the star of the show now instead of them. Make it a point to include your older dog in all of your interactions, so that they know that you are not replacing them, but rather giving them a new companion.

Allow Time for Adjustment

Once the initial introduction is done, you have to make sure that you allow your 2 dogs to have time to adjust. For your older dog, you need to try your best to be patient and allow them to get acclimated to the fact that they now have to share your attention. Again, reward all of the positive interaction between your 2 dogs with a treat to your older dog.

Supervise All Interactions

When it comes to the next few weeks, it is truly important that you make sure that all interactions between your pets are supervised. You don’t want to leave them alone and then come back to find that your older dog has severely hurt your new puppy! Make sure that you are there to referee any potential fights. Put your older dog’s stuff away so you don’t end up having your older dog getting territorial. This is all important in how to get an older dog to like a puppy, so do your best!

Additional Tips and Tricks

  • Don’t allow your older dog to bully your younger dog in any way, shape, or form. Ensure that you reward good behavior but discourage bullying. If your older dog begins to bully your younger dog, put them away in their crate so that they do not keep doing it.
  • Do not allow your dogs to fight! As soon as you see some tension, make sure you separate them as soon as you can in order to avoid deepening negative feelings.
  • Do not force your dogs to spend time together or to be together – don’t make the dogs share a crate, a play pen, and any food bowls. Make sure that if you do let them spend time together, it is SUPERVISED, so that you can prevent any trouble.
  • Feed both of your dogs separately. Make sure they have separate dog bowls and water bowls, as well as separate feeding areas. This limits the potential for food guarding and related aggression.


When it comes to introducing your new puppy to your home, there are so many different things to consider. But it’s so important that you learn properly how to get an older dog to like a puppy in order to make sure there is a smooth transition in your home. Welcoming a new puppy is an amazing experience, and you should do everything in your power to allow your pup and your older dog to get along and grow to love each other. A home with two dogs is a blessed one, and once they grow to love each other fiercely you will have a pair of loyal dogs for many years to come.

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