Older Dog Afraid of Puppy

An older dog in your home has established his position as a sole pet and favorite of the family. If you introduce a puppy, chances are that the dog will be reluctant toward the new dog or may even be afraid of him. This situation can be helped by getting the dog used to the new pet and reducing his fear of the puppy.

Causes of an Older Dog Fearing a Puppy

An older dog that is faced with the situation of a new puppy in the home may have various reactions such as:

Most commonly, the dog will display aggressiveness or fear. The reaction may be determined by the dog breed, the gender and the personality of the older dog. The causes why an older dog is afraid of a new puppy may include:

  • The fact that the dog feels threatened by the presence of a new pet
  • He considers the puppy an intruder and doesn't know him
  • He sees that the new puppy gets a lot of attention and he feels that the new dog is favored

The alpha dog has to be established between the two, and the older dog may be afraid to step up. The older dog will be afraid of the new puppy even if he has been properly socialized.

Signs of Older Dog Afraid of Puppy

If the older dog is afraid of the new puppy you will notice a few signs such as:

  • Hiding behavior, especially when the puppy is present
  • The older dog will back up when the puppy is heading towards him
  • The older dog performs sudden moves and is agitated
  • The older dog has insomnia
  • The older dog refuses to eat and may lose weight
  • He may be more vocal than usual
  • The dog shows no signs of affection toward the new puppy

Dealing with an Older Dog Afraid of a Puppy

If you have an older dog afraid of the new puppy, you should train both dogs to like each other. Unlike cats, dogs are sociable pets and you will most likely succeed in making the older dog and the new puppy like each other.

Start by introducing the new pet gradually. Allow the two to sniff and play for no more than 30 minutes during the first few days. Make sure to offer attention to the older dog as well, and don't let him see when you play with the new puppy. If the older dog sees that the new puppy is not a threat, he may overcome his fear.

Give the dogs an activity where they both can play. For instance, install a few boxes or give them a chew toy that can be chewed on both ends. Avoid games that involve rivalry.

If the problem persists even after a few weeks, you will need to get help from a specialist in canine behavior.