Training A Puppy While Already Having A Family Dog. As always thanks for reading this great blog article! Now is your existing dog feeling awkward about having a new little puppy running around and playing in their home? Maybe the existing family dog is feeling a little out of place after bringing home a new puppy and the whole family is paying more attention to the new puppy than them? Well, this happens a lot more than you might think!
After introductions are complete, and you’re beginning to train your puppy, it gets to the point that your puppy absorbs your time, and it can feel like you are absorbed in them and your older dog can be left out. Trust us, it does not have to be the case. You can train both your puppy and make sure your older dog is included, never feels excludes nor actually is excluded.
I want to share with you a few tips to ensure that both dogs get equal training, love, and affection so that no puppy or dog feels left out. And that’s totally natural for your older dog to feel because suddenly this new … cute little puppy is absorbing all of your time, energy, and focus (which is incredibly draining for us humans too) so sometimes it can be so easy to let your older, already great dog, slip to the sidelines.
The fact that you’re already conscious of this and reading this, means that you’re aware that it can potentially be a pretty bad idea. Why? Because your good dog also becomes hard work, and now you’re raising a puppy, and a rebellious older dog and your frustrations are mounting which means that you may be tempted to take your frustrations out on your good dog.
That makes total sense. It’s an emotional time, where you can just feel so disappointed by them and your whole household just goes on a tilt that you can’t seem to counterbalance. Talk about an uphill struggle! Let’s involve your other dog!
Leverage Training – Training A Puppy While Already Having A Family Dog.
This is my favorite thing for teaching recall. You use your existing dogs’ fabulous recall ability to encourage your puppy to do the same. Your puppy’s instinct will often be to stick with their buddy! So, when you call the elder, and the younger comes too? That’s a great way to leverage the learning of your puppy from your wonderful, well-trained dog learning that’s already instilled!
Hey, it ain’t cheating if it works… And trust me, this one does!! This way both dogs get the joy of training together.
Whilst Training Your Puppy? Make That Rewarding For Your Existing Dog!
Use a kong for them, or give them a delicious treat so they can have some downtime, so that they’re not being left to their own devices, staying out of mischief, and being rewarded for the time you’re spending with the puppy, making puppy training a good thing for your existing dog.
This makes training a win for everyone!
Make sure to give both dogs equal time with you, together and apart – especially for the older dog! You may wish to spend some of the puppy’s napping time (because the puppy will need more naps, remember!) training your other dog, or spending special cuddle time together where you’re your original family unit, your existing dog will love it!
Making that time and effort for your original dog will help them not feel like their time has been taken away or split, and foster a wonderful relationship between both puppy and your older dog.
Take Up A Dog Sport!
Dog sports are a wonderful thing to do. They help you to learn new things, they help you to enjoy new things, and they’re going to get you out of your house too, and give you goals and things to strive for as well as giving some amount of accountability!
Here are a few great ideas!
- Dock Diving
- Earth dog
- Rally Obedience
- And a whole host of others!
When you’re considering one of these activities, try to consider what your dog loves. For example terriers with a good prey drive tend to love earth dog and barn hunt! Whereas, Agility might be more fitting for a border collie or sheltie! And Scentwork? If your existing dog is a coonhound or German shepherd will love it!
When it comes to dog training, the maths doesn’t work out linearly. When do you get a new dog? This is the only part that’s a deceitful, sneaky time burden.
We already know that training is important, and that dog training doesn’t stop, so we can’t just train our older dog(s).
This is, ultimately, my favorite solution for making sure your existing dog doesn’t feel left out, or given the cold shoulder and ensuring their good behavior stays on track.
Train Apart, Train Together
So, as I said above, two dogs are three times the training because you have to train each dog as an individual, and then each dog with the other dog. This means that there is an additional amount of training needed.
So, this can be a great way to include your existing dog.
Setting Up For Success And Being Realistic
Raising two dogs is hard work, take it from a dog mum of 3 wonderful woofs! It’s tough to make sure everyone’s needs are met, so try not to feel too bad about the situation. Sometimes it’s just not possible to meet everyone’s needs – and that’s okay.
Please don’t punish yourself for occasionally struggling to meet your needs. So long as they’re getting the best of you, regularly? Your dog will almost certainly be happy.
And if they’re struggling? Then maybe it’s time to adjust your schedule and reprioritize your woof for a while, or find another solution!
Help is a good thing.
Sometimes the assistance of a professional is a great way to make sure everyone’s needs are met. Other times, involving a professional trainer can help you to see the wood for the trees, which is one thing I can definitely help you with.
Are you looking to adopt a new pet or maybe another one? Caring for Animals has got you covered – check out this rescue pet adoption link now! Follow us on Facebook!