By Mark Whitehouse
Monday, 06 July 2009
I'm worried my 10-year-old spaniel won't take to the new puppy I've just bought. What problems do you think I may encounter?
MARK WHITEHOUSE SAYS: A boisterous spaniel puppy encroaching on an older spaniel's territory would cause problems in any home environment.
It is likely that your old gun dog would react in a protective and possibly aggressive manner, scaring your puppy and knocking its confidence.
For the past 10 years your old gun dog has had the total run of your home and garden and all of your attention.
He will definitely feel put out if a new puppy is allowed to threaten his position.
You should choose a neutral place away from your home for their first introduction, perhaps in a local park or friend’s garden – somewhere that is new to both of them.
You will then be able to observe any potential problems.
If all goes well and you bring your new puppy home, make sure that he has his own sleeping and feeding area away from the old gun dog - certainly at least for the first two to three months until things have settled down.
Given time they should become best mates.
New puppies require lots of attention in the first few weeks but this does not mean that your older gun dog should be ignored. You need to find a happy medium.
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