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When a new puppy joins the family, it seems like everything revolves around him for a while. There are big changes. Many are wonderful, and some are puppy phases that you’ll be glad to see the end.

But how does your older dog feel about the situation? Here are some ways to ensure a peaceful transition to being a multi-dog home and to prevent your established older dog from feeling jealous or hurt.

1. Introduce the dog and puppy outside, on neutral ground. Parks or other public spaces, such as parking lots, are good places. The first meeting should not be in what your established dog considers to be his personal territory. This would include the home, the yard, and probably the neighborhood he gets walked through every day.

2. Give the older dog lots of one-on-one attention, without Junior crawling all over her. Put the new puppy in his crate or pen for a while. The puppy will be just fine. He needs to learn that sometimes it’s not all about him, and he will forget all about it the moment it’s his turn for attention!

3. Never leave an adult dog and a puppy alone together, no matter now nurturing the older dog may seem. If the puppy gets too annoying, as only puppies can be, the older dog may unintentionally hurt him.

4. Be very careful with toys and treats. Be sure that there is something for each dog (like Purina® Pro Plan® Bright Mind® formula for your older dog, and Purina® Pro Plan® Focus for your pup!) if it’s really high-value, it’s better to separate the dogs while they enjoy them to avoid an altercation.

5. Train each dog separately. When working with the puppy, take him to a place where the older dog won’t see him getting all those treats. You can put the senior dog in her crate with a special treat reserved for just this scenario. This is a great time for Purina® Pro Plan® Savor® adult treats to keep your older dog happy and distracted.

6. Your senior dog needs to feel secure about her place in the family. If she can’t handle a long walk anymore, then take the younger one for the long walk and your senior dog for a shorter one by herself. This means more walking for you, but hey, who can’t use more exercise?
two dogs running

People have various reasons for getting a puppy when there is an older dog already in the home. Sometimes it’s because a puppy needs a home. Some people think that a puppy can benefit from the influence of an older dog, but this may or may not be true. If the senior dog’s emotional well being is neglected, it will not be a good experience for anyone. Take everyone’s feelings into account, and both dogs will be happy.

Remember that puppyhood is very short. Your older dog has been your best friend for a long time, and it’s important that she knows you will always think she’s special.

For more advice on training and living with your dogs, enroll in the AKC GoodDog! Helpline, a seven-day-a-week training service staffed by professional dog trainers.

And for more tips on being a responsible dog owner, watch the video below.

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