It’s one of the best-kept secrets of pet parenting.
If you already have a mature, well-trained dog at home, he can be your best resource in training a new puppy.
Whether it’s crate training, socialization, or just finding their way around your home, your older dog is a natural at showing a young puppy the ropes.
That’s because puppies, by nature, will mimic the actions of an older dog. It is an instinct that goes back to their relationship with their Mama Dog and littermates all the way back in their earliest days.
Here are some of the ways your older dog can help train the newest addition to the family.
Any seasoned dog owner knows that house training a puppy can be a lengthy, sometimes frustrating process. Your puppy is not familiar with your home or yard, and it takes a while to figure out what your expectations are when she needs a potty break. Thankfully, your adult dog is already familiar with this routine. By simply following your dog outside to his favorite pee spot, your puppy learns what she is supposed to do. Since puppies naturally follow and mimic older dogs, your work is done.
Training Your Older Dog First
One important point to keep in mind when prepping your adult dog to be your assistant trainer: puppies will mimic bad behaviors as well as good ones.
So it’s essential to spend some one-on-one time with your older dog working on any problem behaviors before your new pup comes home.
If your dog is prone to bark when people come over, or if he tends to assert herself as the alpha dog a bit too aggressively, now is the time to work on those behaviors. Otherwise, you will have twice as much bad behavior in your home as you had before.
Allowing Correction From the Older Dog
Just as her mom and littermates did when she was a baby, your older dog will naturally give your young puppy some correction when she misbehaves. This is both a good thing and a bad thing. On the one hand, it is important for your new puppy to learn proper boundaries, to know what is acceptable behavior and what isn’t. On the other hand, you want the introduction to your home to be mostly a positive experience. If you notice your puppy getting a bit too rowdy and disrespectful with your older dog, it’s wise to redirect her before the problem escalates too much. Giving either dog some alone time in his SlumberPod Pet space can help defuse the situation.
Your puppy is a clean slate who (in most cases) has no prior experience of living with a family. By giving plenty of praise and treats, you ensure that your pup’s first experience with a family of humans and other dogs is a positive one. A puzzle toy with a treat inside can help both your new and your older dog burn off some energy so they will be calmer and happier throughout the process.
An older dog is one of your best assets when training a new puppy. With care and planning, you will be well on your way to raising two best friends whose company you can enjoy for years to come.