Ask Piper - New Puppy

Ask Piper

Advice from a Mini Aussie, Mystical Muse, Mistress of the Sofa

Q: I have an older dog and I'm worried he is lonely when we are gone at work. 

Should we get a new puppy to be his friend?


Hopeful in Hawaii

A: Dear Hopeful,

Oh my. 

First I'm gonna need to point out that puppies are little balls of unstoppable energy. You know how your older dog likes to cuddle calmly on the couch and snore? Lie on his dog bed peacefully? Plod along next to you politely on walks?


Life goes into crazy upheaval when you add a puppy. If you have the mental tenacity to manage little Miss Hell-on-Paws, to stay patient through midnight whining and shredded shoes and potty oopsies and all that jazz - you know, the stuff you've forgotten about because your other dog is Just A Good Dog - buckle your seatbelt and go for it. But don't expect your puppy to just calmly trot into the pack and settle down. That's a couple years down the road.

Second... TEETH. I think I still have a matching set of piercings from where Stormy's little puppy mouth-knives have clamped onto various parts of my body over the last few months. All I need now is a tattoo. I'm gonna be a real rebel. Now I'm still young, and to be honest, I really do love romping with Stormy. But please keep your older, calmer dog's sensibilities in mind and prevent the new pup from hounding him with her antics. Tooth marks are no way to build a relationship! Well, at least in doggy world. Humans are weird.

Last, don't be disappointed if your other dog doesn't fall madly in love with the newcomer. I like to think of my elders as selective, but the fact is, sometimes they can just be downright antisocial about younglings. I mean, how many times have you said, "Gee whillikers, I am really pining for a 2 year old to scream at me, throw a book in my face, and pull my hair! Gonna go help my friend Erika put her kids to bed tomorrow night! :fistbump:"

Um, no.  

Well, that's how most older dogs feel about new siblings sweet little dumpling puppies fuzzy milk-breathed interlopers. Your dog may tolerate the new puppy (or not) and may actually bond with the new puppy (or not).

Now for the good part. Sometimes, sometimes, having a new buddy can perk an older dog right back up. My old BFF Ranger was pretty sedentary when I came along, and he seems to have enjoyed the wags. bounces, and kisses I brought to his quiet home. So, it's not all doom and gloom. I just need you to really understand that  in the end the decision needs to boil down to whether YOU want another dog, because there's no guarantee your current buddy does.

I feel for ya man, and I know we all want the best for our friends. I trust you with this decision. Got to run now - the sofa pillows are calling.

T(r)oothily yours,
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