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It can be a fun idea to adopt a puppy when you already have a dog. Puppies can be a great companion for an older dog, and can even be trained by your older dog.
If you have an older dog that is trained and friendly, they can teach your new puppy some manners and obedience by being a good role model. Puppies can learn from the example of an older dog. Puppies won’t be able to learn tricks from older dogs, but they will learn routines and good behaviors.
In this article, we will go over how an older dog will teach a puppy. We will go over the types of things that an older dog might teach to a puppy. There are certain personality traits that both dogs must have for them to learn from each other. We will go over these so that you can have an idea of whether your adult dog would be a good teacher to a puppy.
As a long-time dog owner and lover, I am going to tell you everything that you need to know about older dogs training puppies. The relationship between sibling dogs can be so special and unique, and I hope that the information presented here can help you foster that relationship. Let’s get started!
Will An Older Dog Train A Puppy?
An older dog will not be able to teach a puppy tricks and commands, but they can certainly model good behavior and teach certain things to a puppy. If you are bringing home a puppy to an older dog, you will still need to train the puppy. You can not expect an older dog to completely manage a puppy on their own.
Older dogs will typically model behavior that is good for a puppy to know. This can be anything from helping them learn a routine to teaching them how to play with toys. As long as your older dog is well-behaved, they will be an excellent example for your puppy to follow.
Types of Things an Older Dog Can Train a Puppy
As we said, older dogs won’t be able to teach a puppy any tricks or commands. Instead, they will be able to model behaviors for your puppy to follow. One of the most important things that they will model for a puppy is your routine. Your dog will be able to show your puppy how to act at certain parts throughout the day to stick to your routine.
This can look like sitting still to go outside for the bathroom, waiting patiently for food, and learning when it is okay to play with toys. By learning your routine, your puppy will be set up to be successfully trained and well-behaved.
One important thing that an older dog can teach a puppy is how to go to the bathroom outside. Most puppies will have some accidents in the house when they are first adopted. This is because they simply don’t understand that they are supposed to go outside for this.
If you didn’t have an older dog, you would have to rely only on house training methods to teach your puppy to use the bathroom outside. However, an older dog can be very helpful in teaching a puppy how to properly use the bathroom outside.
You will still need to practice house training with your puppy, but your older dog’s example can be a big help in teaching them.
Going Up And Down Stairs
When puppies come home for the first time, everything is new to them, including stairs. It is not uncommon for puppies to be afraid of going up and down stairs at first. Since they are so small, they have a greater risk of falling, which can be scary.
Many puppies need to be carried up and down the stairs for a little while until they are more comfortable using them alone. However, an older dog that has already mastered the stairs can help teach the puppy how to use them. By demonstrating how to walk up and down the stairs, they can teach the puppy how to use them and give the puppy the confidence to try the stairs on their own.
Without an older dog, this process can take weeks. With the example of an older dog, a puppy can master the stairs in just a few days.
This same process applies to other things in your home that may be new or even scary to a puppy. For example, you may witness your puppy’s first experience with a mirror. This can be cute to see, but the puppy can also get scared. If they see your older dog walking by a mirror without a reaction then they will also learn that it is okay.
The same can be applied to vacuum cleaners and other household appliances.
Loose Leash Walking
Another important behavior that an older dog can teach a puppy is loose leash walking. Many puppies will become over-excited when it is time to go for a walk, which can lead to excessive pulling. As a puppy, this isn’t a very big deal, since they are so small and easily held back. However, if this behavior continues when they are an adult, it can be a problem.
By taking an older dog with you on walks, your puppy can learn that they don’t need to pull on their leash. Again, you will also need to train your puppy to not pull by making them pay attention to you or using a harness instead of just a collar.
However, the example of an older dog can help your puppy learn the ropes of loose leash walking much quicker than without their example.
Playing With Toys
Lastly, an older dog can help teach your puppy how to play with toys. Dogs are not born knowing how to play with toys, so they need to learn how to play with them and why they are fun. An older dog can be the perfect teacher for this.
By seeing an older dog play with toys, a puppy not only learns how to play, but they learn which objects they are allowed to play with. You may still need to correct some behaviors, like if your puppy decides to play with a shoe instead of a toy, but overall they should be able to get the idea of playing from an older dog.
How To Prepare An Older Dog For A Puppy
If you know that you will be bringing home a puppy soon, you may want to prepare your older dog for the new addition. This will help your older dog adjust to the puppy and will put them in a better position to be a good teacher.
The first thing to do with your older dog before bringing home your puppy is to brush up on your training. Make sure that your older dog knows and responds to basic obedience commands. By doing this, you will know that you can at least calm down your older dog if situations get too energetic or intense with the new puppy. Your puppy will also be able to mimic these commands and behaviors easier if your older dog has mastered them.
Next, you may want to try socializing your dog more with younger dogs. Puppies can be very energetic, and not all adult dogs can handle that much energy. If you can, try to arrange a playdate with a puppy in your home. This will help your dog get used to having another dog in the home.
Some dogs don’t like it when other dogs get too close to their personal space or try to eat their food. When you bring a puppy home, they will be sure to do both of these things to your older dog while figuring things out. It is best to get your dog used to these behaviors before bringing a puppy home if you can.