For those adding a puppy into a household with another dog after many years, you almost forget what puppyhood is like. The toilet training, the obedience, the sharp puppy teeth… On top of all the usual puppy behaviours, you still have your older established dog to love and teach.
It isn’t easy. Will they get on? How will the older dog react? Will this ruin our relationship? When do I step in if trouble is brewing? Is there a hierarchy? Should they be given separate time? All questions we have dealt with since Olia joined us at Easter 2019.
Nearly 4 months later, there have been moments of despair, joy, desperation and triumph. There are some schools of thought which suggest you simply “let them work it out”. I’m not a fan of that. I know Chuck, I know his foibles and “issues”. He resource guards things like his food, the kitchen space, the sofa. We manage his problems fairly well as a lone dog, but with the puppy in tow, “letting them work it out” will not be a suitable method of successful integration.
The dogs are fed separately in our house to avoid aggro; there is no hierarchy between them fortunately because they are motivated by different things. Olia will do anything for food and Chuck will do almost anything for affection (or a digestive biscuit!). This has enabled Chuck to not see Olia as a threat, so he hasn’t felt the need to protect anything from the new puppy.
Fortunately, Olia (whilst being a very annoying puppy) has developed a deep respect for Chuck – she has learned not to upset him too much and to give him space, with his and our guidance. Unfortunately, she really doesn’t like rain, so whilst she is toilet trained, she still has accidents inside when it’s raining outside. We’re working on that – she’s only 7 months old.
Olia has attended ringcraft training since joining us, and has already entered 3 championship shows, coming third, second and 4th respectively. Interestingly, late 2018/early 2019 was a bumper crop for show quality Welsh Terrier bitches! So there are usually at least 5 in her current class. Coming third in her puppy class qualified her for Crufts 2020, so she incredibly has qualified on her very first outing. She really enjoys showing and when she calms down through experience of shows, she will improve her rankings.
Chuck and Olia get along remarkably well, and she’s in the middle of her first season right now whilst has gone very smoothly and with nearly no interest from Chuck!
Watch out for our next pupdate!