Today’s topic is: Should you let your puppy play with your senior dogs? So I’ve been very blessed in my life and especially the last 17 years where I have become a dog trainer. I owe that quite a bit to the dogs that I have raised. Those dogs include Jasmine, Fritz, Bo, Gabby, Alpha, and Jericho. I probably won’t be getting any more dogs for at least the next three to five years since I am now raising two puppies at the same time.
Young and Rambunctious
I wanted to shed some light on whether puppies should play with senior dogs. And should you let your puppy play with your other dogs? Those are the two questions that I want to answer from my personal and professional experience. It seems to me that at least with the German Shepherds that I’ve had, it’s not a good idea to let the very young rambunctious puppies play with the senior dog. But to allow them to play with some of the adult dogs that aren’t necessarily in their golden years.
Yet I found that the senior dogs just don’t have the appetite for those puppies. And the best thing that I can do for them is to not let the very young mouthy dogs with all those razor-sharp teeth annoy the heck out of them. Because nothing good is really going to come of that. What I’ve done in the past is basically just had a leash on the dog during each and every encounter when they were out with a senior dog and not allowed them to do that.
Now it’s not easy to always have a leash on a dog, but that’s what I’ve always done, and it’s worked out pretty well. Yes, sometimes that means that I would go out with the puppy and leave the senior dog in and then do the opposite. I’d have the puppy away and make sure that I spent time with my senior dog.
Other Dogs Doing the Teaching
However, I think it is beneficial to have puppies play with adult dogs. Especially adult dogs that are in their prime and have a good, solid temperament. Because I feel that they can still continue to learn how to engage other dogs and how to read canine body language. Where it’s not just the human doing the teaching, but the other dogs are doing the teaching as well. I think there’s a lot of benefit to that.
Now, I feel that even though I’m not going to let the senior dog play with the dog, I do want my puppies to be around the senior dog quite a bit in my presence. That way they can learn how to control themselves around the elderly, not just elderly dogs, but elderly people too. But in this specific case, elderly dogs. They must take care around them. No, I’m not going to let them play, but I am going to let them be around each other, understanding that they both need to stay.
Respect the Other Dogs
The senior dog will have to know that I have a puppy and they’re going to have to respect that. And the puppy is going to know that I have a senior dog as well. They have to learn not to bother them because then they’ll have to deal with me if they do. I also want the puppies to understand that they’re to respect those other dogs because of me, not because of anything that the senior dog has done.
So if you’re thinking about this, should you let your puppy play with your senior dogs?
I just have to say, I think there is some benefit to doing that, and I think that it outweighs the problems that it could create. I know that those senior dogs genuinely do appreciate it when we keep those little razor-sharp puppy teeth away from their aging limbs.