You and your old dog have shared many adventures;Because he's added so much to your life, you've decided to bring home a younger dog (or puppy). Perhaps you've heard that a puppy can enrich an older dog's life; maybe he'll be happier and want to play again. If your older dog is well behaved and well trained, you might be hoping he'll help you raise your new dog so he, too, will be a joy to live with. You might have brought the new dog home so you won't be dog-less when your old dog passes away. However, once the introductions are over and your new dog settles into the household routine, you may find that your household is more chaotic than you expected. The younger dog is jumping all over the older dog, trying to get a reaction out of the old dog or encouraging the old dog to play. The young dog is constantly stealing the old dog's toys or treats (or visa versa). The old dog is growling and grumpy. The younger dog is acting out in frustration. Your once peaceful home is in chaos.
Obedience Training is ImperativeYou are in charge of creating peace in your household and the rowdy younger dog and potentially grumpy old dog are not allowed to disrupt that peace. Refresh your older dog's obedience skills; keeping the sessions fun. Your old dog is going to love his one on one training sessions with you and the special attention. Plus, by refreshing his skills, he's more in tune with you again, listening to you and working for you. If your old dog has some joint problems or health issues, work around those. There is still a lot he can do. The oldest dog I've seen in my dog training classes was 14 years old and that old guy had a blast. At the same time, in his own sessions, start training your younger dog (or puppy). Tailor the training to his age and abilities and keep it fun. However, it's important to teach your young dog that he, too, needs to look to you for direction as to what's allowed and what isn't. This training will help you teach him household and public guidelines while also teaching him what he's allowed to do with your old dog.
Prevent Arguments and FussesMake sure each dog has his own food dish and don't let either one steal from the other. Feed them in opposite corners of the room, or one inside and one out, or both in crates if you have to do that to keep the peace. If one dog finishes before the other, take him out of the room; don't let him sit and stare at the dog who's still eating. If you're handing out chews or treats, give one to each dog and have both lie down and stay while they're chewing. Again, no stealing as that leads to hard feelings and arguments. If either dog has a favorite toy, he's allowed to have that, obviously, but he's not allowed to guard it with growls, snapping jaws, or lunges as the other dog walks by. Resources guarding is potentially dangerous so if your dog is too possessive of any particular toy, make that toy disappear. If resource guarding seems to be increasing, call a dog trainer for help right away.
Exercise is GreatBoth dogs need exercise but tailor it to the individual dog. For example, let both dogs play in the back yard with you but when the old dog is getting tired, take him in the house, give him something to chew on, and go back outside to continue exercising the younger dog. With a special treat, he shouldn't be upset you go outside to spend more time with the younger dog. Walks can be handled the same way. Begin your walk with both dogs but follow a shorter route that the old dog can still handle. Then circle back home, drop the older dog off, again with a toy or chew, and then go back out to walk a longer route with the younger dog. Exercise is recommended for both old and young dogs. Just tailor it for the individual dog's needs, which will, of course, change over time.