Animal behavior


Do you want to adopt a puppy, but do you fear your dog's reaction? Sometimes the coexistence between a new puppy and your dog it will be achieved without problems, but on other occasions, the arrival of the "intruder" can become a headache for everyone.

Here are some useful tips to make your dogs better friends.

Be understanding with your reactions

Dogs are territorial and will defend their family and their home if they perceive a threat. You should try to be tolerant and patient if things do not go as expected, remember that your dog fears that you stop taking care of him because of the newcomer. Also consider that puppies under 4 months do not interpret the body language of adult dogs, such as the positions of the ears, the movement of the tail and other warning and aggressive signs. If the matter overflows, it will be necessary to remain calm and avoid or stop the fights.

Choose the new puppy correctly

When choosing the new family member, you should keep in mind that you will be the companion of your current dog. Examine your personality and consider whether they will be compatible or not. An elderly dog ​​will have more reluctance to accept a puppy if it is too playful. Also, remember that puppies have habitual behaviors (such as biting very hard when playing) that can trigger aggressive reactions in an adult dog.

Take into account race and size of both

Ideally, look for dogs of similar sizes to prevent the physical strength of one endangering the other in case of conflicts. This is not decisive, we all know large dogs that are very submissive and true tyrants of small breeds, but it will be better to take precautions, since a poodle will not endanger the life of a Great Dane, but the reverse situation can occur . The characteristics of each race are also relevant. Find out correctly before choosing your new puppy.

Make the presentation in a neutral place

For the same territoriality that we mentioned before, it is not a good idea to take the puppy to the territory of our dog. The ideal to achieve the good coexistence between a new puppy and your dog it would be to look for a new place for both of you, such as a friend's house or an open space and give them time to recognize each other, always with their straps attached. At this time, it is essential to be attentive to the body language of the older dog, to avoid aggressions or fights. Then, when we see that everything is going well, it will be time to return home together.

Don't forget or set aside the old friend

The arrival of a puppy generates excitement and desire to always play with him. It may happen that, unwittingly and without realizing it, we dedicate less and less time and attention to who was once the only king of the home. To avoid jealousy and aggressiveness of your older dog, give as much attention to him as to the newcomer, and reserve time to be alone with him.

Precautions at mealtime

As a fundamental measure, do not allow them to share the same dish. If possible, feed each one separately. If your previous dog is old or feeds slowly for other reasons, it will be better to place your plate in another room to prevent the puppy from invading its space or stealing its food.

Control behavior, especially during the first days

Even if everything goes well on the day of the presentation, don't get distracted. Control the development of the relationship and try not to leave them alone for a long time in the first two weeks. If in that period there are no conflicts or fights, you are on the right track in your task of achieving the correct one coexistence between a new puppy and your dog.

Adding a new member to the family can be a very positive change for everyone, even for your old dog. You will receive double the love of your pets and your dog will have someone to play with and will no longer be left alone when you go to work or study. But do not take it lightly: if you are thinking of adopting a puppy, do it with awareness, a lot of responsibility and with the security of being well informed so as not to make mistakes.

How to make my dog ​​accept my cat or my cat accept my dog ​​or how to make all my animals get along

You are the type who dreams of seeing a Garfield and Oddie duo that despite the fights well the bottom is wanted? And when it comes to bringing the rookie home what is the right way to present them? Socialization.

When they are introduced to be puppies it is always easier and less risky, if both had already been better socialized yet, some cats are scary or fearful and although they can tolerate other dogs or cats in their territory they will never become great friends, instead others are Friendly, play and get to sleep with the dog.

The rookie in the house Remember that in addition to making the integration between the dog and the cat, the animal that has just arrived at the house has yet to adapt to the new home, so do not hurry, the important thing is to continue in a consistent manner. If the cat is the new member it is better to keep it locked somewhere in the house until it is well adapted before starting the approach, in this period take advantage of placing the cat's frasada on the dog's bed and vice versa so they will leave Knowing by the smell.

Presentation itself Without hurry, for the dog to learn to control his hunter's instincts, and the cat learn to lose the fear of one of his potential predators!

The maximum security! To do this, the cat can be in a cage, which prevents it from running away, encouraging a chase by the dog. And the dog must be tied up which will prevent him from scaring the cat with sudden movements.

Do we start At a distance where you both feel comfortable, encourage relaxation by joking and offering sweets and snacks. The association with pleasure, while they are side by side is very important!

When they are well at ease, start by releasing the cat. Only when the cat is no longer the novelty is the approach allowed.

Oops! Zero tolerance for the dog! He must be immediately reprimanded if attempts are made to harass cats, even if only with his eyes. Be careful not to scare cats! Always think about safety and do not tolerate any manifestation of aggressiveness on the part of the dog (such as barking, growling, advancing or biting), the cat, on the contrary will be called attention if he attacks, be careful to punish the cat with a sparking of water that he will run out and the dog behind him, if he had to do that, do it only if the dog was tied up.

The adaptation can be very fast or even take months, if there is no situation, a scare or an attack can hurt the animals and make the approach slower.

Whenever this training is done it is important that they like the approach, reserve that moment to give attention, love and food that they like, this is the time to care for them

Can you leave them alone? Only after repeated sessions, in which you both relaxed completely, are you distracted and playing! Release the cat first, open the box and let it out without forcing it. Remember, the cat can also hurt the dog, and if it comes to attack, use a water splash! A couple more sessions, and when they both relax again, stretch the dog's rope. And so, gradually increase the training time in different environments.

The coexistence of both free and unsupervised should only occur when they are completely calm and can take weeks or even months. So be patient so that everything goes well!

Important: The cat should always have a reserved area where he feels safe with water, food, resting place

What you should not do Beware of excessive attention calls and do not say the name of the animals when giving the attention call, if they associate the presence of another when receiving a call of attention they will hate the presence of the other.

Do not stop caring when the cat approaches and vice versa, on the contrary, make more love and increase the attention to the animal that was already with you when the other approaches.

Translated from Portuguese Source: and from

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Another way is to impregnate a cloth with the smell of dog, that is done by passing the cloth through the body of the dog and then passing it through the body of the cat, and in reverse so that they get used to the smell of each one. The first days the cat must be in an isolated environment until he gets completely used to the new place, he must play with the cat until he is totally at ease in his new abode

Observation.- Although the suggestion is interesting from Dr. Pet in my particular case I got them to get along in a shorter period of time. Animals do not know how to talk so the way to communicate is through signs or gestures, so when you kiss your dog or your cat you are telling him that he wants and accepts it, then how to introduce another animal In the house it is the following, ensure that a person assures your dog so that through his movements he does not scare the cat, while you securely secure your cat, then in front of your dog and near the kiss to the cat on his head, the Dog will understand that this new animal that is being introduced into the territory of the dog is not an invader but one that will be company, repeat several times while talking to the dog explaining, bring the cat to the dog that is being held by another person and kiss back to the cat, assure the cat so that he does not panic or try to escape, the dog prays the cat from head to toe, remember to grab the cat well, if the dog gives a lick or several on the whole face of the cat, ( for them as if you were and a kiss) means then that the dog has just accepted the cat as a company, after that keep an eye on them to see if all is well between them. Remember that everyone should have their food plate separated from each other.

If you try to introduce another animal into your home you must repeat the same procedure presenting the new animal to the other pets.

Why doesn't an adult dog accept a puppy dog?

Before taking a puppy home it will be essential to take into account some aspects that ensure that both will be able to live together, otherwise behavior problems will begin to arise, such as that our adult dog does not accept the puppy.

Some previous details to consider are:

  • Socialization: Dogs that have not been properly socialized in their puppy stage are prone to fears and, as a consequence, aggressive behavior towards other dogs. If your adult dog has not been socialized, it is very likely that he does not understand the language of the dogs and therefore does not know how to communicate correctly, and even that he confuses the child's play positions with offensive behaviors. It is a very common mistake to think that a dog that is aggressive with adult dogs is not going to be with puppy dogs.
  • The activity level of both dogs: adult dogs are not as playful as puppies and many of them have moderate or low activity, for that reason, taking home a puppy dog ​​full of vitality can be a nuisance for the adult dog, which seeks to be calm and relaxed. The constant searches for play and affection that the little one demands end up becoming a serious nuisance, which can end up in severe markings or bites.
  • Elderly dogs: If the adult dog is an old man, it is very likely that he suffers some kind of pain or lack in any of his senses. Due to age problems, the presence of a puppy can mean that the elderly dog ​​receives blows and pain, which will cause an automatic rejection.
  • The presentation of both: Although we have a particularly sociable, young and painless dog, it may happen that the adult dog has no affinity with the newcomer. As with people, dogs are not always going to get along with other members of their species. Before adopting a new dog we must ensure that, at first, both get along.

The time of presentation

The presentation of an adult dog and a puppy will be essential to achieve a good coexistence between them. To do this we must present both dogs in a neutral zone. The ideal would be to schedule several meetings and make long and calm walks in which we allow both to sniff, relax and meet if they wish. We will never force the interaction or punish them, as we could create a negative association.

We can include games and exercises in the presentation, but it is advisable to avoid treats and toys, as they can be a matter of dispute for both dogs.

After the meetings it will be time to take the puppy home, where everything will be ready for the arrival of the child: two or three beds, several feeders and drinking fountains, etc. We must have enough accessories for both, thus avoiding disputes.

In no case are we going to try to establish a hierarchy in the home, it is the dogs that are going to do it for themselves. We will avoid paying more attention to the little one, for being the newcomer, or favoring the adult more, for being before us: the treatment must be equal.

The first days that both dogs remain alone should avoid completely any element that can cause a fight between them, especially we talk about toys and food. We will leave only water and several beds and if we suspect that there is tension, we will leave them in separate rooms, until we make sure that nothing will happen.

Why is the adult dog aggressive with the puppy?

It may happen that two dogs that initially got along, are not accepted now. There are many types of aggressiveness and understanding which of them is the one that is being produced will be essential to start working on the problem:

  • Aggression due to pain: It is common in elderly dogs, dogs that have suffered an injury or trauma or those dogs that have gone through a serious illness. Even without suffering pain, many do not allow certain areas of their body to be manipulated.
  • Aggression due to illness: Some diseases, such as hypothyroidism, are common causes of aggressiveness, so making a complete analysis of the dog is essential before working on any possible behavioral problems.
  • Hierarchical aggression: It is common among dogs of the same sex. In addition, if it occurs between two non-castrated males, it is common for disputes to be accentuated in the presence of a female, especially if she is in heat. They can also show protection of resources with food, resting places or for the attention of the owner.
  • Aggression due to fear: Fear may be a genetic factor, but it is also characteristic of dogs that have suffered deficiencies in their socialization or have suffered trauma. Although in the beginning the fear makes them flee, if they cannot do so they begin to show offensive behaviors such as grunts, marking or attack.
  • Territorial aggression: This type of aggressiveness is very frequent and usually appears when the presentation of both dogs has not been done correctly before including the second in the home.
  • Resource protection: mentioned above, resource protection appears when a dog protects something it considers its own. We usually talk about a bed, the feeder or toys, but a dog can protect anything, including people or dogs.
  • Predatory aggression: This type of aggression usually occurs when one of the dogs is remarkably smaller than the other and is considered an apresa. We will observe a very specific behavior, the hunting sequence, which includes tracking, stalking, capture and, finally, death. It is characteristic for the stealthy movements of the predatory dog.

Have you already identified the type of aggressiveness between the two dogs? If you are not able to discover what is the reason for the hostility between the two, it is best to go to a professional to help you determine what is the problem of behavior that is affecting them.

Is it possible to make two dogs get along?

Unfortunately it is not always possible make two dogs get along, however, with the appropriate guidelines and a clear and consistent guide on your part you can make both they get tolerated and therefore there may be a peaceful coexistence between them.

Our first recommendation will be that you go to an ethologist, canine educator or trainer who has experience in behavior modification techniques and good references. It will be essential to really know what the reason for the aggressive behaviors is and to start working behavior modification sessions If necessary.

Here are some driving tips:

  • Review the canine language and study the behavior of your dogs to see if they feel upset, scared or alert.
  • If you've never had a dog before, make sure you're not confusing a game sequence or an unimportant marking with aggression.
  • Do not change habits and routines that you followed with your dog until now, that can cause a negative association due to the arrival of the new puppy.
  • Follow a very marked fixed routine that helps your dogs to anticipate what will happen, something that helps them gain security and confidence.
  • Treat both dogs equally, don't let one feel jealous of the other.
  • Do not punish your dogs, quarrels cause anxiety, stress, decrease the ability to learn and block new behaviors.
  • Do not use aversive material such as hanging collars, antiladridos or repellent sprays.
  • Keep a very calm and calm attitude, inside and outside the home, remember that if you are insecure, impulsive and incoherent, your dogs will react more easily.
  • Avoid conflict situations whenever possible. If you know that when there are toys in between, the older dog gets angry, remove them and play with them separately.
  • Make them both feel very safe whenever you are present, that will prevent them from acting on their own to "solve" any problem.

Now that you know what your role is in this conflict we will explain what you can do with both dogs to improve your bond and your well-being:

  • Take long and enriching walks with both each day, where you allow them to sniff, play and discover new things.
  • Go to new places on the weekend that enrich the lives of both. An exit to the beach, the mountain or the nearest park can be a good way for them to feel motivated and happy.
  • Except if you notice a conflict between both dogs for this reason, use dog treats to better associate with each other. You can use the prizes to call them, after sniffing or as reinforcement for staying relaxed (always after observing their body temperature).
  • Also reinforce positive attitudes you like to sniff your butt, be relaxed next to each other or play postures. Apart from the commercial prizes you can also use homemade prizes, kind words, caresses and kisses.
  • Apart from performing physical activities and sniffing with both, he also begins to play intelligence, obedience or dog skills. All the time you spend with both using positive reinforcement will help you associate the presence of the other with nice and good things.

These are the basic tips that we can offer you to prevent your adult dog from biting your puppy and that in general can help improve the bond what you have with your dogs and what they have with each other.

If these guidelines do not help you, the situation will get worse or you think it is a much more serious problem. Do not hesitate to go to an ethologist, dog educator or trainer to advise and guide you throughout this process.

If you want to read more articles similar to My adult dog bites my puppy, we recommend that you enter our Behavior Problems section.