Ask the AKC Animal Behaviorist - How Can I Help My Old Dog and New Puppy Be Friends?
Q: How can I get my recently adopted 1-year-old Maltipoo and my 14-year-old Maltese to be friends?
A: When dogs get much older, sometimes owners bring in a younger dog in order to keep the older dog company. This can work well when a young dog brings some spark and new life to the household. Sometimes, the only reason for adding the younger dog is to anticipate that the older dog may not be around long and this is an attempt to reduce the owner's pain when the loss occurs. (This only works if the owner is fully prepared to meet the needs of the new dog.)
Because there is a wide developmental gap between a 1-year-old dog and a 14-year-old there are different issues that can come up and it can be hard to anticipate which way it will go. The new addition could work out well, or the 14-year-old may be totally annoyed by the new 1-year-old pipsqueak who is jumping around and causing a ruckus.