Replacement dog? Advice needed.


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We have recently lost our 15 year old Labrador bitch, a gentle, beautifully natured dog whose job was was 99% pet but she did find a couple of deer for me. Our other dog is a 10 year old chocolate Labrador bitch who is clearly missing her buddy, as are my wife and I. Although reasonably well we are getting on in years (pushing 70) and are long term Labrador owners, we are are not sure about coping with the mayhem Labrador pups bring into a household, or if we have the energy and remaining years to give a pup a decent life. I realise that the main factor is the character of the dogs involved, but what is the view of the panel regarding introducing an adult or "teenage" dog into the home and life of a dog who is already 10? We have brought pups into our household when there were established dogs in situ and that has always worked out, the seniority is sorted very quickly and the pack know who is who, but have never brought an older dog in. Please share your experiences, we know a pup will be assimilated, what about an older dog? Will it result in a hierarchical dust up which could badly upset the resident dog, or will the resident older dog be recognised as the boss? If we go that route, how should it be done, gradually through meetings in a neutral space or in one fait accompli event?


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I've just got a new Labrador, currently 10 weeks old. My old Labrador is 11 (years). He's pretty deaf and his back legs occasionally think doing as they are told is optional, but is otherwise good. So here's my experiences to date:

When the pup first arrived, the old dog was very wary and didn't want much to do with him, running into his bed to attempt to get the peace and quiet he was used to (he's a retired beating/peg dog, so had a lively life, but much less so now). That lasted for about a week or so. Now, a month after arrival, they are fast friends and play fight quite a lot, much of it initiated by the old dog. They happily lie in the same bed together during the day and the pups propensity for naps during the day sort of coincide with the old dog's naps. In a nutshell, they get on famously.

The other thing of note is the human's age. I'm 65 and my wife is a year behind. Not quite as old as you, but still the question of whether we should have another dog was considered. I'm very lucky in that we have three kids, two of which have dogs and so a conversation was had with them about our puppy should we become unable to was had and so there's two families that have dogs where our dog is already familiar with them. In that, we are lucky I guess. I sort of look at it this way. If you can estimate you've got 10 years in you, you're pretty much there. As you slow down more at the end of that, then your then 10 year old Labrador will be slowing down too.

As for the mayhem a puppy brings, that'll be a personal thing to you of course. But just put anything of value up out of reach, be prepared to suffer accidents for (hopefully only) a couple of weeks and don't buy that Axminster carpet just yet. Of course it's tiring at times and lie-ins become a distant memory. But you will find yourself being much more active and that can only be a good thing.

In the past, we have generally got a new dog when the old one is about 8, so we were wary, but (so far) it's working out very well.

Moynish Ivy

Well-Known Member
We took on a new lab bitch pup last October. We already had a 9 yr old full male lab who was on his own following the passing of his pal about a year earlier. Initial introduction did NOT go well. He was initially quite aggressive toward her but within a week he was fine and had resigned himself to the fact he had some new company. They slept apart for a few months just so he got rest away from a playful pup. 9 months later the two are absolutely best pals and he has been a great mentor dog for training the pup. The dogs are 90% pets 10% stalking dogs. They provide good company when stalking. For what I need they are perfect, they walk to heel, can sit / stay for long periods. That's good enough for me.