Introducing a New Dog to an Old Dog

The Changing of the Guard

“Whoever said you can’t buy happiness forgot little puppies.” —Gene Hill

Photo by Verdlanco

When the family Yellow Lab, Lucy, was 12 and showing the effects of old age, Rob Pasick and his family decided it would be a good time to get a puppy—in hopes that Lucy would help train the new dog and teach it to be as good a member of the family as she had been for so many years.

They may have miscalculated.

Ruby turned out to be a true Jack Russell Terror who made Lucy nervous, her energetic advances making it difficult for Lucy to relax and to be her mellow old self.

Introducing a new dog to an old dog can be complicated. Breed compatibility is just one facet to consider.

For example, does the old dog have a nurturing personality? Adding a puppy might be the right move. However, if the old dog is of a nervous disposition, a more mature dog might be a better choice.

Then there is size. A large breed puppy will quickly outweigh a miniature adult and could accidentally cause injury through innocent enthusiasm.

Rob, an author and psychologist, recorded his observations in Conversations with My Old Dog. Not only does Rob note how the addition of an overly enthusiastic puppy affected his Lab’s otherwise trusting nature, but he also draws comparisons between Lucy’s zen-like take on life as a whole and how much more peaceful his life would be if he would just relax and be more like her.

Conversations With My Old Dog makes a great gift for dog lovers of all breeds, and a comforting resource for owners who are facing the loss of a beloved pet. It can be purchased from this web site or from

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