Older Dog Attacking New Puppy – How to Stop This Behaviour

I’m just a puppy that was introduced to the family, and the older dog that they already have is insistent on attacking me. My owners aren’t sure why this is happening all of the time, and that was the last thing they wanted to happen when they got me. I’m trying to figure out what can be done about it.

Older Dog Attacking New Pup

Many people will bring a new puppy into the family to give an adult dog some company throughout the day. An older dog attacking, or showing aggressive behavior toward, a new dog is the opposite of what people want to happen. Why does the older dog always growl at me when I walk anywhere near him? I don’t think I’m doing anything wrong, but the older dog always seems to be in a mood.

My owners must think they are in for a world of torment now that they have brought me home. Does the older dog want me around the house at all? How come they aren’t accepting me? Do I have to do something different to get them to stop attacking me?

The only thing that I can think of is that a lot of older dogs have a difficult time with change; bringing a new puppy into the mix can rustle things up a bit. Young puppies tend to be very energetic and yappy, while older dogs are more used to things exactly how they are.

I don’t think I’m super boisterous around the home, but I do like to bark sometimes and enjoy running, so maybe that’s what makes the older dog mad. He always seems super stressed out whenever I’m running around the house.

I know that dogs like routines and that older dogs are much more set in their ways than younger dogs. I’m just trying to figure out what I can do to introduce myself to the older dog better so that he can adjust to me being around the home. I’m thinking some factors in my behavior might be causing the older dog to get aggressive toward me.

Puppies Can Be Rude

Puppies Can Be Rude

There is no doubt that many people think I’m a rude puppy for bothering the older dog sometimes. I tend to get in its way when it’s eating food, playing with chew toys, and even sleeping. Who else do I have to play with? I’m just trying to have fun and release some energy.

Being a young puppy, I also have no clue what’s considered rude and what’s not rude. I think I’m starting to learn that barking constantly and pestering the older dog is rude behavior. The older dog has attacked me a few times because it seems like they can’t take any more of it. Some things that I interpret as funny have the older dog growling at me.

The Older Dog Might Be Jealous

Older Dog Might Be Jealous

As a young puppy in a new home, I have to admit, I tend to get more attention than the older dog. I think this might be why they are a little upset with me sometimes. I think I would feel the same way if I was the older dog and I wasn’t receiving any of the attention.

New Puppies Aren’t Socialized

New Puppies Aren't Socialized

Being a new puppy, I have no idea what socialization even means. I haven’t been exposed to any other dogs except my brothers, sisters, and mom after I was born. Seeing an older dog get upset with me is all new to me, and I’m still trying to figure things out as I go.

If the older dog has never had much exposure to young puppies, then it’s understandable why they’re getting upset with my behavior sometimes.

Overly Energetic

I’m always super energetic, and all that’s on my mind is sleeping, eating, and playing. My mother even got exhausted from my energetic behavior sometimes. I liked to pull at the older dog’s ears and nip at their tail, which I’m sure drove them up the wall.

The only reason why I bark so much around the older dog is to get its attention. All it seems to want to do all day is sit around and sleep. That seems so boring when there are so many other fun things to do. Whenever I bark to get its attention, it just growls at me, and I think that’s its way of letting me know I’m bothering it.

I guess this would be comparable to a young child going up to their grandparents and bugging them nonstop, but I never thought about it in that way before.

I think many older dogs put up with younger ones a lot more than they do with dogs their won age. It seems that the older dog in my household has a lot of patience, but I never thought about it like that before.

The adult dog in my home doesn’t have a lot of mobility, so I think that could be another reason why it never wants to play. Sometimes when I walk up to the older dog, it just moves the opposite way, as if to tell me to get lost.

Guarding Food

The older dog also seems to get agitated if it has a bowl of food nearby. I’ve also noticed the aggression becoming more prominent if I try to grab a chew toy they’re using. I guess some dogs just guard their food or toys more than others.

Resource guarding is when a dog protects something that they see as being valuable. Some signs that a dog is resource guarding are:

  • Growling
  • Showing their teeth
  • Freezing in place

I now know that the older dog is showing signs of resource guarding when I go to it while it has a chew toy in its mouth. As a young puppy, it will take some time to learn all of these things, but after a while, I’m sure I’ll be better educated!

Two adult dogs usually know better than to walk up to each other while they are eating a meal. Adult dogs also respect each other when they are sleeping. Being a young puppy, I am still learning all of these things for myself.

Puppy License

I know the older dog that lives with me has been patient with my behavior, and I’m thankful that my puppy license – a term used to describe the patience of an older dog dealing with a young puppy – hasn’t expired yet. An older dog will be more patient and lenient with certain behaviors in a puppy in comparison to a dog around the same age.

As I grow up, my puppy license will expire, and the older dog might even be more short-tempered with me if they don’t start liking me. I hear that many puppies will start becoming bullies as they grow older, and I’m going to try my best to refrain from walking in those footsteps because I know bullying isn’t fair to older dogs.

Stress and Fear

Sometimes I think that the older dog is just stressed out or fearful of me. The older dog never had to deal with young puppies throughout its life, so getting used to something new is probably causing a lot of stress and fear for them.

I used to think it was just being cruel to me, but the more I think about it, it seems the adult dog just isn’t used to me. When dogs aren’t used to something, they get stressed out easily and react in different ways. The older dog also might not have been socialized with younger dogs very much in the past.

Dogs that are stressed out can potentially bite puppies, and I don’t want that to happen. I’m going to start monitoring the older dog’s actions more closely so that I can avoid any negative consequences for me and my family.

I don’t like to walk on eggshells all the time when I’m near the older dog, but it seems this is what I’m going to have to do to prevent myself from being attacked until they get more used to me. I see my owners always trying to keep us in separate rooms and putting us each on a leash, mostly for my safety.

Older Dogs and Their Territory

Older Dogs and Their Territory

Older dogs are used to their house being their territory and no one else’s. My owners might potentially think that the older dog is supposed to be putting me in my place when I’m bugging it, but I don’t know if that’s true.

Not all dogs are in a good position to be putting puppies in their place, and many aren’t trained to be able to do so on either a physical or emotional level. If the older dog is trusted to do these things, I could end up getting hurt. I don’t want to develop hard feelings for the older dog at such a young point in my life.

Being a puppy is supposed to be the safest and most confident part of my life, not the ones where I experience trauma from an older dog. Now that I’m more familiar with why the older dog is biting me, I’m going to try and give it more space until it adjusts.

Stopping an Older Dog from Attacking A Puppy

Older Dog from Attacking A Puppy


I think there are a variety of different reasons why the older dog is trying to attack me sometimes. I’m just trying to think of ways that the situation can be managed better. I think my owners are in the same position.

Place Boundaries

My owner has decided to keep me separated from the older dog because I keep intruding on their space. I’ve been attacked a few times, and now I realize that enough is enough. The older dog is segregated from me with a baby gate that’s restricting me from getting access to their room. It’s nice and quiet in that room and it’s filled with various chew toys that I would love to get my teeth on.

Help the Puppy Release Energy

Help the Puppy Release Energy

I have so much pent-up energy that I just can’t help myself from wanting to play with the older dog sometimes. I know the older dog doesn’t have the same energy levels, so my owner is now taking me on a few more walks each day to expend all of my energy.

My owner has also given me a few more chew toys to play with. I usually tear them to shreds in a matter of days, but they still give me something to do throughout the day, and it’s taking my mind off of bugging the older dog all of the time.

Don’t Show Favoritism to One Dog Over the Other

I think my owners will have to stop showing favoritism to me in order for the older dog to feel more comfortable. It seems to bother the older dog that I’m getting all of the attention, and I know how heartbreaking that can be.

I think my owners will have to do a better job to balance out the attention being given to me and the older dog. They were in the home first, and that needs to be respected.

The Environment

After the most recent attack from the older dog, my owners are now paying more attention to what happens between us. Whenever they hear the older dog growl, they instantly rush in to see what’s going on. As a result, he is fed in his segregated area and I am fed in mine.

They also tried taking away some of the older dog’s chew toys to prevent the guarding that it usually does whenever I walk close to it. This seemed to have helped a bit, and it reduced the frequency of growling.

Train the Puppy

Train the Puppy


My owners are starting to provide me with more and more training. They don’t think I have the best manners, so they are going out of their way to take me to puppy training classes twice per week. They don’t want the older dog to feel like it always has to defend itself and its territory, and that’s understandable. I’m beginning to get better at listening more and more.

One training class I went to involved me having to leave a treat on the ground when I am called. It’s definitely taught me how to restrain myself whenever I’m around the older dog.

Some other training classes an owner may want to go over:

  • Training a puppy how to lay down
  • Training a puppy on leaving a treat where it is
  • Training a puppy to come to you when you call it

Ensuring A Positive Atmosphere

My owner also wants to create positive associations between the older dog and myself. One exercise they did was having a family member hold me while I walked – with a leash on – around the older dog. Whenever I was near the older dog and they didn’t react negatively, the older dog got a treat.

This exercise seemed like a useful one that will help the behavior become much more positive over time. The older dog might start associating with the positive feeling of getting a treat whenever I walk near it. Over time, they will stop expecting a treat and might even want to start playing with me.

This exercise seems like it could be useful for a variety of different cases. If the older dog starts to experience anxiety whenever I’m around, my owner can give them treats. After a while of doing this, the older dog will start looking forward to me being around because they will associate it positively with treats.

Eating in Peace

When it comes to eating, the older dog is always eating in a completely different place than me. There is a baby gate that’s put up to ensure that the older dog doesn’t rush over to my bowl before I’m finished eating.

My owners also started to supervise each meal we eat so that neither of us will try stealing each other’s food.


The older dog and I are taken out for walks together on a regular basis. The vet said this could be possible once all of the vaccines were given. It’s been nice going out for walks at the same time, and the older dog has been showing me the ropes on what to smell while walking.

We also go for car rides, but not without a harness. This has been another bonding experience that seems to have helped us get along better.


I’m not sure my owners are at the point of hiring a professional private dog trainer yet. I’m sure if I keep behaving myself, things won’t go in that direction. In some cases, I know that this can be a suitable alternative for those who have completely run out of options. Dog fights can lead to disastrous injuries for puppies, and I don’t want that happening.

What Are Some Ways to Introduce A Puppy to An Older Dog?

Let Them Smell Each Other

One of the first things my owner did when they brought me home was to swap scents with the older dog. I think this was a good way to introduce us to each other and can almost be thought of as a type of handshake between two people.

Use A Crate

A howdy crate is a good method to introduce two dogs to each other. My owner didn’t put me in a howdy crate when introducing me to the older dog, but it seems to be a useful method. Basically, you keep one dog in a crate while the other dog can safely sniff around them. This will prevent any potential attacks from occurring.

Introducing Each Other On Neutral Territory

I overheard a trainer saying that the older dog and I should be meeting on neutral territory. They said that it would be best to meet on a wide space that’s fenced in, with each dog loosely leashed so that if anything occurs, the leashes can just be held onto tightly to prevent an occurrence.

The trainer said that my owners should always watch our body language when we are around each other so that nothing will get out of hand.

Parallel Walking

Going for parallel walks is a good way to keep the anxiety and tension lower. I find that the older dog isn’t too focused on me when we are outside walking because there are so many different interesting smells out there.

For a proper parallel walk to take place, it requires both dogs on leashes with two dog walkers. Sometimes one dog walker will walk ahead of me with the older dog, and then after a couple of minutes, the positions are reversed so that I’ll be ahead instead.

After we alternate that a few times, we are then brought right beside each other with a bit of space between both of us.

Training Activities

Training Activities

Training games are also supposed to be a good way to introduce a younger dog to an older dog, or to any dog in general. This creates an atmosphere where they are in proximity to each other.

One activity my owner should try is to call out a trick that only the older dog knows. I think doing this would help me learn things faster.

Final Thoughts

My owners are excited about bringing me into the family, but I know it will take time for the older dog to warm up to me. I hope that the older dog can forget about me bugging it sometimes, and hopefully, we’ll be able to play one day.