Rejection due to new puppy
We have a 13 year old westie and a 6 year old westie and brought home an 8 week old westie yesterday. They are all males.
The 6 year old seems to be not very happy about the puppy. He is standoffish and doesn't engage him. He also gives a faint growl if the puppy gets to close to him and he stays close to us seeming very needy. What can we do to get our 6 year old to accept him over the next few months.
We try to give each of the older dogs their own time with him as well as do the three together, the latter doesn't go as well as the 13 year old hovers over the puppy and seems to protect it, the 6 year old seems to be upset or confused at what is going on.
The 6 year old has been the neediest of the two older dogs. Any tips would be greatly appreciated.
As I said in the response to your first question, having several dogs of the same sex in the home can be difficult, and the fact that this pup is male may exacerbating the reaction of the 'middle' dog.
However, as I also said all dogs are different and they have their own strengths, weaknesses, character traits etc. etc., this means that they react to the same situation in a variety of ways. The older dog has already had the experience of adjusting to a new arrival (the 6 year old) and seems to be taking on the role of 'elder' and is protective of, and gentle with, the puppy.
However, the 6 year old (now effectively the 'middle child') is feeling upset at having his place as the baby taken away and if he's a more emotionally 'needy' dog in the first place he's really going to feel this and take longer to adjust and accept the situation.
I'd recommend making sure that this middle boy gets lots of attention and love (extra when needed) so that he realizes that he is still loved and valued. This should help to reduce jealousy issues. Also, treat the situation the way you would when introducing a new human baby into a home with older children.... that is, resist the urge to spend too much time fussing over the baby and give the older children the most attention.
Dogs are pack animals and you need to mold your 3 (plus your human family) into a 'pack' that works. To do that, treat the dogs as a hierarchy with the older one being No.1, the 6 year old being No. 2, and the puppy being No. 3... the lowest on the ladder of importance. Feed the puppy last, greet him last, pet him last etc. etc. The oldest dog may not need this, but the middle one does, he needs to see that the puppy isn't taking away HIS place in the family. A clearly recognizable 'pack structure' should help a lot.
Generally I wouldn't recommend having 2 or 3 dogs of the same sex in a home, particularly if they're big or guardian breeds, but as your first two get along well, hopefully given time the third one will find his place and fit in too.
Again, the page that I recommended in your earlier post will help you get through these first few days or weeks. It's important to try to let the dogs sort things out by themselves as much as possible, but also to protect the puppy if you think he's in danger of getting hurt. Puppies can be very rambunctious too, and sometimes it's also necessary to protect the older dogs from their attentions!
You'll need to be very patient, loving and understanding here and you could be in for a rocky couple of weeks, but hopefully after that it will all settle down.
Hope all of this helps, best of luck with your dogs.