Often, I have clients ask if their new dog will learn from their old dog, and the answer is Yes, Maybe, Sometimes. But the really important question is whether the new puppy will learn good things or if it will simply learn the bad habits from the old dog.
I really feel that bringing in a new dog and hoping it will learn from the old dog is being a bunch optimistic. One question should be, is the old dog so good that we want the pup to be a clone? From what I usually see, that answer is probably no.
I can tell you that the puppy will not learn good obedience; however, there are a few things that the old dog might teach him. For example, the old dog may teach the pup to hike his leg and pee wherever he wants in the house.
The old guy may teach the pup how to dig holes in the backyard, especially those holes that go under the fence. I will be willing to bet that the older dog will teach the new kid how to bark at people when they walk by the house and maybe even how they can make the FedEx driver run for his truck when they start growling.
I think you are probably getting the idea about how the training is going to happen.
Now we have been talking about the pup learning from the older dog but guess what? If you are lucky, the pup may teach the old dog some new tricks as well. Yep, he may teach the older dog that pooping in the house is really not that big of a deal and it sure beats having to go outside to do it. Puppies love to jump on people and on counters tops, for example. I have seen situations where the older dog starts doing the same thing.
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Dogs are really good at communicating with each other through the use of body language. They can teach the correct thing sometimes if your dog knows what to teach. However, please don’t ever think that the older dog can take the place of some good obedience training.
If you are toying with the idea of adding a second dog to your home, make sure that your current dog has been trained and doesn’t have any serious behavior issues, so the new pup doesn’t learn the wrong things.