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HomeDear VetBabbleWhat Calm Dog Breeds are Best for an Energetic Older Mutt Companion?

What Calm Dog Breeds are Best for an Energetic Older Mutt Companion?


Dear VetBabble: Finding a Calm Dog Breed for my Older Mutt

I have a 10-year-old mutt who is quite energetic but doesn’t get along well with hyper dogs. I’m planning to adopt another dog from a shelter soon but would like to know about some calm breeds that could potentially be a good fit for my current dog’s personality. What are your recommendations, and how can I make the introduction as smooth as possible?

Choosing the Right Breed

It’s essential to choose a dog breed that complements your current pet’s energy level and temperament. While mixed breeds can have varying amounts of energy and temperament, certain breeds are known to be calmer than others. For example, the Great Pyrenees, Newfoundland, and Bernese Mountain dogs are typically seen as calm breeds. However, it’s important to remember that even within breeds, there can be variations in personality and energy levels due to breeding practices. Some breeders may specifically breed “calm” Newfoundlands or “energetic” Bernese Mountain dogs.

Since you’re adopting from a shelter, it might be more challenging to expect specific breed characteristics, especially with mixed breeds. The key here is to spend time with the dogs at the shelter and observe their behavior. Pay special attention to how they interact with other dogs. Additionally, reading up on family dog breeds and types of dogs that don’t shed can also help you find a breed that fits your specific needs.

Introducing Your New Dog to Your Current Dog

When bringing home a new dog, it’s crucial to ensure a slow and smooth introduction to your existing pet. Make sure to bring your current dog along to the shelter, so they have the opportunity to meet the potential adoptee. Keep an eye on their body language and behaviors, and then use the following steps to ensure a successful introduction:

  1. Choose a neutral location: Introduce the dogs on neutral territory, such as a park or a different area of the shelter, so your current dog doesn’t feel threatened or territorial.
  2. Keep a safe distance: Initially, keep the dogs a few feet apart, and let them sniff and get acquainted with each other while on a leash. Be ready to intervene if any signs of aggression or fear emerge.
  3. Give them space: If either dog shows discomfort, separate them immediately and try again in a few minutes. Don’t force the dogs together or rush the introduction process.
  4. Allow supervised play: Once the dogs seem comfortable around each other, allow them to interact more closely under supervision. Keep an eye on the dogs’ body language and intervene at any sign of distress.
  5. Gradually build trust: Building trust between the dogs might take time. Be patient and give both dogs enough time to adjust to their new living situation.

Helping Your Current Dog Adjust

Your current dog might need some help adjusting to a new pet in the home. You can support their well-being by maintaining their usual routines, providing separate sleeping and eating areas, and giving them plenty of love and attention. In some cases, older dogs might struggle with noise phobias or anxiety when the new pet is introduced. Keep a watchful eye on your older dog’s behavior and consult your veterinarian if they exhibit any signs of distress.

By choosing a calm breed, spending time with the dogs at the shelter, and facilitating a gradual introduction process, you can increase the likelihood that your 10-year-old mutt and your new dog will become the best of friends.

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