, Salem, MA


January 24, 2014

Ask Dog Lady: Pup’s affections make older dog run

Dear Dog Lady,

I have a 4-year-old male mutt Simba that I love to death. My boyfriend and I decided we wanted another dog. We bought a 7-week-old female mutt Jasmine that my boyfriend fell in love with. New puppy princess Jasmine follows Simba around and wants to play and cuddle with him. But Simba freaks out and runs away. When he is asleep, we pick up Jasmine and lay her next to him. Simba just gets up and moves away. The more attached Jasmine has gotten to Simba, the more she cries when she is not next to him and, of course, Simba runs away. What should I do? I love my babies very much and want them to get along.

A: Simba doesn’t want to mother the puppy, and you force the role upon him. Puppies shouldn’t leave the natal nest until they are at least 8 weeks old. Ten weeks is optimum. You brought Jasmine home at 7 weeks. She hadn’t yet learned all her weaning ways. She must have attached immediately to Simba in order to figure out how the world works. Now, he basically says, “Get lost, kid.” He doesn’t want to be bachelor father.

Stop imagining your dogs as babies. They are dogs, and they will work it out if you leave them alone. And make sure you give Simba whatever you did before the puppy joined the household. For starters, allow him to sleep undisturbed in his own place. You must trust your dogs will bond eventually. For now, their primary bond should be with you.

Dear Dog Lady,

I love dogs. In fact, I love dogs so much that I don’t own one. I have a house with a small yard, and I refuse to get a dog until I have a yard with space for him to enjoy his life. Unfortunately, you and many of your readers seem intent on having a dog whether it’s good for the dog or not.

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