Will my new pup "learn" from my current dog? - German Shepherd Dog Forums

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Old 08-26-2014, 12:32 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Will my new pup "learn" from my current dog?

My current dog is 7 years old and is quite frankly, AMAZING. since around 6 months old he has NEVER gone potty in the house. Even after being home for 12 or so hours alone in my house due to my work schedule and has always had free roam of the entire house and NEVER has chewed up anything that he wasnt supposed to. He was never crate trained or used with an e collar and is a german shepherd/boxer mix. I'v heard that new puppies can "learn" or catch on from current dogs that you might have but i'm wondering if there is any truth to that....
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Old 08-26-2014, 12:36 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I wouldn't depend on it. I've heard that as well, but I have yet to see it happen after probably fifty clients now that got a puppy expecting it to get cues from an older dog. They come to me months later with a dog that's an absolute mess because they've left so much up to the puppy to just catch on to. I would take an active role in teaching the puppy boundaries, not only because it probably will not learn them from the older dog but also because taking an active role in a puppy's life is better for building your relationship with him.
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Old 08-26-2014, 12:38 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I wouldn't depend on it. I've heard that as well, but I have yet to see it happen after probably fifty clients now that got a puppy expecting it to get cues from an older dog. They come to me months later with a dog that's an absolute mess because they've left so much up to the puppy to just catch on to. I would take an active role in teaching the puppy boundaries, not only because it probably will not learn them from the older dog but also because taking an active role in a puppy's life is better for building your relationship with him.
oh I absolutely plan on working with the pup on a daily basis and not relying soley on my dog now to make him an outstanding dog lol I was just wondering if having my current dog around would be beneficial at all or not
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Old 08-26-2014, 12:49 PM   #4 (permalink)
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It probably could be beneficial from a continued socialization standpoint. Your older dog will have their "dog talk" down. So the pup will get a lesson in dog interaction any time they interact with your older dog. It should start to give him an idea of certain boundaries, what behaviors become obnoxious after a while, etc. Of course, if anything gets out of hand, step in. I just always try to make sure someone isn't depending on their older dog to teach a puppy because I get lots of people who go off the deep end with that and it becomes a problem I have to fix later.

The big things I do are interacting with the puppy to establish boundaries and rules, allowing interaction with other dogs in the household in supervised time so I can manage any behavior that starts to get out of hand, and instituting separation time where the puppy is away from the other dogs either relaxing in a crate or doing a training session with me.
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Old 08-26-2014, 12:56 PM   #5 (permalink)
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We don't rely on her but our 3 year GSD is a great example for our now 5 month old. She trails her, has learned our yard boundaries and imitates other behaviors of Tess that we expect.
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Old 08-26-2014, 01:03 PM   #6 (permalink)
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We don't rely on her but our 3 year GSD is a great example for our now 5 month old. She trails her, has learned our yard boundaries and imitates other behaviors of Tess that we expect.
bingo! thats what i'm looking for! like i said i do not intend to rely on my older dog but little things like that that the pup can pick up on will be helpful!
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Old 08-26-2014, 01:05 PM   #7 (permalink)
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On a very base level, it's likely that you'l use the same patterns of interaction with the puppy that you did with the first dog... thus sort of "molding" them the same way. Granted, that means they'll likely have the same bad habits, too My puppy and my adult are polar opposites, but I think maybe sort of the "ground rules" of being in the house could have been learned or influenced by him.
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Old 08-26-2014, 05:10 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Yes! My pup Jack has definitely learned from my old dog. For example, I didn't have to physically show him how to sit or lay down. When I gave the command to the older dog, the pup just imitated. He feeds off of his actions and follows him when I give commands. I never intended to use the older one as an example but it just happened. Now Jack obeys those commands on his own. The chewing and digging in the trash...well that's another story!
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Old 08-27-2014, 12:37 AM   #9 (permalink)
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As others have said, I wouldn't rely on the older dog completely, however the younger dogs do seem to try and imitate the behaviors of the older ones. I didn't worry much about having Doyle off leash because Leia and Myles stay close to me and come when called. He would follow them and if they were hanging around me either sitting or laying, he did the same thing. He figured out how to play fetch and frisbee this way too. And most recently he learned that swimming is a ton of fun by following my golden out when he'd jump in for toys.

I do work with him on things, and he figured out that going inside wasn't a good thing since mom would get upset and make him go outside. He also picked up that yelling at the cats to keep them out of the room was somehow okay lol. Leia doesn't like them coming in, and not stopping that is my fault there. So they can learn from their elders, but it depends in some ways too on the dog and the bond with the other dogs.

Doyle wants everyone to think he's one of the cool kids too.
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Old 08-27-2014, 12:42 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I think they do. We in jest say our oldest dog raised 3 puppies. You can't expect the puppy to just learn everything from the older dogs. They still need to be trained. However, some things they will learn from them. For example, every night they all go out to potty. I tell the puppy we're going to potty, but the other two dogs are running out to the potty area and the puppy will follow.

They still need lots of training though.
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