Remember the Old Dog

  This is the time of year that a lot of people are thinking about that new bundle of fur that is coming home in the next few weeks.

Max 8 Weeks Old


  The training plans for the summer. The adventures in the fall. The testing goals and how far they will go.

  All of these things are amazing and it is what the spring is all about. The promises of things to come that the end of winter and the warm weather bring to mind.

  So when that new puppy comes home and the focus of the entire household turns to that bundle of energetic teeth and fur I would like to take this moment to say don’t forget the old dog that is in the house. 

   While that puppy, as we all know, is going to occupy a lot of your time for the first year of its life, I say remember that the old dog that has given you so much joy and frustration over the last few years needs some time also.

Cash with nice retrieve after a bad shot.


  He may not need the constant watching and work that the puppy does but he is going to need his own time. He will need to be exercised just as before. He will need to be trained as before to keep him at the top of his game. He will need the advanced training that you thought about when he was a puppy so you can achieve the goals that you had when he came home.

  While the puppy is getting all the love and affection don’t forget the old dog, he is used to getting his fair share of attention. The sudden shift of all the attention on the new puppy could raise a little resentment not just towards the puppy but for you as well. 

  That’s right he may start getting harder to handle and not listen as well, not because he forgot how to work with you but because he may be trying to get any attention he can and not behaving like before gets him attention. Remember negative attention is still attention.

  One thing that I do is that when it is time to train, work the old dog first. This gives him the time that he needs to not feel slighted and it gives you the time with him to reach the objectives that you and him set out to achieve when he came home as a bundle of fur.

  Another thing that I do, when it is time to hunt the old dog comes out of the box first. He is collared and released first to show him that he is still the lead dog in the pack. Regardless of the time being spent on the puppy. I don’t have any concrete proof that this works but it seems to work with the two that I have. I am really just trying to play on the pack mentality and that the old dog goes first and that keeps him from feeling like he is being replaced or challenged. Again just what I do.

   This is not a long one this time, just something that is meant to serve as a reminder that while you and the family are enjoying the new bundle of teeth and fur, remember the old warrior that has been giving his all to make your days afield memorable.

Cash and Max at the end Max’s first hunt.[/caption

2 Replies to “Remember the Old Dog”

  1. This hit home. I have a 14 yo that was always my navigator no matter where I went. She hates hunting but LOVED adventures. With the new guys around it’s been hard making sure she gets enough time of her own. Lately she has been going on car rides which makes her happy. She was trained with an e-collar 13 years ago and is collar wise. Lol she is a pointer mix and would be 3 counties over before you could call her name. At 14, she finally stays close enough without a collar to go on walk abouts. These old guys have been with us through everything, definitely important to not forget them. Thanks Brian.

  2. Maggie you are welcome. I had to make a conscious effort to ensure that Cash was not left out of the fun. There were days that it had to be only Max but when it was the two of them it was Cash first. I may be wrong but I feel they know that all the years of service is appreciated when they can be on the ground and the new guy is forced to wait his turn.
    They give us all they have when we ask for it and I think that a new pup should not completely over shadow that.
    Thanks for joining the conversation.

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