Why Are Older Dogs Protective Of New Puppies? [Here Is Why]

Hello to all dog moms and dads! I’m sure many of you have watched numerous episodes of Scooby-Doo and its movies during your childhood, or maybe you still enjoy them!

Scooby-Doo is an older dog who does his best to protect Scrappy-Doo, who always tries to pick fights with their enemies.

This portrays the protective nature of an older dog towards a new puppy, to some extent. Is your older dog also protective of your new puppy?

Your older dog may be protective of a new puppy due to resource guarding, jealousy, a motherly instinct, or a desire for attention. However, your older dog may also try to form a friendship with the new puppy. Desensitization, proper mental stimulation exercises, and positive reinforcement can help prevent any issues.

Let me clarify why older dogs are protective of new puppies, so there is no confusion.

Why do some old dogs protective of new puppies?

Let’s check on the “why’s” deeply!

1. Resource guarding.

The term says it all. Resource guarding is specifically the way dogs tend to protect “their thing” from an ‘intruder.” From their point of the way, in much of an aggressive manner. This is also defined as “possessive aggression”.

Dogs find some special things close to their heart, and it might include a dog treat and even your dirtiest sock!

Coming into this point, why your dog might be indeed protective of your new puppy might be an attempt at “resource guarding”.

Reading through this, you might find it difficult to say is it definitely “resource guarding” or not, so as for this, you can check up on the below signs to be more definite

  • Lowered head with the thing or the living being he is trying to protect
  • Narrowed down stares
  • Eating and chewing rapidly
  • Trying to get away with the object or the being they are possessive of. (not elope, just running a bit far)
  • Barking and growling than usual
  • Stiffening or rigged stance
  • Lunging or biting

So these are a few symptoms the dog will try to ask you to “getaway” from the new puppy if it’s resource guarding the little one.

2. Motherly nature.

Like a mom caring for her toddler or the child, the dogs too possess a motherly nature towards puppies even if they might not be their own pup. This is especially seen in older female dogs.

Have you seen your dog trying to keep your pup warm and cozy when they are both trying to sleep? Did you notice how your dog trying to protect your new pup during the time the pup is trying to play?

These gestures might have surely made you ecstatic and smiled at you, didn’t they? Even if you had bought a new kitten to your house, the older dog’s adorable motherly, female nature most probably would be the same.

If the doggy has past accusations with cats and kittens, he may not like the puppy.

3. Jealous, jealous, jealous.

One might think how jealousy and protectiveness come along with aligning together. Let me explain this to you.

Suppose your older dog feels like you are giving the new puppy a lot of attention. In that case, he might feel a bit jealous, so what he might be doing is trying to protect the new pup so that you notice that he is there to look after the little fur creature all through the days.

You won’t have to give a lot of attention to the new pup. Yes, this is, in a way, a passive-aggressive mode of jealousy, if we can call it so!

Being vigilant on this matter can be of utmost vital too!

4. Seeking attention.

Here comes the moment of seeking attention without jealousy. Did you once praise or give a pat on the head when the old dog tried to protect the new little fur creature in some instance? Maybe even at least once or twice?

Then there is a matter of concern to think about. Maybe your older dog has come to realize he can get “more attention” by trying to protect the little fluffy-Duffy fur creature in your home sweet home. So why does he not want to try it, right?

5. I Just found a new friend!

True friends most of protecting each other as much as they can, won’t they? Maybe the doggy found a new blossom buddy for himself, even though the age gap differs vastly.

He sees a friend in him! In this case, he might even love to go on walks with you and his new buddy. Moreover, have you noticed your doggy’s happy face when the new puppy is around him?

So this can also be the reason for him to be protective of the new buddy!

To make it easier for you, below are a few behavior signs to know whether your dog is protective of the new puppy.

  • Trying to make the new pup warm.
  • Excited when you call the names of both of them.
  • Trying to share his items with the new pup.
  • Happy yawns when it’s near the new pupTrying to share his items with his new pup.                                                    
  • If overprotective growls when someone unknown comes near the pup even though there might be no harm.

Suggested Reading: Why does your dog Keep sniffing your puppy?

Is this something to worry about?

The answer would be both a yes and no. It basically depends on why your dog is being protective. There is a complete difference between being protective and overprotective, as you might definitely know.

If the signs of your dog are due to resource guarding, it is not quite a good sign for him and the ones around him due to the aggressive nature the dog has during instances.

Moreover, suppose the dog is protecting the pup due to the jealousy or attention-seeking issues he might be having. In that case, that might be quite a problem.

Another special thing that I didn’t mention before was that dogs can detect health conditions very well. So, maybe he is trying to warn you about the new puppy’s health condition by trying to protect him. Other than protecting, he might even try to sniff the dog so often in his case.

As a dog parent, make it a responsibility to be extra conscious even about the slightest change in your doggy’s behavior.

What can you do if your doggo is protective of the new puppy?

Let’s find a solution!

1. Solutions for resource guarding.

Desensitize the dog.

We can define desensitization as a method that can be used to make someone less reactive or less emotional towards something they fear or have over-reactive reactions.

This method can be used to prove to the doggy that there is no harm to what he is trying to protect even if he is away from it.

Make him realize that you love the new little pup just like him. Your older blossom buddy will ultimately eliminate this kind of behavior.

Train, train, train.

It is vital to train the dog regarding this matter if the dog is showing aggressive behavior in various instances. Training to minimize resource guarding should be done at a slow pace and should not be rushed according to our time plans.

2. Proper attention.

As you have added a new member to your family, your older blossom buddy might need extra attention from his dog parents.

As you also have to give attention to the new puppy, he might tend to think that he is not being able to spend the time with you as usual.

So, in this case, giving “proper and a little bit of extra attention” is indeed vital for the health of the older dog as well as to avoid risks on what your new pup will have due to differences in the behavior of the older dog.

3. Positive reinforcement.

Now, this is an incredible method you can use if the dog is overprotective or may be possessive. Which doggies don’t love dog treats? So, let’s make use of it!

Every time or maybe in intervals,  your dog seems to listen to you in accordance to being overprotective and trying to minimize i. Treat him with a dog treat or praise and a head pat on his little fur head.

This will make him minimize the unfavorable behavior within a certain period. Easy -peasy happy doggy method! Why not try this out!

4. Proper exercise and mental stimulations.

Walks with your blossom buddy at least for one hour would make things easier. Other than walks, a bit of doggo exercises and playing would aid in the dog’s mental stimulations, which will help both parties have a good relationship.

While you walk along with the blossom buddy, make sure he also goes along with his new buddy.

Things to be aware of.

When trying to adhere to this case, it is crucial not to punish the dog. Trying to be rude and using harsh words won’t definitely aid.

It will only lead to harmful consequences in the future for dog mental health conditions, making them traumatic and ruining the relationship between you and the dog.

So make sure you be kind and loving with empathetic “NO’s” to your blossom buddy. Happy dog, happy owner!

Moreover, as I mentioned earlier, make sure that you be calm and don’t rush as you need during the training period to reduce the over-protectiveness of your blossom buddy.


I hope I guided you on why your dog is protective towards your new puppy, what to do, and a lot more which enhanced your knowledge about blossom buddy.

Keep connected to us and make a better life for your pooch!

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