How to Get Older Dog to Stop Barking at Puppy

Have you brought a new little four-legged bundle of joy into your family but your older dog isn’t accepting them? Instead of cute playing are you getting nothing but the senior dog barking their head off at your new pup?

Frustrating, isn’t it? Well, the good news is that this is a common problem when introducing a new puppy into the home, but there are also some very simple solutions. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know in this article, “How to Get Older Dog to Stop Barking at Puppy.”

Why Does My Older Dog Bark at My Puppy?

How to Get Older Dog to Stop Barking at Puppy

Your older dog barks at your puppy for a variety of possible reasons. One reason might be that the older dog is trying to encourage the younger dog to play. Look for signs of this like wagging their tail, jumping around, and doing play bows. If you’ve noticed these, you can safely assume it’s play. You’ll still want to teach them not to bark, but other than that there’s nothing major to worry about.

Another possibility is that the senior dog perceives the new pup as a threat to their territory or to their position in the family hierarchy. Remember that dogs descended from wolves over thousands of years, and some things have stayed with them — like developing a ranking within their “pack.” Your older dog is trying to show the puppy that they are the dominant one.

While it may not seem like a big deal since this is a typical part of dog development, the fact that it has escalated to barking means you need to address the issue. Your older dog is being too aggressive, so you need to address the behavior now before things escalate into snapping at the puppy or even biting them.

Will an Older Dog Stop Barking at My Puppy on Their Own?

Your older dog will likely not stop barking at your puppy on their own. First determine why your older dog barks at your new puppy, then work on addressing the problem.

If the older dog is barking because they just want to play, then you need to teach them how to play without barking at the puppy as this may scare them. If your senior dog is barking at your new puppy and showing signs of aggression, you need to start addressing the behavior now before it escalates into something worse.

Regardless of the cause, your older dog will not stop barking at your puppy on their own in almost all cases.

How Do You Get an Older Dog to Accept a New Puppy?

To get an older dog to accept a new puppy:

  1. If they haven’t met yet, introduce them somewhere neutral and fun like the dog park.
  2. Keep the dogs separated as much as possible until the older dog has shown that they’ve accepted the puppy.
  3. Encourage positive time together like walks and playtime, where both dogs are praised and given treats when they are getting along well.
  4. Slowly but surely increase their time together until it’s a non-issue. Continue giving praise and pets for good behavior.

How Do I Get My Older Dog to Stop Barking at My New Puppy?

To get your older dog to stop barking at your new puppy, you need to address their issues with dominance and aggression. While it’s normal for them to be a little hesitant at first, they should not be escalating things to this point. Left unchecked, the problem will grow and multiply into other problems between the two.

You certainly don’t want that, so let’s think about what is happening when your older dog is showing this dominant behavior towards your new puppy.

We talked earlier about how dogs are descended from wolves. Well, one of the things they still retain from those days is that they feel they are in a pack. In every pack, there is going to be a pack leader. When your older dog displays behavior like this, they are trying to enforce this hierarchy on your puppy.

You need to stop the behavior now from your older dog and show them that you — and you alone — are the family’s pack leader. Do so, and your dogs will quickly fill their natural roles within the pack, where they get along and respect your leadership and commands.

This will be a positive thing for you (obviously), but also for both your older dog and your new puppy. Your new puppy gets the safety and security of knowing you can handle things, and your older dog is freed of the stress and worry of feeling like they have to protect everyone at all times.

“Sounds good. But how exactly am I supposed to do that? I have no idea about how to do any of this.”

No problem! Because it’s a fairly simple thing to learn — when you just have the right instruction. That’s why I’d recommend an excellent free video series that’s on just this subject — how to be your dog’s pack leader — by a renowned trainer named Dan which will show you everything you need to know.

Start watching Dan’s free training series now by clicking here. And don’t worry about not having any experience, because you’re exactly who his videos are made for. He explains everything so that it’s very easy to understand and teach to your own dog, and he gets right to the point so you’ll start seeing results in no time!

Dan loves dogs just as much as we do, so don’t stress because you’re not going to have to be mean or even raise your voice to your beloved four-legged friend — he can even help you train your puppy how to behave too! I’m sure you’re eager to start implementing the tips from this article, “How to Get Older Dog to Stop Barking at Puppy,” so I’ll let you get going.

Good luck with everything!

The Author



Hey there! I'm a dog behavior expert and lover of travel. Since 2016, I've been sharing my knowledge of dog training and behavior while exploring the Pacific Northwest with my two rescues.