This is because older dogs work as role models and puppies are particularly adept at picking up behaviors they observe from other dogs. It’s observational learning at best! When my husband and I got our first dog, Roxcy we promised her a “sibling” when we settled into our own home. When she was four we got a puppy, Ruby. Roxy played an integral role in teaching Ruby the ropes and rules of our home. It was cute, and Roxcy was a tremendous help.
For example one of our house rules were no dogs on the couch. Ruby being a young pup hadn’t tried this yet. I was in the kitchen and couldn’t see the living room where Roxcy and Ruby were. I heard Roxcy give one bark and peeked around the corner. Ruby was getting off the couch and never got on again. Another time my husband and I had just gotten home from his parent’s house on Christmas. It was late. We were tired. I put a new pair of slippers they had given me on the floor.
Not a minute later our young pup Ruby got one of the slippers and had the time of her life running around the living room with it. My husband and I tried but couldn’t get it from her. We must have looked funny trying. Roxy was sitting there watching our antics as we were trying to catch Ruby’s puppy. I looked at Roxy, who was “mama’s helper” and said, “Roxcy, help mama.” She went up to Ruby, barked once and Ruby dropped the slipper-like a hot potato. That was the end of that and China never went near another shoe or slipper again.
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