Your Labrador is getting on in age and you have to face the reality that he may not be around forever. You and your old Lab could both use some youthful company. Before you can bring a new puppy into your home, it is important to think about certain factors that will influence the choice of breed of your new puppy. Cuteness has a far more profound effect on humans than on your older dog.
To increase the potential for a harmonious relationship between your older Labrador and his young puppy friend, it is important to think about their compatibility.
Companion dog size
While Labs are generally great with all dogs, big and small alike, a toy or small breed dog may not be the best choice. As gentle as Labs are, a huge contrast in size can be hazardous for a tiny puppy. When play becomes too rough, a Chihuahua pup is no match for a Lab.
Choose a more robust puppy breed. Once they know and like each other the big guy will in all probability become the protector of the small guy. In the beginning of the friendship, it makes sense to take special precautions when introducing a small or miniature pup to a big dog.
If your older Lab is showing the symptoms of old age. A boisterous puppy could cause injury to the older dog. Take this fact into consideration.
Make sure there is always enough supervision when the young and the old meet.
Companion dog breed
Labradors tend to love everyone! Labs will typically find a way to get along with most other breeds.
Getting a new Labrador puppy is a great choice because the new addition will in all likelihood have similar personality traits, increasing the chances that the dogs will get along.
If you prefer to go with a different breed, consider that some breeds, such as Terriers, Greyhounds and Afghans for example, are known for their predatory instinct. How your Lab will cope with this? Other breeds such as herding dogs have a natural instinct to chase.
Companion dog gender
In most cases it works better to choose a puppy of the opposite sex to join your older dog. The resident dog will feel less threatened by the puppy. A puppy of the opposite sex will also prevent conflicts when the puppy is an adolescent.
If you have two or more dogs, introduce the puppy to each one individually. Sometimes old dogs need days or weeks to learn to accept the stranger. Good management of this process is required to achieve success.