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October 22, 2013: Young Dogs and Old Dogs

I had no idea how it would work out, our having two older dogs and one younger dog around the place. I admittedly envisioned the worst case scenario – Old dog Rainbow being territorial about food and Old dog Jenna being annoyed about her having to share us with a young pup. Neither happened. Once Rainbow saw that we’d taken Ryder on, she was okay with our decision. And once Jenna saw that we’d taken Ryder on, she was okay with our decision. I guess we got lucky. Fate dealt us a good hand.

So I now get to observe old dog and young dog behavior. I have determined that if you have old dogs exclusively,

that you have no basis for comparison. Old dogs become old dogs quite gradually, so you aren’t aware of these changes until you watch them interact with younger dogs.

Old dogs understand voice nuances and hand gestures. They’re also attuned to being handled in a certain way. Rainbow and Jenna have ceased to be interested in toys, which (I have determined) are both for the purpose of chewing on and playing with. What constitutes a toy is really a gray area. For instance, Ryder will play with bones and will chew on her plastic telephone. Rainbow and Jenna now have no interest in playing with toys or chewing on bones. Jenna ignores the latter, and Rainbow buries them. Ryder finds bones everywhere, and chews voraciously.

As for old dog, young dog interactions. Having Ryder around has given both Rainbow and Jenna new leases on life. Rainbow and Ryder are buddies on the trail, and often run side-by-side, or go over to see what the other is sniffing. And yesterday Jenna was playing with Ryder, which is something that she’s never before done. There’s more going on, so the older dogs are less inclined to want to spend the whole day sleeping.

I’m sure that there are young dogs and old dogs that do not get along. I don’t know what owners do in such instances. I’m glad that I don’t have to spend time figuring this out. I most likely would have to do what I wouldn’t want to do, which would be to part company with Ryder.

Next: 210: 10/24/13: Hrimfara and the New Herd Order