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· Registered
19 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·

I've posted about this before, but I'm still not sure what to do so I'm going to post about it again.

I have a dog who doesn't like puppies, and I'm getting a new puppy later this year. How and when should I introduce them? Should I wait until the puppy is settled in, or should she meet him straight away? Where should they meet? At home or on neutral ground elsewhere?

Sorry for all the questions, I'm just very worried and I really want this to work out so they can be friends. It would make life a lot easier.

Anyway, thanks in advance!

· Registered
4,570 Posts
I'm no expert and I had a slightly different story but it may help?

My boyfriend's mastiff acted very aggressive towards small dogs and at the time I had 2 yorkies. I wouldn't say aggressive like dog aggressive more like predator and prey aggressive (when I think about the look she got in her eyes it still scares me). Our first introduction was in his yard, his dogs muzzled and on leashes for my dog's protection. Very bad, very very bad idea and I highly suggest not doing it. His dog held my dogs down and if it weren't for the muzzles they would have been history even though we were right there but mastiffs are strong animals!

I reached out to several trainers and NO ONE would help us except one guy. Here's what he suggested:

Most importantly YOU HAVE TO BE CALM. Dogs instantly sense when you're not ok with the situation.

We reintroduced them on neutral ground (His dog still muzzled for protection).

Then back at my boyfriend's fenced yard we held the small dog and let the big dog smell the small dog, no muzzle on (don't want big dog to associate bad muzzle with little dog) and then do the same with the little dog while holding the bigger dog.

We did the introduction a few times throughout the week and then we started walking them together. Just close enough together yet far enough a part for safety. Always head to head so no one dog was leading the other. We always did the introduction sniffing before the walking.

Then we moved to inside the house, he would keep the mastiff on the leash with my boyfriend holding her and I would hang out with my dogs near me. For instance, he would be on one side of the couch and I would be on the other, once again, close but far enough away. Always telling the mastiff "no" if it showed a form of aggression and giving praise when it didn't. It took us months of doing this, we had almost lost hope and then it just started getting better. To the point that Prince was stealing her bone (he's brave)!

These are different types of dogs and you have a curious puppy on your hands whereas I didn't but maybe you can get the gist of what I was saying and apply it to help you?

Or maybe someone else more experienced can help you.

PS. I was worried too because my male yorkie doesn't like puppies and thinks he's top dog but I was lucky that Gretchen was very submissive and patient with him and now they're best buddies (most of the time) and she's only 5 mo. I still introduced them on neutral ground and with my yorkie off leash (mainly because he gets nervous when he's on a leash around a bigger dog).

Once again I'm not an expert and I hope you find what works. Good luck.

· Registered
379 Posts
I am actually going through this right now. I have an anxious, dog selective Doberman and just got a Great Dane puppy last Friday. I was super worried before we got the pup that Hannah would hurt it, she has high prey drive and low tolerance for other dogs. I had the luxury of taking two week off from work to handle the introductions, but we are moving really slow.

We put up baby gates blocking our house into 3 regions. When we got home, my boyfriend went inside to uncrate Hannah and take her outside to go potty and calm down. Then I came in with the puppy and let Hannah sniff it through the baby gate. She was extremely anxious so that was pretty much the end of introductions for the day. We kept the dogs in different regions until bed time, where Hannah sleeps in the bed with us and Finnegan slept in a crate in our bedroom.

Rest of the week was getting used to each other through baby gates, then when Hannah wasn't so anxious, being in the same room, but on different levels (i.e. if Hannah is on the couch, puppy is on the floor or someone is holding it). We played the "Look at that" game to get Hannah used to looking at the puppy and getting a treat. Once Hannah was able to be in the same room without being anxious, we let them be on the same level, but always blocked the puppy from making contact with her, which is hard, because he worships her.

Its been a week now, and they can be by each other with minimal blocking. I don't let him pester her, and she mostly ignores him. I have also been spending more time with her while having the puppy practice being alone. So more training, more walks, tried agility and nosework for the first time, which I think really helps her feel secure in her position in the house. I also do some training with them together, since he imitates her. So have them both sit and lay down, and treat them at the same time.

Yesterday they took a nap by each other (with me closely monitoring) and today she tried to initiate play with him. I in no way trust her alone with him, but she is doing way better than I expected.

· Super Moderator
23,801 Posts
I think I suggested in a PM that you get a professional trainer involved. It's really helpful to have someone to help you with the introductions and to come up with a good plan, especially someone who can see and evaluate your dog in person. They can also help you come up with some good strategies for management in case things don't go as planned.

· Premium Member
14,984 Posts
I had an older Doberman who was very intolerant of puppies until they got to about 4 months. So the puppy basically lived in an x-pen when he first arrived. He went outside with the Australian Shepherd who was very tolerant of other dogs at any age. The older Dobe was allowed to examine the puppy from outside the x-pen and they grew familiar with each other that way.

At night the puppy slept in a crate by my bed and the older Dobe and the Aussie slept in the bedroom on big dog beds.

When the puppy was a little over four months I could take him and the older Dobe into the yard together and the older dog would do play bows to the puppy and invite him to play. This worked well and the puppy was disapplined by the older dog for only two thing--if the puppy jumped on his back he would spin which knocked the puppy off and then he'd pin the puppy before he could try to jump on him again. And he would pin the puppy if the puppy came up and barked in his face. The pinning consisted of the older dog pushing the puppy down with a paw and then pinning him under his chest for a few minutes.

That puppy grew up with great dog manners--he was polite to all other dogs.

I've used the x-pen technique many times since then--it's worked well for me for introducing puppies to older dogs and I've used it even when the older dog was known to be OK with puppies at any age--takes the guess work out of introductions.

· Registered
294 Posts
Can you take a puppy to somewhere like a park or an empty parking lot before she has had her vaccinations?
Yes. You should probably read up on socialization. Puppies have a short socialization window that is roughly 6 to 12 weeks, depending on the individual. It closes rapidly after 12 weeks and most puppies are not fully vaccinated until 16. So you will need to find places to take your puppy to get it the proper socialization outside of your household. A local puppy class is a great way to do this, but shouldn't be the only thing you do.

I would choose a parking lot that probably hasn't had a lot of animal traffic. Maybe a restaurant or something like that. Many businesses such as Lowes and Hobby Lobby are dog friendly although many don't see dogs that often.

Where are you located? If you tell us we may be able to point you in the correct direction to find professional help. If you cannot get professional help for this type of introduction I would absolutely not recommend even bring a puppy into your home. You are going to have to be very alert and very perceptive of the body language of both dog and puppy to make this work. It's very challenging and if it ends up that they never like each other you will have to crate and rotate or potentially rehome one of them. Having a professional on your side can really stack the deck in your favor.
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