New Puppy in the House

Hi there, I need some advise from all you wise ones! I have a 9 ,month old German Shepherd mix that I adopted a couple of months ago. She’s a lovely dog, but not well socialized. I try to take her out almost every night, but she’s not really been with other dogs. Last night I brought a new puppy home. 6 months old and very small. I put her in a little cage and just let Lucy get used to her. When I took her out,Lucy started barking, tried to hit her with her paw and not letting her out of her sight. She also got this foaming around her mouth and I was scared she would bite the new puppy! I’m thinking she just wants to show her dominance, but I’ve never had more than one dog, so I don’t know how to handle this. Lucy is about 20kg and has big paws, the poodle is about 2kg and is tiny! Will these two be able to live happily together or did I make a big mistake in bringing her home? Stray Dog, I know you are the expert and was advised to ask for your opinion, so I hope you’ll be able to respond. Thanks

How much control have you got on the big one? It’ll be the cage that’ll be doing the thing, not the dog. You have to let them be together – closely supervised. It’s VERY unlikely that a 9-month-old dog will want to be attacking a little wee thing like that.
Dogs on leads are the same in my experience. Best thing you can do when two dogs are leashed and barking at each other is to let them both off so that they can do their normal dog things. One in a cage, or one on a lead means they’re facing each other, which is, to a dog, confrontational. Hence the shenanigans.
It’s all about the opportunity to circle each other, do a bit of serious butt-sniffing, that kind of thing. Establish dominance, etc. Left to their own devices, they’ll soon figure out which one is higher on the pecking order.
Let them out together for a little while. Watch them constantly. I don’t think biting.attacking will be a problem, but the big one could easily step on the little one, so be careful. 9 months is still basically a puppy.
Anyway, poodles tend to be a lot harder than shepherds. It’ll probably soon be big enough to tell the big dog to fuck the hell off.
Athlula’s chihuahua puppy saw my 85-pound lab off the other night, and that was in my yard, which is Baloo’s territory.

Thanks Sandman. The big dog is pretty good at following my commands. She’s been with me since December and I think the new puppy is freaking her out. I leave the puppy in the cage when I go to work and when I get back I take her out and let her walk around. I watch them closely and the bigger one hasn’t tried to bite her. Just hitting at her with its paw. She barks at the poodle and the poor thing just sits in the corner. Is that Ok? Should I tell the bigger dog to lay off at any point? The puppy has only been in the house for two days, so I’m thinking it will get better over the next few days. What concerns me is the bigger dog is showing clear signs of anxiety - foaming at the mouth and yawning as soon as the new one is let out of the cage. Once again, normal? Thanks so much for your help.

Their normal dog things, yes. Which in the case of my parents’ Rottweiler was to kill the neighbor’s dog. Oops.

I’m assuming that the OP has at least a modicum of control over his animal, and at least a modicum of awareness of his dog’s behaviour. Your parents allowing their animal to kill another shows a complete lack of both.

No argument on that.

Oh dear, I do not want my dog to kill the other one! I’m watching them carefully ando so far the bigger one is just sniffing around, barking and hitting with its paws. the little one is walking around, running to me if the big black wolf is too scary. Right now, puppy is on my lap, big girl is lying 3 feet away, watching.

We’ve had the same anxiety each time we bring a tiny stray kitten home, and the adult cats begin stalking behavior. :astonished: But each time, after the initial hissing and stalking, they’ve learned to settle down and get used to each other, and eventually they all became friends.

If you’re really worried about the big one attacking, put it on a tight (closely controlled) leash (even though it’s inside your house) so you can yank it back if necessary, and scold it when it behaves aggressively. :idunno: Like sandman says, they just need time to do doggie stuff and get used to each other.

Oh, and don’t feed them out of the same bowl at the same time. Give them each their own.

Make sure you’re in control at all times, and be firm, and consistent.

for how many days have u got the new puppy already?
I agree with sandman, if you let one in a cage and the other one free that could bring problems…
let them “play” with supervision… actually the fact that the big one allows you to carry the new one on your lap means that some how its accepting the fact that its a new member on the family, just give them some time and that should work…

i have a pitbull back in my country and when he was with puppies he was always playful, the action of using the paws means just that they are looking for a small playmate… well that is i.m.o, but the thing is, when i tried to separate them acting nervous, my dog could feel that and then he would act violently towards the other dog, but if instead i just call him normally he would stop playing and then come to me.

i wish you good luck with your new family members !!!
btw, do you live in an apartment or house?

Smirnoff - dogs don’t use paws in aggression, especially not one paw out batting like you describe - that is an invitation to play or an attention seeking behaviour. It does not mean that your shepherd might not inadvertently hurt the puppy by being too rough so you still need to supervise their interaction at all times. However, it sounds like your shepherd is trying to invite the puppy to play and trying to get a reaction out of it - and the barking is part of that, as well as perhaps frustration because the puppy is not responding. “Foaming” at the mouth is usually due to excitement (unless your shepherd has rabies!!!) and simply means that your bigger dog is very excited. At 9 months, it is still a big puppy so it is not surprising that it is excited at the prospect of a playmate.

I agree with Sandman - you need to let the dogs interact under supervision, so they have a chance to get used to each other and learn the appropriate way to relate to each other. Barriers - whether through a cage door or via a leash - are a bad idea, they set up confrontation. Leashes - especially tight leashes - also tend to make dogs more tense (unless the dogs are very familiar with each other) as the anxiety of the owner can travel down the leash and the restraint is more likely to trigger a “fight or flight” response. So as long as you’re not afraid that you can’t intervene (and it sounds like the shepherd has not hurt the puppy yet) - then it is best to let the dogs loose around each other, so that they can exhibit normal canine greeting behaviours and sort out their pack hierarchy. If you’re worried about the shepherd overwhelming the puppy, give the puppy access to an area that the shepherd cannot get to, which it can escape to if it wants to get some peace. eg. a small space behind the sofa or under a chair to hide in temporarily.

You should also practise having both dogs out together but not letting the shepherd try to play with the puppy, otherwise you will set up a pattern of behaviour where the shepherd always harasses the puppy for play everytime they are together. Your shepherd has to learn that sometimes, even when the puppy is out, it has to remain calm and leave it alone. So you should call it over to you and make it do a Down Stay beside you or sit by you, calmly, while the puppy is left alone to explore the room or whatever. Yes, your shepherd may still watch the puppy and whine and be excited and obviously be dying to go over and try to play - but if you practise this, even just for a few mins to start with, it will eventually learn that “puppy does NOT = mad excitement all the time”. This helps you retain authority over the shepherd and also gives the puppy a bit of breathing space.

If you need to put the puppy in the cage, then perhaps have your shepherd in another room or restrained in some way so that it cannot just sit by the cage, getting excited and harassing the puppy inside. Basically, it needs to learn that there are times (dictated by you) when it can try to play with the puppy - and there are times when it has to leave the puppy alone.

Good luck!

Thank you guys! It’s day 3 and things seem to be a little better. The big is calmer and seems to be getting used to the new one. Like now, when I’m on the computer, I put the little one on my lap and Lucy is lying next to us on the floor. I watch them closely when they are both walking around and Lucy will now just bark and circle the puppy for a while before she stomps off to ly somewhere in a corner. I have to put the new one in a cage when I’m not here, but take her out as soon as I get home. The cage is in the livingroom, so Lucy can see her and I guess harrass her when I’m not around. Do you suggest I put the cage in another room or maybe leave her in the kitchen? I live in an appartment with a huge balcony. Lucy is free to go in and out as she pleases and uses the balcony to relief herself and I guess lying in the sun :slight_smile: My dogs have access to all the rooms accept the kitchen and bathrooms. When Lucy gets too rough - barking and hitting with paws, I tell her NO, and she will back off. That’s good right? Thanks Bighoneydog, I’m going to let the new one explore on her own while I make Lucy stay with me.

Make sure you give Big Dog lots of obvious affection and attention – more than Little Dog.

You probably don’t need to worry about Little Dog accidentally getting injured … puppies are bouncy, and if she does get hurt she’ll make it very obvious. Little Dog probably also has some social lessons to learn (like, “don’t go for Big Dog’s food”) which are best learned the hard way – getting snapped at.

Just to give a little update :slight_smile: I moved BaoBao to the kitchen when I’m not in the house and it worked much better than the cage. Both of them seemed more relaxed when I got home. On the advise of a friend I made them sleep together two nights ago and they were fine. The moment I turned off the lights, they settled down and went to sleep - BaoBao in front of my door and Lucy at her normal spot, under the table in the livingroom. Lucy does play too rough and I’m really worried she will do damage with her huge paws. There’s an 18kg difference betwen them! I watch them closely and when it gets too rough, I stop them. The little one has started to “fight” back and will run to me if it gets too much for her. I’ve noticed that BaoBao eats from Lucy’s bowl despite the fact that her bowl is around the corner! Lucy doesn’t do anything when she does that and I’ve even seen Lucy going over to eat from BaoBao’s bowl - not sure what to make of it, but guess as long as they aren’t killing each other over that, it’s OK. I’m much more relaxed now and the advise you’ve given has helped a lot - thanks guys! Tomorrow, it’s back to work and I’m not sure if I should leave them alone together. Maybe wait a few more days?

I’m a little too busy to respond in full right now, but give me a call and I’ll give you advice that works; I can also come show you, for a donation to AT.

What you have is a leadership issue, and thankfully that’s easy to fix if you are consistent.

Thought I’d give an update on how things are going in the house with the 2 girls. It’s been almost 7 weeks since I brought BaoBao home and I’m happy to report that the two of them are doing great! I had a lovely chat with Sean and have been following his advice with wonderful results. They play happily together, although it sounds like they are going to kill each other at times - I still get freaked out, but have calmed down and just keep an eye on them now making sure it doesn’t get out of hand.

I haven’t been able to stop them eating from each other’s bowls, but they are not fighting over it, so I’m sure it doesn’t really matter. BaoBao will get her last injection this week and then she’ll be able to join Lucy on her daily walks and the two of them can run around togeher in the park.

Their favorite activity seems to be “rope pulling”. Lucy walks around with her rope and BaoBao tries to grab it. It’s hillarious to watch as there is no way the little one will ever pull the rope away from Lucy. She just swings around like Tarzan, holding on for dear life as Lucy walks around the house :slight_smile: Of course, she gets her revenge by climbing on Lucy’s head and biting her ears when Lucy is trying to take a nap! It’s really great to see them having fun together.

Thanks for the advice and words of encouragement - I needed it and it got me through those very rough and stressful first few days.

Lucy and BaoBao


That is the cutest thing.

Glad to hear things are looking up. Literally.


smirnoff, not everyone can follow the advice I give, so hats off to you for taking it all on board and acting accordingly. :notworthy:

If anyone else has similar problems with their dog - aggression, nervousness, chasing cats, etc. - I’m happy to come show you how to fix it.

0920 620 109

Way to take on two dogs like you did. And Stray Dog always gives some good advise. I am glad to see people still working on rescuing dogs in Taiwan.