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post #1 of (permalink) Old 03-19-2014, 06:06 PM Thread Starter
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katierae92's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Memphis, TN
Posts: 28
Question Integrating a GSD with a small breed

I just had a general question about acclimating a German Shepherd into a home with a small, fragile breed. I live in a home with an eight pound Papillon, Koda, but my mom is a little concerned about me bringing a GSD puppy home in 9 weeks.

I am not as concerned, as I feel I know how to set boundaries with the dogs in our household (I'm the pack leader of the two dogs we currently have). However, I am no expert by any means, and a 70+ pound dog attempting to play with an 8 pound dog can sound a little frightening. Even unintentionally stepping on Koda might not turn out well. I already know things like "gentle" and "leave it" should be mandatory things the pup will need to learn. However, I want the puppy to see that the little dog is part of the "pack" (and not some chew-toy or thing to chase). I do not want to always keep them separated, unless that is the suggested thing to do. I also want to give my mom confidence that a large breed and a small breed can coexist just fine. I know multiple people who have both, though I have not met anyone with a GSD and a small breed.

My real question is, what advice would you give on introducing a large breed puppy into a home with a small breed adult?

And a little more specifically to my situation, Koda is a fearful dog (which I partially blame on my mother's anxieties for him and "babying" him), so he will not "assert" himself over the new puppy when he arrives. He will warm up to the puppy, as he does with other dogs, but it may take a while. I can almost guarantee though that he will act submissive with the puppy (and I'm not sure if this is a good thing), unless he completely changes his personality. Our other dog, a Border Collie/Aussie mix, will be just fine with a new addition. He's so laid back he might not even notice a new puppy hanging off of him.

Thank you for any responses! And if this thread is in the wrong place, I'm sorry! New to the forum and trying to figure everything out!
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