Apologies for the long post:
I adopted an older GSD pup from working lines about 8 months ago, so he is now about a year and a half old. He is neutered, fed a raw diet and exercised daily. He has a very strong prey drive, and has caught cats and a wild rabbit. He was kennelled for the first 10 months so socialisation wasn't that great. :/
We have 2 hours of obedience class every week and he goes on regular outings to all sorts of places with me (although no shops, as no dogs are allowed in stores in NZ, apart from the occasional pet store). We also do obedience in some form every day.
We also have a male Shih Tzu Bichon cross, about 2 years old, who is unneutered, and will remain that way for the foreseeable future, unfortunately (not my choice).
We slowly introduced the little dog to the GSD, and initially they seemed to get on fine. Then the GSD started to get aggressive, and there has been at least 3 occasions where he has got the little one in his mouth.
It seems that he just holds him there, around his abdomen, as there is never any blood drawn. Obviously the little one does not appreciate it, and makes a **** of a ruckus. Afterwards he shakes and is now very cautious around my GSD.
They are now always kept separated by a tall baby gate, and a fence breaks up our yard in two so they cannot interact apart from seeing each other. The little dog is inside, the GSD is now an outside only dog.
I am wondering if this is a dominance thing, and if we should let it happen so they can sort out who is alpha? Our concern is that it may go to far, and because the GSD is so big the little one runs the risk of serious injury or worse.
Any ideas? I would be happy for both of them to just ignore/tolerate each other so we don't have to be so cautious.
The GSD also "loves" cats. Just seeing them sets him off and he goes bonkers, barking and jumping up and straining to get to them. If they run, and if he could, he would chase them and does not return at all. He is VERY persistent when it comes to cats and the like - he will not give up until he has caught it. He has caught my cat twice, and the neighbours cat once. Same thing with the little dog, has it in his mouth (never mind the claws), but does not let go until forced. No injuries so far apart from bruising. Any way to train him to ignore cats/rabbits etc? My cats are not used to dogs that chase so don't know not to run.