Input on New GSD's behavior toward small dog
Hi - I'm a newbie so please forgive any etiquette faux pas or ignorance on my part. I wanted to get people's input on our situation.
We have an 8 pound chihuahua yorkie mix. We also HAD a large shepherd/lab mix. They were great friends and she considered him her protector, I think. They were totally safe and happy alone together, though I realize that every dog is different and I'm not making any assumptions with the new one. She really loved that dog. Only him, though. She barks at other dogs and shows what I assume is fear aggression toward them. Sadly, we had to put the big one to sleep a couple of months ago.
Yesterday, we adopted a 3 year old GSD from the pound. He's been at the pound for over a month with not much exercise - he had a broken toe (still healing, though he's not limping), and just got neutered yesterday, so major exercise is not in his very near future, unfortunately. He's very sweet to people, and fairly nice to the little one, but he seems overly interested in our little dog at times. It makes me nervous. Of course, I will use extreme caution, not leave them alone, etc, but I'm wondering if someone here can give me insight into his behavior.
Specifically, when the little one is in our arms or on the couch next to us, he still wants to see/meet her, but he's not really hyper about it (by the way, he's a bit hyper in general and I don't blame him for his lack of exercise). To my great surprise, last night, my little one approached the big one (who we've had on leash in the house), and kissed his nose. He licked her face as well. I have let him approach her a couple of times and though she's scared, it leads to them licking each other's faces briefly. I try to keep it short at this point because his energy is too strong and I don't trust it. When she is on the ground or generally loose in the house, he really wants "at her" and I can't tell if it's play or prey. When he's too aggressive like that, she nips at him (unsuccessfully, no harm done except the unpleasantness of the encounter).
We've had long periods of peace and coexistence, where they're both sleeping (GSD on his bed on the floor and little one on the couch). It's just that when they do interact, the intent is unclear.
Any insight would be appreciated. Thanks!