Should new pups play with older dogs? - German Shepherd Dog Forums

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Old 02-11-2014, 05:29 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Should new pups play with older dogs?

Hi everyone! First time owner, bringing my puppy home in 11 days! Super excited .. but heres the thing.. so are all my dog owner friends.

Now I've been doing as much research as I can on everything i can find (literally... pretty much all i do these days haha). I understand the importance of socialization and have done a lot of reading.. but a common thing i see is to not allow your puppy to play with older dogs. Ive read that you should allow your puppy to be around older dogs and be comfortable with them but not necessarily "play". Here are some reasons I've seen:

1. Can teach your dog to be overly submissive
2. Your puppy submitting to an "alpha"/older dog can potentially increase the time it takes for your puppy to see YOU as the alpha instead.
3. Puppies may be going through a fear stage and can learn to be afraid of larger or older dogs if the play time doesnt go well.

There are some other things i saw here and there.. but what do you guys think? All my friends have already started lining up to see my GSD and are about as excited as i am for him to finally come home. Would it be okay to start setting up play dates with older dogs (anywhere from 1-3 years old)? I figure if i do meet older dogs, i would just be sure to supervise and make sure everything is safe.. but mainly concerned about any potential long term affects to personality. Anyways thanks for any opinions or info!
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Old 02-11-2014, 06:26 AM   #2 (permalink)
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well I typed up a nice long reply but the forum took a poo on me.

No, in short. He has only met older dogs under close supervision from us and our trainer. He is 3.5 months Thursday. He does play with our son's dog, a jack Russell mix.
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Old 02-11-2014, 07:04 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Older dogs are wonderful provided they have a good gentle temperament with puppies. I would do one on one and not a bunch of dogs at the same time.

The whole alpha thing is another long discussion........
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Old 02-11-2014, 07:41 AM   #4 (permalink)
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The alpha idea is antiquated and outdated. Playing with other dogs is not going to impact your dog seeing YOU as a leader. If the play is controlled and supervised, that's good. If it's a free-for-all with dogs that are not good with puppies, etc... chances are, there are things outside of that play time that are going to lead your pup to not see you as the "leader" anyways.

And the "overly submissive thing"... having a dog on the submissive side isn't a bad thing, for a pet owner. Submissive and fearful do not mean the same thing, nor do dominant and confident. Much of whether or not your dog will be more on the submissive side is hard-wired in their temperament, and then refined with socialization- and either way, learning the "ropes" from older dogs is beneficial.

A stable, social older dog is a boon to a puppy owner. Where you run into problems is, as jocoyn said, overwhelming the puppy with dogs that are not good with puppies, or a lot of dogs. It should be supervised.
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Old 02-11-2014, 01:41 PM   #5 (permalink)
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DD only "plays" with mature sound dogs so they will teach him. It is hard to find a pup that is compatible in strength and play style without any of them getting hurt somehow.
I practiced the same routine with WD and all he got initially from the older dogs was a stern "no, you cannot do that to me!". The result was that, when he was just over a year old he became the teacher dog to several youngsters and smaller dogs. I was very surprised at that level of "wisdom" at that young of an age.
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