GSD puppy with small 1 year old dog - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-28-2014, 12:31 PM Thread Starter
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GSD puppy with small 1 year old dog

Hey all,

Planning on getting a GSD puppy soon and wanted some info on what to teach/expect when bringing home our new little guy. Right now we have a 4 lb morkie that isnt going to get much bigger. What can I expect with bringing a GSD into the mix? Our morkie has a HUGE play drive and can take a beating. When she was about 4 months old she was playing with the pitbulls and taking the hits.

As the GSD gets bigger and older will he know to watch how hard he plays and respect the dog as a dog and not a chew toy?

Any stories of small dogs with GSDs would be great!
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-28-2014, 01:38 PM
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I am in that same situation with a strong willed 6 month old GSD male. It requires a lot of training and management from the day you bring in your pup to keep the small dog safe and happy and you sane.
Technically the older dog should be in charge of a pup but the pup will quickly figure out that he/she is much stronger than the older one and it is an unnatural situation. Do not let that small dog "take hits" because it will get her injured or worse.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-28-2014, 02:15 PM
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if he has a strong prey drive, the "morkie" might not fair so well.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-28-2014, 02:27 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by huntergreen View Post
if he has a strong prey drive, the "morkie" might not fair so well.
How can you determine that when you find a puppy?
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-28-2014, 02:28 PM
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Delgado lives with a 3.5 lb yorkie mix and 12 lb poodle happily

Be firm and fair but set the expectations for BOTH dogs right off the bat, I have equal expectations of both my dogs.

Playing is fine as long as both dogs are happy and having fun, if it becomes one sided then step in immediately and stop it. If one of the dogs is bugging the other, step in and stop it. The dogs quickly learn what's acceptable and what's not

Treats, toys, and attention are all shared equally at all times and if there's something special it belongs to that dog alone and seperation is easiest to prevent fighting. If I give out bones and one dog finishes before the other I don't allow the one that's finished to bug the one still enjoying the treat

Something I do personally is set aside special time for each dog, for instance Delgado loves to play rough and fast and Jazzy doesn't so I take him out to the backyard and we'll play fetch or with a flirt pole and Jazzy can lie on the couch and enjoy the peace and quiet. Jazzy loves cuddling so before bed she gets snuggles and a massage and she enjoys the one on one attention. They both enjoy hiking, car rides, and lying on the couch so that time is shared


My Pack:

Jasmine - Female Miniature Poodle - born Aug 15, 2010
Loker Delgado Von Stalworth - Male GSD - born Jan 26, 2012
Koda & Zazu - 7 year old male cats
Alex - Male Cocker Spaniel (rescue) - RIP Cuddlebug 2007-2010
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-28-2014, 05:09 PM
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jakemak, i have had both. a gsd with low prey drive, and my last kyra, who just couldn't help chasing our jrt and cat. the breeder you deal with should be guiding you on this. do your research.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-01-2014, 10:28 AM Thread Starter
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Im still very nervous about getting a GSD with my small dog.
I want a GSD so badly but, Im not one to just jump into it and cross my fingers.

I guess im really looking for someone to really convince me that with the right dog (and what things to look for) its possible.

My little nori is the 4lb morki and she is out of her mind... Shes 10 months old and is beyond hyper. She will go outside and run around the backyard, fetch, and roll in the grass for an hour-ish, then we go inside, sit on the couch and chew her bones, then play a little frisby for another 45 min... AND KEEP GOING for hours on end. She will be on the brink of exhaustion after the outside playing then on her 2nd wind be able to go twice as hard for twice as long.

Im almost worried that Nori is too hyper for another dog but ive never had 2 dogs at the same time. My brother-in-law has had 2 dogs at the same time (lab and a bulldog, then lab and lab) and I have watched/learned from him over the years. Nori is highly prey-driven. You hold the toy, you hold the power. She will 9/10 go for the toy over the treats.

Nori gets a long with all dogs big and small. Shes always looking to play play play. Always wants attention but never retaliates if she isnt getting any attention either. She is a really good dog just the biggest hyper puffball if ever seen. I just worry that if I bring another dog into the picture that it will be too much hyper activity and the GSD will think thats normal after Nori calms down and someone might get hurt. Im very strict with Nori but fair. If shes a good girl, she gets all the love and attention. If shes naughty she gets all her toys taken away and no more fun...

Training she is amazing, shes so smart (sometimes too smart) and i think paired with a GSD would be the best combo of dogs just based on intelligence.

Ive been around with GSD my entire life and know how they are, but never had the experience with a GSD and small dogs. I just dont want there to ever be a problem and sometimes I wonder if I'm thinking too into it. Im not going to go search out a dog at my breeder until I feel 100% about it and when talking about it to others (not GSD owners) they always make me second guess myself.

I guess as a newbie on this forum Im stepping out as a person with a huge cry for help and not a ton of involvement on this forum but, I just want to make sure when this happens that its done right.

So I ask anyone and everyone that has any experience or has any knowledge on this to give me the truth and give me the confidence if you can see my view as a dog owner. I want to make this work, I want it done right, and I want to do it smart. I love to train my dogs and have people comment on how good they are when I think to myself... well this is normal they know i expect this of them.

Just a very discouraged GSD dreamer than needs an up lifting and a little vent/call to help.

Thanks everyone for reading!
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-01-2014, 03:25 PM
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We once had a 5 lb silky terrier with our big dogs that was high energy and loved to play all day... I had a low energy mal and high energy/high prey drive GSD at the time... long story short, it was a huge responsibility that we weren't prepared for!

Having a GSD puppy alone is a huge task. Little habits that are tolerable on a 5 lb dog isn't so cute with an 80 lb dog. It sounds like you are willing to train and work with them.

Your little one has a high prey drive... we couldn't even have a ball laying out in the yard without a fight breaking out. Ultimately, keeping them separate and crated when they weren't supervised is what it came down to. My GSD was intolerable to the little one's constant playing.

It could be a huge inconvenience on your lifestyle, depending on what you like to do with your dogs (vacations with the dogs was a tough one for us).

I hope I don't sound negative... just sharing my experience and opinion. I consider myself a responsible GSD owner with trained dogs... but having the small one with the big dogs was a challenge! Can it work? Sure! But because the GSD is so much bigger, there's always the risk of the little one getting hurt. I just know that my GSD and silky were not a good match.

I would highly recommend working with a breeder that can help you select a puppy that will be a good fit. Or maybe you can find a young adult that is already good with little dogs? Obviously, you don't want a GSD with a high prey drive.

Another thing, your little one is only 10 mos? I wouldn't recommend getting your first GSD puppy with another puppy! Probably best to wait until the little one is more mature and out of its puppy nonsense stage.

Hope this helps... Good luck!

Jack-GSD 4/2014
Charlie-GSD 12/2003
Sunshine-Belgian Malinois 2/2003-3/2014
Charles-GSD mix 1988-2002
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-01-2014, 03:47 PM
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Sounds like you already have one hyper puppy. Would you ever consider rescuing or adopting an older GSD that is already proven around other dogs? You should be able to take some time letting them get to know each other and see if the chemistry is right. May be better for you than trying another puppy and may just make an adult GSD's day.........

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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-01-2014, 04:32 PM
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It'll be fine - get the right dog and like another poster already said - set fair expectations for BOTH dogs and you'll be fine. My little one was the boss when the GSD puppy was small, then GSD puppy grew a big head and I had to pop that big air head and tell the little dog to not try to pop it himself. Now they respect each other. Any sign of disrespect, no matter how small, on either party is addressed immediately and firmly by me. They haven't been mean to each other for a long time now.

One of the foster dogs my adult GSD went crazy playing with was a terrier who's maybe 10 lbs. That terrier was a terror when it played and my GSD loved every part of that! The terrier will growl, jump/sit/stand/pounce on my GSD's belly, chomp the GSD all over and my GSD will wiggle ecstatically on the floor (totally undignified). They also tagged each other from bed to bed causing a lot of furniture movements. They did this for about 10 hours a day. I was horrified a few times that I asked my GSD to see if she wants a break from the terrier.

You're more at risk of not ever wanting a small dog again... (or I should speak for myself). :-)
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