Considering a 9 month old-have 2 chihuahuas ?'s - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-01-2011, 01:03 PM Thread Starter
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Considering a 9 month old-have 2 chihuahuas ?'s

Hello All.
This is my first post here but have been reading many many threads for several months now trying to educate myself before committing to a 9 month old white German Shepherd. According to the breeder, this 9 month old is already house trained and has some obedience training and is good with cats and small dogs. I'm still waiting for more information on temperament and if he's the right dog for our family.
However, as much as I would love to have him be a part of our family, I recently thought about a situation that could cause alot of problems.
One of my most pressing concerns at this time is regarding house training in our home as it relates to a complication with our two female chihuahaus (both spayed, 1 year old and a 3 year old).
Both chihuahuas (loving little dogs, but so hard to train) occassionally have accidents throughout the home. We could not get them fully house trained. We have gone to placing puppy pads in two locations in the home which they are about 95% good about using but I will still find the ocassional 'surprise' elsewhere. I know that this is predominately our fault for not always having our eyes on them but they rarely give us any idication that they need to 'go'.
My concern is that these ocassional accidents, or even the use of the puppy pads, will cause a complete negate of the Shepherds previous house training skills or make it impossible for him to be 100% house trained in our home. I can completely understand the shepherds confusion and would not hold it against him if its just too much for a dog to overcome. I do not want to set him up for failure and make life in our home difficult.
If the accidents from the chihuahuas will cause accidents from the shepherd, it would be best to not get him.
But, if his intelligence is high enough to understand that even though the little ones may go in the home, its not okay for him, then there is hope.
It kills me to think that this issue could keep me from a beloved companion but it is significant and one that needs to be seriously considered before making such an important decision.
I would be grateful for any input and opinions.
Thank you all.
Sean
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-01-2011, 01:12 PM
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Chihuahuas can be difficult to house train as they are often given too much freedom.

In my opinion I would get the two little ones house trained before adding another. The easiest way to achieve that is to not allow free run of the house by limiting them to one room and go back to treating them like a puppy. Strict eating schedule, outside every hour, etc. Once they master that room, add another and so on.

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-01-2011, 01:28 PM
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Housetraining issues with small dogs are extremely common. However, it can be done. IMO if you have two unhousetrained dogs that you still want housetrained, it may not be the best time to get a third dog. No one can guarantee that the third dog won't feel it is ok to go in the house, since he can cleraly smell that dogs go in the house all the time. Dogs just don't have an ability to reason in the way you are hoping for. Many dogs, especially young dogs are prone to having housetraining lapses when they are in a new home. You can't expect that because he is housetrained at his current house that he will be housetrained in your house, especially with other dogs who regularly potty in the house. So you are definitely looking at the possibleity of having three unhousetrained dogs. I once talked to a woman who had 6 dogs, all unhousetrained that started in a similar situation. She had one unhousetrained dog, got a second dog and that one was also never fully housetrained. And neither were dog number 3, 4, 5 and 6.

That said, your Chi's can be housetrained but it will take strict training on your part and possibly accepting having an indoor potty area such as a litterbox, depending on how long they'd have to hold it. Your first step is crate training and never, ever allowing them out of your sight just like they were baby puppies. If you follow this guide, your dogs can be housetrained but it may not be quick since you have tolerated them going where ever they please for so long. Errorless Housetraining | Dog Star Daily

Another thing you need to keep in mind is that while plenty of people do it without a problem, there is a danger to your small dogs of having them live with a dog that is so much larger. No matter how good a dog is with small dogs, the size difference alone presents a great risk of accidental injury. I know of a sad situation where a couple Cresteds (weighing maybe 10lbs each) accidentally killed a chihuahua - they were jumping at the door and the Chi got caught up under them andtrampled to death. A wrong step on the part of a GSD could result in a Chi with serious injury or worse. Beyond that, there is always the risk of predatory drift (something you definitely should read up on before getting a much larger dog). You must never trust a dog not to act like a dog.

I'm not saying toy dogs and large dogs can't live together peacefully but precautions really should be taken to protect the small dogs. The dogs shouldn't be left out in the yard together, shouldn't be left unattended in the house together and play should be limited so that it doesn't ever get too rough. Plenty of people will say "my toy dogs and big dogs are together 24/7, unsupervised in the yard and while were at work, etc and we have never had a problem". Such owners have never had a problem yet. And owners who have experienced tragedy involving dogs of greatly different sizes often say "they had always been fine together". Just food for thought.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-01-2011, 01:31 PM Thread Starter
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I agree that we've probably given them too much freedom. They are crated during the day while we are at work, but allowed free roam all eveningwhen we get home. Even with frequent trips outside, we still find the ocassional accident inside.
We have also been allowing feeding at will, keeping their dog bowl full all day long. We were told that they could easily succomb to hypoglycemia if not allowed access to food and water at all times. Is this not so?
I'm sure if we could limit their feedings like other dogs, we could probably alleviate most of the accidents.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-01-2011, 01:37 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the indepth reply AgileGSD. As you stated, I was suspecting that the Chihuahua's accidents would make it very difficult for the GSD.
I have also researched the 'prey' issue but was assured by the breeder that this 9 month old has been well socialized with small children, and cohabitates well with two pomeranians and some cats, so I was not concerned in that regard. However, I see your point about 'accidental' injuries.
Well crud! It really is looking like it will be sometime before I can get the GSD of my dreams. These darn chihuahuas live up to 15 years!

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-01-2011, 01:57 PM
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I had 2 old Italian Greyhounds when I got my GSD puppies (who are currently 8 months and 12 months).

What works for us is to have the little dogs in an expen with a crate and peepads. They are safe from the big dogs, and there are no housebreaking "accidents".

When we want to have some small dog time, we crate the big dogs, and the little dogs can be with us in ONE room (so there is no sneaking off to pee somewhere).

Yeah, it's a pain sometimes, but it works.

~ Diane ~

CARLY ......... Ch. Lauremi's No Reservations (AKC GCh pointed, HIC)
SCARLET ..... Lauremi's Almost Wasn't (AKC pointed)
and absent friends... SAGE ~ Lauremi's Whim Z v Jakmar ~ AKC major ptd, HIC ~ 2010-2015
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-01-2011, 01:57 PM
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HAHA SeanCJ! Love the "well crud!......live up to 15 years!"

You will get there it will just take a little time. I have two Shepherds and a Samoyed who all live happily with my Chihuahua. He is the oldest and as I brought each additional dog in one of the first things they learn is how to interact with my little guy appropriately.
It's funny to see the bigger dogs "watch" where my Chi is. They tread very lightly around him and often times you will see him under one of the larger dogs as well

I wouldn't discount your dream dog just yet. Put a little time into house training the Chi's. Then move forward with your GSD. A well balanced dog is just that, one that can live harmoniously with a small dog. It just takes a little more work.

Here is my Chihuahua with my male White GSD at about 9 months old.....


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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-01-2011, 02:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeanCJ View Post
We have also been allowing feeding at will, keeping their dog bowl full all day long. We were told that they could easily succomb to hypoglycemia if not allowed access to food and water at all times. Is this not so?
I'm sure if we could limit their feedings like other dogs, we could probably alleviate most of the accidents.
I don't think it's necessary to free feed the little dogs. As long as they eat twice a day, you should be fine. I had a 3 lb yorkie for years that only ate once a day, and she never had a problem!

~ Diane ~

CARLY ......... Ch. Lauremi's No Reservations (AKC GCh pointed, HIC)
SCARLET ..... Lauremi's Almost Wasn't (AKC pointed)
and absent friends... SAGE ~ Lauremi's Whim Z v Jakmar ~ AKC major ptd, HIC ~ 2010-2015
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-01-2011, 02:08 PM
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I am a new owner of a GSD who is now five months old. Don't depend on this but its my experience. I have a doberman who is about 14 years old. Right now he is suffering senility episodes and sometimes poops in the house even though we are here almost all the time. This has not caused our GSD puppy to revert --she is still 100% reliable about going outside. So this is one case where accidents by another dog are not triggering a breakdown of potty habits by a GSD. I do agree with other posters, however, that with your dogs, you should try again to house break your current dogs. Hope things work out for you.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-01-2011, 02:10 PM
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While IGs are bigger than chihuahuas, they have spindly little legs that can snap like twigs. My big dogs are constantly supervised to make sure we don't have any accidents!

Here is Carly at about 8 months old with Niles...

~ Diane ~

CARLY ......... Ch. Lauremi's No Reservations (AKC GCh pointed, HIC)
SCARLET ..... Lauremi's Almost Wasn't (AKC pointed)
and absent friends... SAGE ~ Lauremi's Whim Z v Jakmar ~ AKC major ptd, HIC ~ 2010-2015
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