Puppy with the older dogs... - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 1 (permalink) Old 06-21-2010, 12:24 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Rochester, NY
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Puppy with the older dogs...

Ok, so my 13-week-old GSD mix Harley gets to socialize with two older dogs, depending on which house he is at (my house or my girlfriend's parent's house). Jackson, a 4.5-year-old male chocolate lab, is my roommate's dog. Mulligan, an 11-year-old male black lab, is my girlfriend's parent's dog. I will break this into two sections, one for each dog.

I'll talk about Jackson first. My roommate got him from a shelter when he was 3. At that time, he had no other dogs to socialize with. Then my roommate and the dog moved to his parent's house in KY for a summer, where he got to play with 2 other dogs. Then they moved back up to NY and into my house, my roommate and the dog both live on the couch. I was hoping this older dog would teach the puppy how to behave, however I'm not sure if they really get along or not. They don't really play, its more like the puppy will nip at Jackson and then Jackson will bark or growl and the puppy will run. Sometimes they tug on a rope together, but they never play for very long. Also, the puppy always takes the older dog's toys. Jackson will be chewing on a bone or a stuffed toy, and Harley will come up and sniff at it. Jackson will growl a little, and then Harley will just take it from between Jackson's paws and find a spot to chew on it. Then Jackson will look at us with sad eyes wondering what just happened. I don't want my dog to become a bully, but it seems to me he is the more dominant one, despite being 1/5 the size. Is there anything I should be doing to prevent Harley from taking the toys, or should I just let it go? Jackson tries to take Harley's toys, but Harley will just chase him and take them back.

Mulligan is an old, grumpy dog. He has pretty bad hip dysplasia, because he is very overweight, but still tries to run around with the puppy. Unfortunately, this doesn't last very long and he will just lay down. Then the puppy will come over and bite at his tail or paws. Since Mulligan has a hard time getting up, he just swivels on his ass and parks at the puppy. We try to separate as best as possible when this happens, since Mulligan can't defend himself very well. Also, Mulligan is very protective of the family. If anyone in the family is playing with the puppy and he starts biting, Mulligan will bark and bark until he sees that the person is ok. This gets the puppy even more excited and he will go after the older dog. However, Mulligan seems to be protective over the puppy as well. My girlfriend's uncle brought over his Labradoodle to play with Harley, and Mulligan would bark whenever the Labradoodle went after Harley (just playing though). So I'm not sure if he likes the puppy, or is just saying "I'm the only one who can go after him."

Since I am new at owning more than one dog at a time (even though I don't own the others), I'm always wondering if the dogs are playing or fighting. I have attached videos (taken from my cell phone, sorry for quality) of Harley playing with each dog. The first one is Harley and Mulligan, when Mulligan took Harley's tennis ball and just held it in his mouth in front of Harley. It seems like he gets angry at the end, but I'm not sure. The second video is Harley and Jackson in my back yard, and it looks like Jackson doesn't want anything to do with Harley. Are they playing, or is the puppy just annoying him?


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