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Hey guys,

I own a German Shepherd puppy, who is around 9 months old now. After being unable to find another dog to play with him as a friend, I decided to rescue a dog.

The dog i've rescued ended up being a 6 year old shepherd cross. (I believe he may be crossed with a Collie, but no way to know for sure)

I've been trying to introduce them and get them to socialize, as its been a problem for my puppy.

Day 1 I took them to a park and introduced them, it didn't go so well, I wouldnt say they fought, but it was escalating and escalating as they were doing a lot of posturing. Eventually I seperated them and called it a day.

Day 2 I took them to the park again, my friend got the new dog and we "met" them on the way to the park, my pup showed excitement at seeing this dog again, we let them off the lead at the park and walked around and there was a little bit of posturing, but no escalation. We walked them back to my house, my dog went a bit crazy when he realized this newcomer was coming in the house, so I seperated them.

Day 3 - Same as Day 2, but this time they engaged in a quick game of chase, with the older dog chasing the pup.

Day 4 - Same as day 3, a bit of play at the park, then I bought them home to the house. Into the backyard, my pup seemed to accept his presence and they played quite a bit of chase around the yard.

I observed them play quite a bit, as they did it for about an 1 hour. Whats happening is my pup is approaching the older dog and doing a "chin-over" on his back, putting his paw up on the older dogs back, and they keep snapping near each others ears. The pup will sometimes run up and bump the older dog, then run and the older dog runs around the yard chasing him. The older dog appears to let my pup "get away" as he is often quite close to him.

Then the older dog found a bone in my yard, my pup went to sniff it and the older dog went a bit crazy on him, leaving the pup yelping and screaming after I got in and seperated them and retrieved the offending item.

Anyway,

My question is, is this style of play too much? What signs should I look out for that play is getting a bit "too much" and what strategies should I have in place to try and get these two to bond and become buddies?

I'm glad I was able to save the older dog from being put down (he was about 5 days away), but if i can't make it work i'll have to rehome him, but I would really love to be able to make these two friends.

Thanks for any advice in advance.
 

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Are they showing any "real" signs of agression like snarling? It's hard to say without seeing them. A lot of people recommend a 2 week shut down when you bring a rescue home. To be safe take it slow.
 

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How are the dogs doing now? I am now in a similar situation with an 8 month old GSD and a newly adopted 3 year old vizsla.
 

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I don't let them do the chin-over thing. Sometimes it's a friendly game starter, but more often than not it's going to start trouble. I don't think it's wrong to prevent these struggles myself, instead of letting them decide. Thank you for saving this older dog, and I hope you can get them to coexist peacefully :) I had to do alot of redirecting with my pup, so he wouldn't annoy our older dog. I agree, take it slow. Good luck!
 
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