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I currently have two small breed dogs and am due to bring home a gsd pup the end of June. I was at a dog event over the weekend and was admiring the gsd rescue group's dogs. In speaking with one of the group's volunteers, I was told that it would be a horrible idea to bring home a gsd, even an 8 week pup, since I have two small dogs. I do understand that there is care /training that needs to be taken when you have a large dog playing/ living with small dogs. Our plan was to join our local gsd club and do obedience training through them and my dogs would either be always supervised or crated when we were unable to do so. To make what could be an even longer story short, my husband is absolutely freaked and wants to pull our deposit. I've searched the threads about this topic and it seems even here opinions are split. If the pup we were to get is from two lower drive parents, would that lead to a possibly lower prey drive? Would an 8 week puppy that was taught to be gentle from the beginning be okay with our small breeds? I know there are families that have gsd's living with everything from small dogs and cats to birds and even pigs. I don't want to pull a deposit if this is something that could be effectively managed. Sorry if I rambled. Thank you for your input.
 

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I'm planning to bring home my GSD puppy at the end of next month if all goes well. I have a 13 year old shih tzu and a 2 year old persian at the house already. I don't foresee too many problems. I may have to leash the puppy for a whlie until it learns the other animals aren't there solely to be his entertainment, but I plan to make it work. If you have a breeder already, tell them what your concerns are and they can help you choose a puppy that might be a bit more mellow, with lower prey drive.
 

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I should also mention that our breeder knows we have small dogs. Part of the reason we have been waiting so long is to have a pup from a particular pairing, at the breeders recommendation.
 

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Prey drive doesn't really matter here. Most dogs don't see smaller dogs as prey, they do see them as play things...but not necessarily prey.

I think you should be fine. You just have to teach your dog not to mess with the other two. You'll have the common "new dog" problems, just that they're amplified because after a few months your other two won't be able to "correct" your puppy without risking their lives (so to speak). The biggest question is how the personalities will mix, and if at a certain point your older small dogs will accept that the GSD is probably going to be higher than them on the totem pole...what it takes to get there, might not be fun, but you can get through it.

If you get lucky, you'll get a more mellow, not as dominant GSD that will accept other dogs above it in the hierarchy...but you won't know that until the GSD is probably close to a year old or older. If you've owned dogs before, understand dog behavior and training, you shouldn't have a problem...I personally wouldn't leave them alone together until you 150% know that there will not be conflict. Any type of conflict can definitely cost a smaller dog their life.
 

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i have a almost 14 week old gsd pup. we have had him since he was 8 weeks. my chihuahua puts him in his place if he plays too hard. 99% of the time they play great together.
 

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I have a Chi/Pom (7lbs), a Pom (4 1/2 lbs), 3 cats (15-25lbs each), 2 Shepherds (3 years and 22months), a 10 year old 80 lb husky mix and a 100lb Leonberger.

My Shepherds are REALLY high prey drive, my Leonberger, maybe medium, Husky none. We have had guinea pigs, mice, hamsters and quail as well.

I have NEVER had a problem with my little dogs. They come for runs with the big dogs all the time, we train together, go camping. They have the same rules as the big dogs.

YOU train the puppy to respect the little dogs and you won't have a problem. If this is your first GSD, your plans to train with the local group are right on track.

Everyone has an opinion on dog training. Something I usually try to do is ask uncomfortable questions when they try to give me dumb advice. Like:

Person (P):"Oh you should not have GSD's around little dogs, that is so dangerous!"

Me (M): "Oh really, I had no idea. Are you a dog trainer? (If so, where did you learn? If its out of a book, or "ONLINE" just walk away while smiling... If not, continue to question them)

P: No, just an owner

M: Oh, do you own GSD's?

P: No, small dogs. But ONCE I saw something on the news/tv/internet, and so I know about these things

M: Oh, thats nice. Thank you. Now proceed to walk away smiling and maybe even give a chuckle....LOL
 

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Delgado is a medium-high drive 15 month WL, he lives with my 12 lb poodle and my sister's 4 lb yorkie without problems. He's been taught that they are not playmates, and to be gentle with them with sniffing and running around

It can be done, supervision and training is the key. It's not really any different then training them to be around cats (of which I have two). Jazzy is big enough she can stand up for herself, they do play a little bit together but Jazzy has no real interest in playing with larger dogs. Nemo is 12, tiny, and blind so Delgado knows to respect Nemo's boundaries and not step on him while he's walking around.

Don't allow the puppy to bulldoze the little dogs, and don't allow the little dogs to bully the puppy. Leashes and command "leave it" are the two main tools I use at first, then just "leave it" when needed which now is very rare.

All dogs regardless of size are equal in rank and in manners, Nemo gets a pass as he's old and has medical issues but Jazzy doesn't. She has the same boundaries as Delgado does and the same rules
 

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Nah, with training & boundries being established you should be fine.

Now if you were saying all are females, that could be a problem. That's with any pack.

I think people tend to focus on the new larger dog entering the picture, in this case it's a GSD which does need to be trained. But alot of times I think people forget about the exsisting dogs needing to be trained and corrected for unwanted behaviour, regardless of their size, they can behave badly as well.

What breed of dogs are the two smaller dogs out of curiosity?
 

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I am no expert, but... I got my first GSD, Samson, this past August. Holly, my 24 lb cocker spaniel, was 12 at the time. Samson was 3 months old when I got him, so he was already bigger than Holly. Holly is a dominant personality. Luckily, Samson is not. Holly definitely rules the roost. She is more patient with Samson than I expected. Sometimes I wish she would get after him a little more. When she does want to get her point across, she pinches his lip. It works! Holly doesn't play rough with Samson. She chases him sometimes, and they trade bones back and forth.

The cats are an issue with Samson. I thought my very agressive Tom cat would put the puppy in his place, but he didn't. Samson is absolutely fascinated by the cats. He doesn't seem to want to hurt them, but he will corner them and paw at them or shove his nose into them roughly. I worry about him hurting the cats. I put a baby gate up in the bedroom doorway so the cats have a safe room. I've also trained Samson that he can't go charging into the house after walks until I say "ok." That way I can give the cats a chance to find a safe place and can supervise any interactions. (And get to the litter box before Samson).
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thank you all for your feedback. N. Smith, I wish I had thought of those response in Saturday.
-Courtney, I have a 12 lb chihuahua and a 9lb Bichon mix. The chi is male and the mix is female. We ideally want a female gsd. My current female is apt to ignore other dogs (she is very people focused) but the chi loves other dogs.
 

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I think if the breeder is OK with it, then you have nothing to worry about.

She knows her dogs.

The rescue people don't.
 

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I don't think you will have a problem at all. Right now were living with 2 shih tzu's, I have Dixie leave the older one alone, but she play's with the younger one. She's very gentle, and when she plays with the shih tzu she try's to come down to her level. It's kinda funny to watch. But yes, it can totally be done! :)
 

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We just brought home a puppy Pom, female. There's a video in the picture section of her playing with Finn, my 80+ lb High Drive GSD. He is extremely gentle with her and they get along great...but they are not allowed to be together if a human isn't in the room with them, but we haven't had an issue so far.

You should be just fine.
 

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I have an altered Mini Dachshund (8lbs) and an Intact Male GSD (92lbs). When he was a puppy he wanted to play with my Doxie. I had to watch as he was much bigger than her. But there was no / nor has there been any aggression.

The biggest problem I had with him as a growing puppy is he thought if she could fit into / under anything, so could he. He flipped my coffee table more than once.

The worst thing he does now is put his front leg over her as she tries to clean the back of this teeth. Ewwww....
 

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What a weird rescue for saying something quite ignorant. Maybe that person was new to dogs. Dogs with high prey drive don't normally have a problem with small dogs, especially if they've been raised around them. My german shepherd has a medium-high prey drive and he's perfectly fine with all small breed dogs. He even met an 8 week old chihuahua puppy at the dog park and he was very well behaved despite the dog being the size of and resembling a hamster.
 

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I havent read any of the replies, but heres my two cents -


Berlin is my 9 month old GSD, he's 70 pounds. He frequently romps around with little dogs, with zero problems. I don't have any little dogs, but those seem to be his favorite play buddies when out and about. He is gentle with them, and I have noticed, the LITTLE dogs are more rough with him! He always rolls over on his belly when saying hello, seems like he's saying "hey! I'm not a threat", and always gets his butt kicked by his little shiba inu girlfriend. ;)

I think as long as they are ALWAYS supervised when out, things should be fine. I would have them all crated when not home (or at least the GSD) to prevent accidents.

Even people with two large dogs sometimes need to crate when not home, because two large dogs can hurt each other.

EDIT: My GSD doesnt get along with my cats. He is crated when I am not home, and the cats and him are separated. Everything works out just fine. Even though, thats slightly different and more extreme of a case. :)
 

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My sister has two papillons, weighing around 12lbs maybe? The first one was an adult when I got masi. Even tho I don't live with her, we hike/hang out alot, and masi has never once hurt either of them,,those little devils actually beat the crud out of her (in play),,she'll charge them, put the brakes on and the race is on..

She's very good with both of them, and I think because of them, she really prefers small dogs :))

You'll be fine, sounds like you have a plan, and I say go for it:)
 

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Nah, with training & boundries being established you should be fine.

Now if you were saying all are females, that could be a problem. That's with any pack.

I think people tend to focus on the new larger dog entering the picture, in this case it's a GSD which does need to be trained. But alot of times I think people forget about the exsisting dogs needing to be trained and corrected for unwanted behaviour, regardless of their size, they can behave badly as well.

What breed of dogs are the two smaller dogs out of curiosity?
This is what I was thinking as well. All dogs in the home should be trained to mind.
 
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