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I have an 11 year old Lab (I think he has some GSD in him) and a 2 month old GSD. The puppy has been with us for two weeks. The Lab is a good dog, but he is dominant. The puppy, is, well, a puppy and the Lab has corrected him several times. The typical reasons are: puppy is getting to close, puppy is aggravating the Lab, puppy is getting between me and the Lab, etc, etc. For the most part, I try to let the two of them work it out. However, there have been two incidents where the Lab went Old Testament on the puppy - not drawing blood, but sending the puppy off crying a good bit.

I got angry at the Lab in both cases, but didn't punish him....I just let him know that I was not happy and he understood. I don't blame the Lab for getting mad at the puppy. The second incident was because the puppy was trying to eat his food and it's not the first time this has happened. I just worry that the puppy will get hurt. The first time it happened, the puppy had trouble climbing stairs. I assume he was just bruised.

Am I overreacting or under-reacting?
 

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i think you're under-reacting. keep the puppy safe. leash the pup.
don't let him eat the Lab's food, don't let him charge the Lab,
correct the Lab when he goes "Old Testament" (i don't remember
reading about Labs and GSD's in the Old Testament so i don't know
what that means), take them out for leashed walks, spend solo
time with the Lab and the pup. don't let them work things out.
manage how they work things out.


I have an 11 year old Lab (I think he has some GSD in him) and a 2 month old GSD. The puppy has been with us for two weeks. The Lab is a good dog, but he is dominant. The puppy, is, well, a puppy and the Lab has corrected him several times. The typical reasons are: puppy is getting to close, puppy is aggravating the Lab, puppy is getting between me and the Lab, etc, etc. For the most part, I try to let the two of them work it out. However, there have been two incidents where the Lab went Old Testament on the puppy - not drawing blood, but sending the puppy off crying a good bit.

I got angry at the Lab in both cases, but didn't punish him....I just let him know that I was not happy and he understood. I don't blame the Lab for getting mad at the puppy. The second incident was because the puppy was trying to eat his food and it's not the first time this has happened. I just worry that the puppy will get hurt. The first time it happened, the puppy had trouble climbing stairs. I assume he was just bruised.

>>>>> Am I overreacting or under-reacting?<<<<< [/QUOTE]
 

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It's your job to be the "referee." If the puppy is bugging the older dog then seperate them. Same if the older dog is being too rough or forceful, seperate them.

If the dogs know you'll step in and stop it, they know they don't have to escalate to fights. I personally don't believe in letting dogs fight it out, I'd rather step in before it gets to that point.
 

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You are under-reacting.

You need to keep the new puppy from pestering the lab. You can't get mad at him for having to set limits if you want. The puppy is a baby and needs to learn (from you) what is and isn't acceptable. Your senior lab deserves to have some respect and for his person of 11 years to help keep him safe. By letting them work it out and letting your lab go "old testament" on him, you are risking both the puppy and labs health and safety. Such harsh experiences at a young age could lead to the puppy having issues with other dogs when older.

Step in, BEFORE the lab needs to correct the puppy and help your puppy expend his energy away from the lab.
 
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