Because big dogs can be intimidating, some small dogs might be a little fearful of your big guy. Big dogs also don't always know their size. Big dogs will try to fit into small spaces thinking that is their size, and big dogs will try to play the same way small dogs play, not truly understanding the size difference between the two. This could also mean your big dog plays a little rougher and your little guy could become injured or even stepped on.
Training your big dog to get along with a small dog is imperative, especially if you have big and small dogs in your household. They should be able to get along. They should be friends. And hopefully, if you play your cards right, they should play together too.
Training your big dog to get along with your small dog will also include training your small dog to get along with your big dog. Some small dogs are definitely bigger than their bite and can stand on their own, but others are timid, shy, and fearful. This demeanor may encourage your big dog even more. Put these two dogs on the same level when you are training them both and work with them at the same time. Be sure to offer both a treat at the same time if possible. If you give one dog a treat, be sure to give the other dog a treat. This will teach the two dogs that they are both equal in the household.
You will need lots of tasty treats to train your dogs to play together and be nice to one another. You will also need patience and training time with a big dog and a small dog. If you don't own both big dogs and small dogs, but you still want them to get along, try to find a small dog that you can introduce your big guy to, so he knows that there are dogs of all sizes out in his world and he needs to know how to interact with them. You can do this by organizing play dates through your groomer or veterinarian, or you can take your dog to a dog park and see if anyone is interested in introducing their little guy to your big guy. Be sure to have treats for both dogs at all times.
We own two smaller dogs and we recently adopted Buff, who is much bigger. We want him to realize how big he is and cant play so ruff with our smaller dogs. Also we still does the puppy biting and we want to train him not to jump.
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We recently just adopted a German Shepard, Pyrenees male 3 year old and we are struggling with our Papillon mix mounting him and then him turning around and attacking/hurting the smaller one. Any tips or tricks in how to prevent the smaller dog from asserting dominance and the larger one retaliating?
Hello Natasha, First, crate train both dogs using the crate manners and Surprise methods from the article and video linked below. Feed both dogs in separate locked crates at meal times. Crate manners: https://thegooddog.net/training-videos/free-how-to-training-videos/learn-to-train-the-good-dog-way-the-crate/ Surprise method: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Second, teach both dogs the Out command (which means leave the area) and make whoever is causing issues leave the area as needed - use this command when the Papillon approaches the older dog dominantly - hopefully before pup even attempts a mount. Out command: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Decide what your house rules are for both dogs and you be the one to enforce the rules instead of the dogs. No aggression, no pushiness, no stealing toys, no stealing food, no being possessive of people or things, or any other unwanted behavior - if one dog is causing a problem you be the one to enforce the rules so that the dogs are NOT working it out themselves. For example, if pup comes over to your other dog acting pushy or rude, tell pup Out. If he obeys, praise and reward him. If he disobeys, stand in front of your other dog, blocking the pup from getting to him, and walk toward pup calmly but firmly until pup leaves the area and stops trying to go back to your other dog. Do this before pup has mounted your other dog, and not in the middle of a fight! Always be aware that a dog can redirect their aggression toward whoever is closest - leading to you being bitten. If there seems to be risk of that, have both dogs get used to wearing basket muzzles and practice the training with pup's wearing basket muzzles whenever in the same room. You can introduce the muzzles ahead of time using treat rewards with each dog separately so that the muzzles are not a source of stress for either dog. Be vigilant and take the pressure off of your dogs - you want them to learn to look to you when there is a problem, and for them to learn respect for each other because you have taught it to them and not because they have used aggression. Reach out to a professional trainer who specializes in aggression and comes well recommended by their previous clients who had similar needs, if things are not improving, getting worse, or you feel unsafe, ill equipped to train this on your own or overwhelmed at any point. Teach both dogs the Place command and work up to having them both stay on their separate Place beds calmly for 1-2 hours. This is a great calming, self-control building, and tolerance exercise. It also helps get them both in a working, more respectful mindset while in the same room as each other. Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omg5DVPWIWo Finally, work on manners and building respect and trust for you with both dogs, especially the papillon. Thresholds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-w28C2g68M Heel article - The turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Working method and Consistency method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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Okay, so I had the two small dogs (Westy and Spitz,both females) for a few years now, and they have a sister bond. They squabble from time to time but whenever it escalates, they deescalate it on their own, so we really don't have to break them off ever. Yesterday we found an abandoned Belgian Malinois on a mountain (female, same age as these two) so we decided to adopt her. She is very obedient towards us and humans in general, but she has an issue with these two. Initally she was very friendly, but the Spitz was a bit scared and cautious, while the Westy was a bit neurotic and excited. At first it all seemed okay but as time goes by we noticed that the Malinois doesn't like the caution and fear. She doesn't even like the Westy violating her personal space with simple sniffs. I triex walking them together on a leash and holding them close to eachother but without any big changes. Keep in mind that the Westy is our family dog since she was a baby, while the Spitz and Malinois are rescued. The Spitz had a rough past with bigger dogs so the fear is understandable. The two smaller ones are very protective of eachother so every squabble is 1v1 is like a 1v2. How can I make this household work?
Hello Aras, It sounds like there may be some doggie-rude behavior going on, some possessiveness, and of course the fear. I would add a lot more structure and boundaries in the household for all the dogs to set the expectation for how they should interact, help increase calmness, and give your fearful dog a bit more confidence due to predictability and you managing their interactions. I would also calmly reward the fearful dog for acting calm around the Malinios when they are in the same room/general area when you catch that - but without the other's dogs seeing you do so, since you don't want them rushing over for a treat too and starting a food fight. First, crate train the dogs using the crate manners and Surprise methods from the article and video linked below. Feed the dogs in separate locked crates at meal times, or at least in different spaces. The crates give the dogs somewhere calm to be when you are away or unable to supervise them together - they shouldn't be left unsupervised yet. Crate manners: https://thegooddog.net/training-videos/free-how-to-training-videos/learn-to-train-the-good-dog-way-the-crate/ Surprise method: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Second, teach all the dogs the Out command (which means leave the area) and make whoever is causing issues leave the area as needed - including if pup guarding another dog. Out command: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Decide what your house rules are for the dogs and you be the one to enforce the rules instead of the dogs. No aggression, no pushiness, no stealing toys, no stealing food, no being possessive of people or things, or any other unwanted behavior - if one dog is causing a problem you be the one to enforce the rules so that the dogs are NOT working it out themselves. For example, if pup comes over to your other dog when she is trying to sleep, tell pup Out. If she obeys, praise and reward her. If she disobeys, stand in front of your resting dog, blocking the pup from getting to her, and walk toward pup calmly but firmly until pup leaves the area and stops trying to go back to your other dog. If your dog growls at pup, make the one who growled leave the room while also disciplining pup if pup antagonized. Be vigilant and take the pressure off of your dogs - you want them to learn to look to you when there is a problem, and for them to learn respect for each other because you have taught it to them and not because they have used aggression or had to hide all the time. Teach the dogs the Place command and work up to having them each stay on their separate Place beds calmly for 1 hour at a time. This is a great calming, self-control building, and tolerance exercise. It also helps pups get used to each other calmly. Eventually you can give each dog a dog food stuffed chew toy to entertain themselves on Place, but you will have to enforce Place really well or back tie each pup while they are on Place - to avoid another dog leaving their place to try to sleep someone's toy - and causing a food fight. Each should stay firmly on their own Place until given permission to get up. Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omg5DVPWIWo Finally, work on manners and building respect and trust for you with the dogs. This can help overall listening and having a peaceful household. It also stimulates the dogs mentally - taking the edge off of extra energy, over-excitement, and nervousness. Thresholds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-w28C2g68M Heel article - The turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Working method and Consistency method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
A few days have passed and some changes have been noticed, some for the better some for the worst. The Westy got used to her, is a bit more relaxed but still violates her personal space sometimes. The Spitz is still kind of afraid of the Malinois and the Malinois growls at her whenever she gets closer than 2-3 meters. We've noticed that the Malinois is very possesive of me and the humans in the house in general, but mostly me. So on that note, whenever I walk the other dogs she goes crazy jumping around (on the leash). She has a very hostile look towards the Spitz whenever she passes by and it kind of scares me cause I can never assume when she will go crazy. She eyeballs her and we have to warn her, clap our fingers or something for her to drop focus. I mostly order the little dogs to stay away from her whenever she is alone cause it annoys her having them around. I still don't know what to do with them, I have done most of the things you have said to me over the course of these days, some things I knew and implemented beforehand, but I don't see any big and positive changes going on.
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My dog is good with other dogs but when it comes to food he has became aggressive because he has usually only been the only dog and grew up on a reservation but recently me and my girlfriend have purchased two puppies brother and sister and we just want our bigger dog Charlie to be good with them but we are still worried what could happen between them
Hello, do not feed the puppies and Charlie in the same room. Let Charlie eat on his own somewhere else. This is very important. Don't leave the puppies alone with Charlie at any time. Take the three of them on walks together so they can become more tolerant of each other on neutral ground as opposed to in the house. A few walks a day, over a period of a few weeks will help. As well, read this guide: https://wagwalking.com/training/accept-a-new-dog. Charlie will need even more attention than normal so that he knows he is still top dog. Don't let the puppies bother him, and make sure that Charlie has a place to go to get away from the puppies if he needs peace and quiet. As soon as the puppies have their vaccines up to date, begin their obedience classes. And if Charlie needs a refresher course, that will help to bring harmony to the home as well. If there is continued aggression, you will need to call in a trainer to the home to ensure the safety of all of the dogs. Good luck!
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I have two little dogs a male and a female the male (Osito) is a Pomeranian and the female (Gigi) is a Toy Poodle. Gigi is the leader of the pack and Osito just followes her lead. I recently got a male Pit Bull (Nico) and while trying to introduce the three it got a little crazy Nico jumped and barked and just tried to play and it scared my two little ones and they both snarled and ran away. Ever since ive been looking at ways to introduce them in a better manner but i just cant seem to find anything that will work. Im very scared that Nico will end up hurting my small dogs and i just dont want to have to take him back to the shelter.
Hello! It is a good idea to take them all on a long walk together. That tends to be the first step in bonding. Many dog foster parents, or trainers at behavior rehabilitation swear by doing this. Do this for a few days in a row, and let them come around on their own.
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