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Discussion Starter #1
Hello! I'd like to thank in advance to everyone who responds!

We're a two-dog household. It feels like we always have been one, and currently, our puppies are a 4yr old Akita and a 10 month old German Shepherd mix. Before we had the german shepherd puppy, we had a wonderful chocolate lab who passed away a year ago.

We were a bit worried about how the Akita would take to the puppy. She's a very friendly dog who was never aggressive with the people -- and we worked a lot to get her socialized with other puppies as well, but she still needs to be watched. However, she accepted the puppy after just a day, and they're the best of friends now.

Here's the situation: We're having problems with the puppy!

About a week ago, the two dogs were in the back yard. I heard them barking very loudly, and I come out to see this little black lab puppy along the road. The puppy seems healthy but is very skinny -- literally skin and bones. He had no tag on and isn't neutered. My brother came out and took the puppy into our garage. We gave it food and water, and we've been trying to find the owner. My mom was home, and she instantly fell in love with the puppy. He reminds her of our chocolate lab -- mom had him since puppyhood and was in love with him.

My mom and my brother both immediately wanted to keep the puppy if nobody claimed him. We have a pretty big back yard and walk our dogs three times a day -- and someone is always home, so taking care of the puppy isn't a problem. He's a very sweet puppy, extremely friendly, and once he had food and water, very playful.

Our two dogs live in our house, and go out to the back yard as needed. We didn't get them together the first day. We thought we'd have trouble with the Akita -- but she was very calm. The new puppy was pretty afraid of her. We'd take them out to the back yard -- in separate corners -- and slowly let them get closer. After a few days they sniff each other and the puppy no longer growls at her.

I know that the sticky says that we should've introduced the more submissive dog first, but our problem was that from day one our german shepherd mix puppy will not come close. The moment he sees the lab, he starts barking. He uses what my sister calls his 'manly' voice, also -- full out barks, not little yips like he does if he's unhappy with us. He also walks backward, and pulls on his leash to get away. Now, if he sees the puppy, he starts barking and will not go out. This usually upsets the Akita, also. (We separate them beforehand. We didn't want the new puppy to be faced with two strange dogs going at him.)

Any suggestions? We're pretty surprised -- the puppy's never been aggressive to other dogs. In dog park, at the vet's office, and even outside walking, he's fine with other dogs. With this puppy, he starts going into fullblown meltdown at the sight of him. Today he started backing up, and when I shut the door, he turned to me and started barking at me.
 

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Welcome to the forum and your dogs sound cute! The only thing I can think of is that your pup is territorial/dominant and wants your attention instead of on the lab's. Maybe he's stressed with the two extra dogs and he was supposed to be all yours and then a new puppy comes into play. Not your fault (good for you all for taking that poor pup in), but maybe your other dog is thinking "this is my territory, get out".

But then why would he back up? That wouldn't be the stance a dominant dog would take. Perhaps he's acting like he's big, but is really afraid. Maybe he senses something about the other dog and wants no part of him. That's the only thing I can think of; I hope others can help you. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you for the response!

Yeah, we were figuring that it might be territorial. We've never had any other dogs inside our home or yard -- just the Akita(Crna) and the new puppy, Hajduk. Maybe he's fine with other dogs outside the house, but inside the house, nooo.

He just seems terrified of it! My brother concluded that our big brave german shepherd is secretly a coward. XD

they are adorable, all three of them. XD
 

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They sound adorable. Lol about the coward part. Luke will do this big bark and stance and then sometimes back up. So he's acting brave, but is slightly afraid? Not sure, but most people look at him and look at me like, "Really?" Yeah.

How do you pronounce your dog's names? Do you have a name for the black pup yet?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Not yet. My mom names all of our dogs. Crna means black. It sounds a bit like Sur-nah. Hajduk (It's like 'Hi, Duke' means outlaw. My mom named him after his first night with us -- after the house got quiet and I dozed off on the couch, he went exploring. In the morning we found that he dragged to his bed my dad's slippers, my sister's socks, and two of my brother's t-shirts that he'd found under my brother's bed. He also had a habit for a few months where if we gave him and our Akita a treat, he'd go and hide his, and then try to steal the Akita's.
 

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well, we tried again today! didn't have any better luck.

We took the Akita and the new puppy out into the yard, first. She was pretty calm. He clung to my brother and wouldn't approach her, but we didn't rush the situation. We took her inside and took out our german shepherd puppy, Hajduk.

The moment he saw the lab, Hajduk started barking. He pulled back, to get into the house, and then lunged forward, as if to attack the puppy. Then he kind of spun around, wagging his tail and barking directly at me. We didn't dare let them get closer together -- so Hajduk went back into the living room, and the lab back into the garage at the end of it.

Really not sure what to do with these two! ._.;
 

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New at this whole dog thing but how about some positive reinforcement for being calm or ignoring the new dog. Liek you have them both out there and someone holding each of them and you put a treat under you old pup's nose. As soon as he's quiet and you have his attention you say good dog and give the treat. Do this a few times--wait for the quiet and treat. Then bring them closer and repeat. Just hold him until he relaxes or put the treat under his nose until he stops barking THEN give the treat. Don't pet while barking to try to calm him. Just hold him still, then once he's quiet you pet and treat. Repeat for like ten minutes at a time every few hours or twice a day. Eventually you should have them both eating out of your hand--literally.
 

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I'd suggest taking them for a walk together. Each dog handled by separate people and start out with a decent distance between all dogs. As long as they are walking calmly you can gradually get closer and closer. Walking dogs together helps them bond. Don't force it though, if they are reacting negatively with each other move farther apart again until they are calm. Take it slowly.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
thanks for the responses! i'll try both of these. I was trying to pet and calm Hajduk down while he was freaking out, but maybe that was a major mistake o.o;

Walkies sound like a great idea, too. We've been taking them out separately, to avoid a stand-off in the driveway XD
 

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If you are worried about that just take them all out separately and meet up about a block from your house. This is part of why it's always recommended to have dogs meet on neutral ground and not just bring a new dog into the house/yard. A dog they would have greeted happily in a neutral area can be greeted hostilely in their home. Not always the case but something to keep in mind for any possible future new dogs.
 

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I'd suggest taking them for a walk together. Each dog handled by separate people and start out with a decent distance between all dogs. As long as they are walking calmly you can gradually get closer and closer. Walking dogs together helps them bond. Don't force it though, if they are reacting negatively with each other move farther apart again until they are calm. Take it slowly.
I do something similar. Walk your two dogs briskly for about 45 min. Then walk the new puppy for about 20. You just want to take the edge off them, energy wise. Then go back, get the others, and walk the 2 older ones on your left, and the new one on the right, briskly, not letting them stop and sniff anything...not each other, not the ground. Just keep moving forward. Go for at least a half an hr. When you get back, go into the back yard, and let the older one off her leash, and walk the other two briskly around the yard, then drop the leash of the 10 mo old, and keep walking the puppy, even if the other comes up behind to sniff. If all is going well, drop the puppy's leash. For some reason, dogs seem to bond on walks and think of themselves as part of the "pack/family". Moving forward is important, as it keeps them engaged and not able to turn and confront the other one.

Make sure toys/food are picked up before letting them off leash, so you don't have issues with guarding. Don't give one attention in front of the other where they might have a reason to get jealous/resource guard (you).
 

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thanks all!

I have good news! This afternoon went fairly well, all things considered!

The whole process took a little over two hours. I think all of them are exhausted. We started by walking them separately -- I took Hajduk and my brother took the puppy. The first thing Hajduk did was go into nuclear meltdown mode the moment he was in sight of the new puppy. So, we didn't pet him or give him attention, we just stood there while he did his barkiest to get us to leave. My brother was walking the puppy up and down our yard.

After about ten minutes, Hajduk settled down and lied down. When he got up again he took a cautious step forward. More barking ensued, and then he settled again. Slowly -- ever so slowly -- the two of them got closer. Hajduk walked up -- we didn't let him yank on his leash or jump. The new puppy was very friendly, wagging his tail and not making direct eye contact. Then, the magical sniff happened! They sniffed noses -- and finally butts.

Then we started walking together. Hajduk was incessantly sniffing the new puppy, but they walked all around our yard for a few circles without any barking or snapping at each other. The other puppy was busy peeing on every square foot of our yard. We didn't let them off their leash, but they spent a long time walking along and sniffing each other.

They did try to jump each other, and we didn't let them just go at each other. The puppies seemed to really just want to play together.

Then we brought out the Akita. She was still very suspicious. She'd get agitated if the lab tried to jump Hajduk, and she was growling and snapping at the new puppy at first. The puppy lied down on the grass and she seemed a bit better with it. Then, we walked together. We walked for a good 30-40 minutes, all 3 of us -- my dad had the Akita, since she trusts him the most -- and I have to say that it was a rousing success. I wouldn't leave them alone in a room together, but I'm looking forward to another long walk tomorrow. I think that they can become friends ^_^

now we just need mum to come up with a name!
 

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Congrats! Sounds like you're on the right path. GSDs can be skittish about new things, especially in their territory. So, it looks like you simply waited him out. I strongly encourage you to let them play in the backyard, under supervision, but away from the Akita. Other interactions are fine. In a few weeks, you might re-introduce the Akita to them playing and let her get used to it. Some dogs don't like it when other dogs fight, and they even discourage rough play. ... But, who knows, the Akita may learn to play with the Lab?

One thing to watch about energy levels - A Lab loves to play and has lots of energy, especially in cold weather. On the other hand, a GSD may get tired of playing long before the Lab has had enough. The GSD may snap at the Lab (saying "go away.") and if that is enough and everything stops, then all is OK. However, Labs can be hard-headed, and if the Lab keeps pestering the GSD (or even the Akita ... doubtful :- ) ), then, you want to consider pulling the Lab away to give the GSD some space.

Also, it is very good for them to play, but if you see the GSD get too excited, you might want to give them a 30 second timeout, to let them cool off momentarily.
 

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We took them out this morning, and our GSD puppy even offered him a branch to play with! The lab has a ton of energy. I think he could play fetch all day long. Now that starting to no longer resemble a doggy skeleton, he wants to play all the time. Hajduk, on the other hand, wants to play tug-of-war. He has a couple of those braided rope thingies, but since we were outside, he found a fallen branch and brought it to the lab to play tug of war with. I think it's a great sign! Our Akita watched from inside the house, but she no longer tried to go through the back porch door at the puppy. They had an hour's playtime in the morning, and we're taking them out again after lunch.

I'm just glad that we no longer have a meltdown-puppy every time he sees the new one. Who knows, maybe Hajduk will finally master the intricacies of fetch himself (He follows the ball just fine, but he's got some trouble giving it up afterwards. Bribing with treats works, but sometimes he just wants to play keep-away )

Thanks everyone for your responses! I'm just happy that it looks like we'll have a happy doggy household. The first few days were just so rough with the doggies, I was a bit afraid. It made me really happy to see them walk and play -- we only had to grab 'em apart once, because we really don't want them play-fighting yet.

The lab doesn't even try to get close to the Akita xD. She must look very intimidating to him.
 
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