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Old 06-26-2012, 10:09 PM
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Default Dealing with Simi and Pip

Okay, so Mom is pretty decided in that she wants to keep Pip (who is a Mini Aussie, currently 3 months and around 9-10 inches tall). The issue we're running into is how we're going to ever be able to live in a situation where it's not crate and rotate with Simi and Pip. Simi is a working bred GSD, very high prey drive, and at this point in her life (9 months old) has practically no impulse control.

They've met several times through Simi's crate and Simi is calm and okay with Pip play bowing in front of her crate and all (as long as Simi doesn't have a chew or anything -- but that's another story) and they've been out and about, only the two of them, together before. In that case, Pip will lay down at Simi's feet and try to engage in play, and Simi will respond okay. Usually a lot of nudging her around with a closed mouth, a little play with her paws, but sometimes she'll open her mouth and mouth on the pup a little bit. Not biting, but with an open mouth nonetheless. If anyone holds Pip, Simi is instantly more interested in a trying to grab her kind of way, and if anyone pulls Simi back by her collar (or Pip gets loose when Simi is and you grab Simi) Simi is way more "let me at her, let me at her" but that makes sense.

We're just wondering now what we should do to try and make it so they can at least be supervised together. We don't know if it's a case of just waiting for Pip to grow and Simi to mature, or if it's a case of them never being able to be together. Simi is a VERY high energy dog, of course, and so is Pip. If it weren't for their size difference they'd probably really like each other, cause they'd be able to play. But the size difference is the big issue now.

We realize that Simi and Pip may never be able to be trusted like we trust our other dogs (throw the dogs outside, go cook a meal, etc., and leave them out) but it'd be nice for them to be able to at least meet each other in passing or be out in the house together, where we can see them.

I'm thinking maybe a muzzle at first? But at the same time, Simi could easily do damage with her paws.

Thoughts? Or is this a hopeless cause and I should just admit defeat?
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Old 06-26-2012, 10:27 PM
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Not until he's bigger, IMO.

If she can crush him with her paws, I'd say keep them separated until he can stand up to her body slams and foot punching. Also do on-lead impulse control exercises with Simi with Pip around.
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Old 06-26-2012, 10:34 PM
JessLough JessLough is offline
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Well... you have other mini aussies, and Simi is out fine with them, right? I think it'll just be a waiting til Pip is older thing
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Old 06-26-2012, 10:43 PM
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Is Simi DR or DA at all?

Barring deliberate aggression by Simi, I don't know that I would be worried about her killing Pip outright, although to be fair I'm not completely sure how big the size difference is. I think there's nothing wrong with a muzzle if you are worried about it, but that could also serve to make Simi more defensive or Pip bolder than he (she?) would typically be.

I would be tempted to do some parallel walking, gated introductions, and supervised play in graduated intervals until you're comfortable having them both off leash in the same area.
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Old 06-26-2012, 10:52 PM
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I agree with waiting until she is bigger.
When Charlie was a wee thing she was easily twice the size of Tsuki (she's now almost 4x bigger), Charlie was only allowed on-leash around Tsuki. She still sometimes nudges or paws at her, in play/annoyance, but she knows she needs to be easy with her.
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Old 06-26-2012, 11:17 PM
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Yes...walking with two handlers is very very good for introducing dogs slowly. No pressuring them, just go for a few strolls and see how the interaction is.
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Old 06-27-2012, 05:54 AM
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The problem we're thinking we'll have is that Pip is REALLY small. She (yes, she's a girl!) is a tiny little thing. And as far as I can remember, Zoey and Tinky weren't that small at her age, so we're not expecting her to mature more than 11-12 inches, but maybe she'll get bigger.

Simi has shown no dog aggression or reactivity, that I'd consider. And I dealt with all of that in Bella. Simi will bark at a dog if she thinks they're being rude (and I agree most of the time with her that they ARE being rude) but besides that she's just a lot of bark and chase. She will bark at smaller dogs in general until she meets them, and then she's fine. She is a little too forward with Cats and obsesses over them and I think that's where I think the issue would come from. At first she was fine with cats but interested, and she was friendly with them, then one ran from her, and when that one ran she learned they're more fun, so she'll give an open mouth nudge to get them to run now.

I am thinking we'll do controlled sessions out in the house maybe, but not do anything really serious until Pip is bigger.

Crating and rotating sucks so bad. But if we have to, we'll do it. That said, mom did come to me yesterday and say maybe we should try and find her a different place.
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Old 06-27-2012, 07:04 AM
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I would allow closely supervised play. Riley was just over a year when we got Aura and he is extremely prey driven for small animals yet he never hurt her. There were a few times in the beginning where he would get this crazy look in his eyes and I was worried but he was always super gentle due to her size. He seemed to know. And he does play very rough too! He only hurt her by accidentally stepping on her paws a few times and that was it.
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Old 06-27-2012, 07:31 AM
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When I have very small puppies, I only let them interact with the more gentle dogs and only supervised. I would let them get used to each other through crates, xpens, gates, etc. That allows them to interact some (like sniffing through a gate) but safely. I'd probably not allow them to have direct contact until Pip is bigger and no outdoor running together until she's even bigger. I would not go through muzzling and all of that, just let them gradually get used to each other. IMO it is not really appropriate to allow puppies with such a big size and age difference play together anyway.
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Old 06-27-2012, 09:05 AM
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I'd just supervise. From now on. If one day, when they are both older, everything is hunky dory and you trust both dogs, make your decision then. But for now, just have someone there to watch them.

With Chloe and Violet, if they're inside, I can trust them "alone" (running upstairs for something and coming right back down) for a few minutes, but would never truly leave them alone together. However, OUTSIDE is a complete other story. I don't even like to have them outside together even supervised. Violet likes to run (FAST) straight for Chloe, and smack into her. With Chloe being so small, it's just not a risk I want to take, with her possibly getting hurt. The only time I really let them out together is if we're on the patio (Violet only does that if Chloe's out in the open).
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