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How to Train a Large Sized and a Small Sized Dog to Co-Exist?

Big dogs can be intimidating, so you need to think twice before adding a small dog to the mix. Big dogs do not realize their size and play with small dogs the same way they play with big ones. They may not intentionally want to hurt the smaller dog, but it just accidentally happens. This is why training your big dog to get along with the small dog and behave in a certain way around it is imperative. Especially if you have plans to get a smaller dog into your home just like me.

I have a full-sized labrador at home and wish to keep another dog. But as I live in an apartment, having two large-sized dogs is not an option. That is why I thought of getting a smaller-sized dog instead. Recently I have come across aussiedoodle puppies for sale and am ready to adopt one. This is why I had to do a lot of research to understand the dynamic of adding a smaller dog when I already have a large dog. Hence, I am sharing the knowledge I have acquired on this subject.

1. Let’s Understand the Tasks in Hand:

When there are two dogs at home, you have to teach your existing large breed dog to get along with the smaller dog. But the training part should also include training your small dog to get along with the big dog. Breeds like Chihuahua are tiny in size, but they ensure they are noticed with their big personality. But not all small dogs are the same. If the small dog is fearful and your large dog is intimidating it with its size, place the smaller dog on a higher platform to bring both the dogs to the same level. Work on both the dogs simultaneously and offer both of them treats for good behavior at the same time. This will teach them they are equals in the house.

2. Introduce the Dogs Carefully:

When you introduce both dogs, it should be for a concise duration. Leash both the dogs as their behavior may be unpredictable. First, touch one dog and let the other dog smell your hand and vice versa. This way, they will be familiar with each other’s scent and may want to greet each other. Notice how they behave initially. Are they interested or aggressively barking. If they are growling, then distract them with a treat. Let them focus on eating the treats first and then focus on each other. This may change how they respond. If it does not, then repeat the process.

Keep both the dogs in a separate area of the house till they get absolutely comfortable around each other. Let that happen for a short duration and then separate them for the day. Do the same every day and slowly increase the time duration. Try the next day again, and as long as they try to get along, keep rewarding their behavior, encouraging them to be friendly with each other.

3. Do Not Go by Their Sizes:

The small dog can intimidate the large dog instead. As the large dog gets scared, it may feel nervous and jump around in the area, accidentally injuring the small dog. If the small dog is the issue here, you need to focus more on socializing the small dog. Take the dog to a dog park and let it be friendly with dogs of its size first. Once the dog seems comfortable with the other dogs of identical size, you can go a size upper. The key here is to socialize the dog as much as possible so that the dog does not feel threatened by large-sized dogs and stops intimidating them. This will help the small dog behave with your large dog, and thus your large dog will become much calmer around the small dog. Also, do not forget to reward both the dogs for their excellent behavior.

4. Treat Them Equally:

You have to establish a hierarchy in the house. Both the dogs need to understand that they are equals, so while introducing them, do not give one dog more treats than the other, or else they may misunderstand the situation. Treat them absolutely equally so that they know their position in the house.

5. Deal with Your First Dog Sensitively:

Remember, you got someone to the house where one dog already lived. The dog considers it as its house, and the new member’s addition may threaten their position in the house. The old dog should never feel any difference in your attitude towards it because of the new dog. It’s routine needs to continue to be the same without any changes. Do not let the new dog get into that zone if your old dog has a spot. You have to ensure that adding a new member does not mean you dividing your love too. The old dog needs to feel more loved now.

6. Control the Large Dog:

If your dogs are friendly around one another, but the big guy is overexcited to play with the smaller guy, you have to control him using a leash to ensure the smaller dog does not get injured. Let the leashes go as you get a bit confident, but keep the leash on to gain control immediately if you need to. This way, you can let them practice being around each other without hurting one another. Give them some time to learn gentle play. If they get rough, you can immediately pull them apart. Slowly, you can let them go off-leash as you gain confidence, but do keep an eye on them.

The Bottom Line:

The more, the merrier when it comes to adding furry friends in your life, but you have to also understand not every dog can get along with others easily. Sometimes you have to work harder to ensure they can co-exist. In most cases, some patience and consistency will help ensure both the dogs become friendly and show gentle behavior around each other.

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