Puppy getting along with older dog

  • Puppy getting along with older dog

    Posted by Will on February 3, 2021 at 10:32 AM

    I have a male Great Pyrenees 4-month-old puppy and a 6-year-old Yorkie-poo. They get along for the most part. But the puppy always wants to play with her. We got him at 9 weeks old. She is okay to play on her terms but he if free wants her to play. He’s nipping at her to play or pawing her makes it annoying for her. We had an adult golden when we first got her and he recently passed. They got along great she would sometimes annoy him so now that it is reversed she goes into a more aggressive/whiny mode with the pup.

    Any advice on how to make the puppy calmer around her so they can be in a room together or outside. She refuses to even go out at the same time for potty breaks. It’s just the part where he wants to chase her and she is okay so long as he leaves her alone.

    Zvonimir replied 3 years ago 3 Members · 3 Replies
  • 3 Replies
  • Riggan

    February 4, 2021 at 5:51 AM

    Hi, Will! You have quite a challenge on your hands, if nothing else due to the size difference. It must be quite intimidating for your Yorkie-poo to have this great big galoot of a puppy coming at her! Robert always emphasizes that it is up to YOU to protect your older dog. The older dog always comes first. This is particularly true here where your puppy could cause serious injury to a dog who is so much smaller.

    Here are a couple of Ask Me Anything videos on this question from Robert.



    I know he talks about it in many other places as well, since this is a common question. You might watch some of his Podcasts on puppies. There are always great nuggets there, even if he doesn’t address this particular issue.

    Follow Robert’s advice and your dog and puppy will learn how to co-exist. Your Yorkie-poo will feel safe in her home and not bullied, and the pup will learn manners and respect. It will take time to see if the pup can learn to play safely with the Yorkie and respect her boundaries, so make sure you supervise all interactions between them and step in long before your Yorkie-poo feels the need to defend herself.

    Good luck!

    (Side note: I also had a golden retriever who was wonderful with tiny dogs. He would lay on his side and wave his paws at them while they pounced all over him. The boarding kennel I took him too liked to place him in the small dog yard so that the small dogs could learn that not all big dogs are monsters. He was the most tolerant dog I have ever owned. I still miss that boy!)

  • Will

    February 5, 2021 at 9:32 AM

    I know what you mean this puppy replaced our Golden of 13 yrs. He was so laid back and loving. I really miss him. Let the wife talk me into the puppy was there for a golden since that is all I have had for many years. She thought it would be a good idea to get a different breed. He is a great puppy don’t get me wrong just he is so big for a 5-month-old now and full of energy. He doesn’t mean any harm to them but doesn’t get the idea just how big he is compared to them. Thank you for the links.

  • Zvonimir

    March 18, 2021 at 8:06 PM

    In the dog pack, senior dog always approaches young puppy; that is how the social etiquette of the pack works. If a puppy is intruding into the space of a senior, then the problems begin, and fierce corrections come into place by senior dogs. Especially if the pups are 16-weeks and over; studies have shown that older dogs ‘kicked out’ over 16-weeks olds from their company because they see them intimidating – the beginning of grown-up age in view of the pack (when pups get their permanent teeth) and a challenge to their authority.

    But you have created quite a situation; 6 yrs old Yorkie can’t correct big Pyrenean because it’s bigger and heavier, and you have allowed young Pyrenean certain privileges in the pack despite his puppy age, which the Yorkie finds intimidating. You have promoted Pyrenean to the status of the old Goldie. Yorkie is naturally protective of own position, which has now been shifted away, and the big young boy is annoying Yorkie without anyone’s correction.

    As much as you have felt loss after Goldie was gone, now Yorkie feels confused and derailed. Pyrenean will further impose himself and you can expect more trouble.

    In all honesty, it would be best if you continued owning only the Yorkie; the Yorkie certainly deserved extra attention after the Goldie was gone, which Yorkie would return in extra attachment to you. In situations like this, people sometimes decide to give away the new (young) dog, to their friend, relative, etc. which is best for the young dog, and best for the older dog. Or if you wish to keep them both, then they ought to be separated for a longer while, in different kennels, different parts of the house, with different feeding time, training time, walks, etc.

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