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Great Danes/stopping bad behavior


I rescued and old chiwawa about two years ago named brownie.She is very emotional and does not like my new 3 month old great dane named stella. So now I have a large puppie and a small dog. Stella wants to play and just be near brownie and brownie will not allow it. She growls and bites her, then stella thinks it's a game and keeps going.  I dont know how to make this dog sized puppy realize she cannot play with brownie. I think it may be my fault. A friend has a chiwawa puppy and I have let them play together now every small dog is a game to her. How can I have peace in the house again. Lately the chiwawa wont even come down stairs anymore or just hides under the couch. Is there anyway to have them like and respect eachother?


You have a young puppy and an old dog. It probably would have been best to see how Brownie would have reacted to a large young dog PRIOR to bringing a puppy into your home. But now that they are both there you just need to work with the Dane puppy. Keep her close to you, or on a leash until she understands her boundaries. Give her a sort of "time out" where she is in a crate, or gated in another room so that Brownie can come into the room without being trampled on by a puppy trying to play with her. Being an older small dog around a young giant dog an be very emotionally draining. She needs to be given her space and eventually she will most likely come around. As with all combinations of Giants and small breeds together, they always need to be monitored as there is a higher possibility of injury just because of the difference in size. Great Dane puppies do have a lot of energy so I suggest that you walk her daily at least 2-3 times a day and have her physically and mentally exhausted so that she does not bother Brownie. Teach her an "easy" or "gentle" command so that she understands she cannot play rough with the small dog. I would not allow her to "play" with small dogs. Interactions are always recommended and continued socialization with small dogs is essential but I would encourage you to have her play with other large and giant dogs only. Once she is fully grown she will not understand that she weighs 100 lbs and they only weigh 5 or 10, and she will want to play with them the exact same way she did as when she was a baby. This obviously will not work and can lead to injury. I would suggest trying to find some other large dogs for her to play with and leave her to have the company of your small dog at home as a companion rather then a playmate. This should alleviate stress from both sides and should alleviate your stress as well. I would not force interactions between the two either unless you are there to monitor, keeping the Dane puppy on the leash. Good luck!

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Paula Zaro


I have a great love for this breed, and although this is an "expert" forum, no one person can be an expert in all issues in any breed. It takes a lifetime of learning, with new information becoming current and relevant often. I am happy to share the knowledge that I have, and if I cannot answer your question I will be happy to do research and ask peers in the breed for their knowledge and advice. I can answer questions on temperament, health, training, breeding issues, genetic issues. I will not answer questions about how to breed your pet and add to the pet population. I am a firm believer that the experts in the breed should breed, and families should enjoy their dogs from reputable breeders.


Show Exhibitor, Rescue Coordinator, Kennel Mananger, Training Manager, Partner in large Dog Training and Behavior Consulting Firm. Own/Train, actively Show the breed for over 10 years.

American Rare Breed Association, Cane Corso Assocation of America, Great Dane Club of Milwaukee, American Kennel Club Canine Good Citizen Evaluator, Therapy Dog Institute Evaluator

Basic Trainer, Intermediate Trainer, Advanced Trainer, Off-Leash Advanced Trainer, Behavior Modification, Behavior Modification Specialist, Canine Good Citizen Evaluator of the American Kennel Club, Veterinary Assistant, Kennel Manager, Adoption Coordinator

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