Continued from Part 1 of this article...
Another important factor to keep in mind is the temperament and characteristics of the small breed that you wish to raise with a German Shepherd. Some breeds such as a Yorkie are physically smaller and lighter in bone than a Pug who tends to be a bit sturdier. If you have a really rambunctious rough GSD, it may be better to lean towards a sturdier small breed. Research the small breed's temperament and how they tend to get along with larger dogs.
Once you are at home with the small dog and the GSD, it is up to you to be sure that everyone remains safe. Here are a few tips to remember.
- It is important to never leave your GSD and small dog together unattended. Even if your GSD is very good with the small dog, sometimes rough play could cause serious injury. If you are not home, it is best to keep them separated using different rooms or crates.
- Do not allow the small dog to constantly pester your German Shepherd. Even a very sound even tempered dog can only put up with so much pestering, nipping or yapping.
- Do not allow your GSD to pester your small dog. If you have a GSD puppy who is always bothering the older small dog it can create problems. Set some limits, allow the small dog a place to “get away”, and keep a leash on the GSD puppy if necessary until he learns manners.
- Watch for signs of a problem. Unfortunately one bite from a large GSD can be disastrous to some smaller breed dogs. Try to catch any problems before they begin by watching for behaviors and actions that may indicate an increasing irritation for one of the dogs.
- Obedience training! As always, the more obedience training you do with your dog the better pet he will be. This goes for the small dog as well. In the Akron area you can visit the All Breed Training Club of Akron to inquire about obedience classes.
It is possible to have a fun peaceful household including small dogs and German Shepherds living together. Take your time to research and prepare before putting the two dogs together and you will be more likely to have happy companions who enjoy each other as much as you enjoy them.