Alpha Dog vs. New Puppy

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Alpha Dog vs. New Puppy

Visitor Question

I have a Toy Poodle that is an Alpha female and likes to assert her authority towards other dogs, and I was thinking about getting another puppy, most likely a Shih Tzu or a Lhasa Apso? What would be the best way to introduce a puppy to an Alpha? ~~Travis

Expert Answer

Good question,

Alpha personalities insist on being the leader in all situations, and sometimes this does lead to aggression. Here's your challenge as I see it. You can't be sure ahead of time whether any new dog you bring into the house is an alpha personality or not, but a puppy will adapt to the current pack mentality and generally find its own place in the pecking order.

To introduce a new puppy to your Poodle, first remove all of the Poodle's toys, dishes, etc. so there's nothing it needs to guard. Then, hold the puppy and let your dog do some investigating, this way you can quickly pull the puppy back if your Poodle shows aggression. Also, firmly yell NO at your Poodle if it acts inappropriately. After all, you are the real Alpha in this pack. You will need to make the introduction in supervised stages, gradually giving both animals more time together. I recommend feeding them in different areas to avoid a potential fight, and to make sure the puppy receives enough food. Chances are your Poodle will come to reguard the puppy as its own, and the two will hammer out their own relationship.

As for the choice of Shih Tzu or a Lhasa, I would recommend a Shih Tzu. Lhasas are known to be a bit more aggressive, and will be a good deal larger than your Toy Poodle when fully grown. A full grown Shih Tzu is more compatible in size and temperament, and will likely be a better fit in your household.

Let us know how it works out, and thanks for your question.


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