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Need some advice for my mom:)
My mom and her husband had their Lab/Malaute mix put down about seven months ago (old age/sick) and currently have a three year old shitzu (she is tiny..maybe 5 lbs). The lab/malamute and the shitzu got along perfectly. They are now looking at a Lab puppy and I don't know if it is a good idea for a couple of reasons.
#1 the shitzu is tiny, I am not sure how she would react to a rambunctious lab puppy. She has been around my two labs and she wont get on the floor with them because they are too much for her.
#2 the puppy (10 weeks old) they are looking at is through Petfinder and according to the website the puppy was stepped on accidenlty by her mother when she was two weeks old and broke her hip. It has been surgically repaired and thier orthopedic vet says it probably will not need another surgery.
I know there are no gaurantees, would you be worried about the broken hip especially at a young age? I have told my mom to call and get more info and if they are serious about this and to make sure to take the shitzu to meet the puppy first. Anyone have experience with little and big dogs together and how to socialize? Also, I am not sure if they know all of the time and patience it takes with a lab puppy. My mom has never done this before and I am not sure she has the patience for it. How can I explain this to her?
Thank you!
 

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We have two labs and a 8lb yorkie and it works fine but they were not together when they were puppies. I had one lab and my husband had the yorkie when we met. When we first moved in together my lab was about a year old and the yorkie was 2 1/2. For the first year probably the only time they were allowed in the same room was when we were both there sitting down and could watch them. Mocha (lab) was so over interested in Smeagol (yorkie) and would pounce at him. We were pretty easily able to gate off our lower level and it worked out ok. When we got the second lab (Zeus) he was about 1 1/2 and he did great with Smeagol from the get go. After a few months with Zeus home Mocha started doing much better with him as well. I think she had Zeus to play with to get some extra energy out and that helped. Now they all three can run together in the house with an issue. We do still seperate them when we leave though mainly because Smeagol likes to pee in the house so we keep him crated when we're gone.

I would be a LOT of work I think as the puppy isn't going to realize how big it is compared to the shi tzu and with a dog that small it wouldn't take much for it to get injured.
 

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There are many, many lovely adult Labs in rescue which would probably be a much better fit than a puppy with this little dog. It is certainly do-able - but unless they specifically want a puppy, I would get an older (like 2-3) year old dog. More settled, usually housebroked, might have some training and has lots of life and years left in them.
 

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I have heard many people say you should never have two dogs that as adults are more then half the weight difference. (ie a 100 pound dog should not live with anything smaller than a 50 pound dog) I think that's a bit extreme having lived for many years with dogs of all sizes however being in the middle of dealing with a large dog who has bitten twice without inhibition and seeing the damage it has done to a chihuahua and a shi mix I have to say I totally understand the rule of thumb.. in fact I understood the logic behind the rule before the bites happened.
We are now in an awful position and I am very grateful the large dog had intention to kill or he would certainly have succeeded.
 

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Anyone have experience with little and big dogs together and how to socialize?
Yeah. Me. :)

I've had toy breeds all my life. Jo was the first big dog I ever had. When we got him @ 4 months, we already had a Chihuahua, 2 Shitties, & a Pug. Maybe we were lucky but we never had any problems with socialising. He just fitted in straight away & they were all best friends. When he was about 4yo, I got another Pug puppy & he accepted him as if he was his mother.

The funny thing was the little dogs ruled the house & poor Jo was always at the bottom of the pack. One day he was in my room howling. I went to investigate & one of the shitties was asleep in the doorway & he didn't have the guts to get past! :D I had to 'rescue' him. Pretty stupid because no one ever attacked him.

When Jo died, I adopted my 10yo GSD. She & my Pug became instant friends but she knows he is the boss of the house. He'll even take food out of her mouth & she'll just stand there & look at him. :D

The thing that concerns me about the broken hip story is, how do you know that's what really happened? MAYBE it was a sickening case of abuse & that's just a cover story? I hope I'm wrong, but IF I'm right, that pup could have all sorts of bevavioral issues as a result. I would be asking for that dogs full medical history & preferebly speak to the vet who treated the boken hip.

If you want some examples of big & small dogs together, check out my photo album.

http://forum.justlabradors.com/album.php?albumid=26
 

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I agree with checking into a rescue if she really wants a lab. This way you can assess the personality of the adult dog see how they interact together and not have to go through the puppy stages.
Zeus is naturally a much more mellow dog than Mocha is which made introducing him to Smeagol much easier. With an adult dog you should be able to get a better feel for how they will be than with a puppy.
 
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