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Discussion Starter #1
So Justlooking posted about welcoming a Spoo puppy to her home with a resident Spoo next year. So I thought I might as well post about my scenario too to get some more insight.

We have a seven year old chihuahua, and will be bringing home a Spoo pup next year. I will never deny the possibility or likelyhood of an accident happening when putting these two sizes together. This is not something I take lightly and part of the reason I chose this breed above any other is because they have low or no prey drive, are light on their feet and are very "thoughtful".

I am aware that standard poodles have never been bred to hunt, fight or kill, as they are retrievers with "soft mouths". As well, that reputable breeders have bred for excellent temperaments which helps to avoid aggression. But obviously, just the size difference between one and a chihuahua could result in injury.

I have been trying to do my due diligence in learning ways to avoid accidents. This will be my first experience owning a large dog. I do hope that having the opportunity to raise the puppy from a young age among small dogs will be beneficial, but obviously puppies can also present a risk. I would love to hear from those experienced with owning a Spoo alongside a tiny breed...

Have you trusted your Spoo to never show aggression towards your small breed?
What steps have you taken to keep your little one safe?
Do you allow the two to play together?
Do you separate them when you cannot supervise?
Do they both have free-run of your home when you aren't there?

Any other info or resources would be wonderful too!

Thanks!
 

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I don't have a small breed dog, but my mom has a small mpoo who sometimes stays with us. I never allow him to spend time unsupervised with any of our dogs. They outweigh him by anywhere from 4 to 1 to 10 to 1. Even if the play was friendly it doesn't mean he couldn't get hurt or worse by accident. I think he also finds my male dogs to be intimidating. I know someone who is a very accomplished performance dog trainer. she has 6 dogs at her home at the moment (border collies, golden retrievers and a chi). I know she never allows them all to be free ranging together all at once.


Watch your chi for signs of stress when you bring your puppy home. Make sure you pay extra nice attention to your older dog even though you will want to be putting all sorts of attention on the puppy. Spoo are usually very energetic and bouncy and potentially very very annoying to older dogs. Remember that your puppy is coming to your home because you want a spoo, not because your chi asked for one.
 

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I have a under 4 pound dog, a 9 pound dog, and a 50 pound spoo.
The 9 pound dog is quite sturdy in build, but he's older so he doesn't play a lot with either of his 'brothers'. The spoo does like to pester him when he gets excited by barking at him and trying to entice him to play. The old man pretends to get annoyed sometimes but I secretly think he enjoys it most of the time haha.
Th 4 pounder and my spoo love each other. My 4 pounder is my crankiest dog, but thankfully since he's 4 pounds no one takes him seriously so nobody gets cranky back.
They played pretty well right from when my spoo was a puppy (my 4 pounder was around a year old when I got the spoo) They were similar enough in size to play pretty fairly, then as the spoo got bigger slowly the 4 pounder could still tell him off if he accidentally played to rough. They just slowly found the right play style (usually my spoo lays on his back as they play). The spoo has never shown any signs of aggression towards my other dogs so I feel pretty comfortable with leaving them unsupervised however if I am going to be out of the house for longer than a couple hours I kennel my dogs just to ensure no one gets into trouble.
Definitely a lot of supervision as the puppy grows up so you can step in if there are any problems and you can learn your puppy's temperament and how they get a long as your dog matures.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Absolutely lily! Lyla is the center of our lives, and she will be kept a priority just like she is now, when the puppy comes along. There will be boundaries set from day one.

Thank you for sharing how you and the person you know have handled a similar situation.

When your moms mpoo visits, do you keep the dogs completely separated or just have 100% supervision?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Oh my goodness Mysticrealm, that video is adorable! Thank you for sharing it!

Asher sure has great bite inhibition, haha! I do hope our spoo and Lyla will have a similar relationship. Lyla tries to invoke play with other dogs at times, but often is just happy to chill and watch from the couch.

I think the puppies personality will have a lot to do with how this all works. I have informed Cherie that we need a pup on the more easy-going side, and I'm sure she will get us our perfect match.

The puppy stage will definitely need 100% supervision. I don't think I'll be allowing more than a couple of minutes at a time of close interaction for the first little while. I do not want to risk a negative experience for either of them.
 

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Have you trusted your Spoo to never show aggression towards your small breed?

Yes, I've only seen one weird incident where Frosty "talked back" to Zooey, my Maltese. Otherwise, he and Maizie are 99.99% submissive and trustworthy with the little dogs.

What steps have you taken to keep your little one safe?

Taught the spoos from day 1 to leave the littles alone. Any sort of harassment would earn them a time out.

Do you allow the two to play together?

Hahah, none of the littles want to play with the spoos. The spoos tried at first, but they have given up (well, Frosty still holds a little hope!).

Do you separate them when you cannot supervise?

No, but I sure did when the spoos were puppies.

Do they both have free-run of your home when you aren't there?

They do now, but the spoos were crated as puppies, up until about they were each 1 year old when I left the house.
 

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Absolutely lily! Lyla is the center of our lives, and she will be kept a priority just like she is now, when the puppy comes along. There will be boundaries set from day one.

Thank you for sharing how you and the person you know have handled a similar situation.

When your moms mpoo visits, do you keep the dogs completely separated or just have 100% supervision?

Separated if no one is home, although I will leave Lily with the mpoo. Otherwise 100% supervision of them with him.
 
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Discussion Starter #8
Thank you zooeysmom!!

This eases my worries a bit for sure! I really do want, and hope that I will be able to allow them both have access to the house when we're out at some point. I absolutely plan to crate the puppy until far after things settle down, we're all in a routine and I am familiar with our puppies quirks. I will definitely err on the side of caution.

It is so nice to hear that you have been able to trust your spoos with your little ones, that gives me hope!
 

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Spoochi, the puppy phase is challenging. But once you get past that, if you do things correctly, your Chi and spoo will coexist peacefully, I am sure. My dogs are so trustworthy with little dogs, I take them on the small dog side of the dog park most of the time. They are so much more aware of their space than other, clumsier breeds.
 

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What a sweet video of Asher and Haiku. I hope you have the same happy results with the puppy and your tiny one, eventually. I disagree that poodles have a low prey drive. The puppy will learn, with your help and oversight that the Chihuahua is not prey.
 

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Over the years I have had a wide variety of sizes. I think the most extreme example was when I had a 75 lb male greyhound who played very gently with a 1 lb chihuahua puppy! He was very, very careful around puppies - a great uncle to them.


I think it all depends on the individual dogs. I strongly explain to my big dogs that the little dogs are not for biting exercise! When I have added a new dog of any size to the existing group of house dogs, I always introduce them one at a time and double-dog-dare them to misbehave!


We used to have a heeler who was the dominant house dog in a pack of 4 (the others were a standard poodle, a whippet, and a whippet/border collie). We were considering adding a rescue Chihuahua, so the Chihuahua rescue lady brought one to hour home. I brought out the dogs one at a time to see how they would react to such a small dog. The poodle, the whippet, and the border/whippet were quite friendly with her. Then we brought out the heeler who immediately lunged at the Chihuahua with malicious intent. Needless to say, we did not add a Chihuahua until that heeler had left us to go over the rainbow bridge.


Our four current dogs all get along quite well. The Lab and the minipoo are great friends and play wild, rough games. Thankfully Zoe is agile and is not bowled over by the Lab.
 

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I personally have seen a range. My dogs are definitely on the lower end of the prey drive spectrum, but I've seen some poodles in FCAT who are very high prey drive.
My spoo LOVES chase ability and sprinter, but he does not at all see my little white dog (that looks like the lure in color and size) nor my pom as prey. He also doesn't tend to 'kill' the lure at the end, he instead prefers the chase. He will also chase rabbits (thankfully he's only been caught off leash a couple times around rabbits and was never quick enough to catch them and he knows when to give up knowing he won't be able to catch it) I don't take him to public dog parks so I'm not entirely sure what he'd do with a small unfamiliar dog bolting around (especially if he saw it from a distance), but I don't think he'd injure it but he might give it a good chase.
 

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It may be, that with all the rabbits, squirrels and opossums on our property that Buck has a souped up drive. He considers them invaders rather than roommates, not that he has any canine roommates, poor us:(
 

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It may be, that with all the rabbits, squirrels and opossums on our property that Buck has a souped up drive. He considers them invaders rather than roommates, not that he has any canine roommates, poor us:(
Oh, my dogs would surely kill a squirrel if they encountered one! What is it about squirrels? All dogs hate them! I haven't tested mine on bunnies, but I bet they'd look as tempting as a squirrel. They recently came face to face with an opossum and didn't do anything. Today they met goats and were very interested, but thankfully not to the point of bothering them.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
zooeysmom, I will try my hardest to do things correctly. I have taken a long time to finally commit to a waiting list, and have taken that time to try and learn all I can. Still have a while to go, so I'm absorbing as much as possible. It's great to read all the step-by-step information in books or on blogs, but it's wonderful to get more tailored, personal tales and experience from a forum like PF.

After all my reading, I'm practically scoffing at posts (on a different forum) from owners who brought home puppies and then at that point finally decided to ask how to potty train or why their 10 week old puppy is ATTACKING them... lol. It makes me proud of the knowledge I've gained.

Watching Cherie's videos of her dogs playing amongst the puppies is reassuring, as you can tell how particular they are with their movements, it's lovely.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Mfmst, thank you! I know it will take time and effort to get to the level where zooeysmom is, but I am up for the challenge.

It's fair to say that all dogs have some amount of prey drive, just being the type of animal they are. But there seems to be a lot of sway and I guess it just depends on the individual dog.
 

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SpooChi, you strike me as a very smart and thoughtful person. I have full confidence that you will be an amazing poodle parent. I'm really glad that you have joined the forum.

When I went to visit Frosty for the first time, I was also struck by how gentle his mother and older sister were with the babies. They were constantly leaping over the babies to not step on them, with the grace of a deer.
 

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I had a 5 pound Chihuahua with a 22 pound Boston Terrier. We thought they were doing fine together, they were sleeping together and all.

When the Boston Terrier was no longer with us, we rediscovered my Chihuahua’s true personality : she started being bouncy and happy and doing zoomies in the house again. We hadn’t realized it because it happened very slow, but our little Chihuahua was very cautious around her BT sister. She was afraid lf being ran over or stepped on, so she never really played or ran anymore. In fear or being hurt.

Which is kind of sad.

Most probably, your older Chihuahua will want nothing to do with the rambunctious puppy and will hide from it. I do not think it is a good idea at all, for the sake of your little one. I would not have done it with my much smaller BT if I had known, let alone a much bigger Spoo.

A Chihuahua would do much better with a toy poodle. If not when a puppy, it might get along really well a little later on, when the dog is around 1-2 years old. Chihuahuas don’t do well with big dogs, except older ones or exceptionnally calm ones (which a spoo won’t be).
 
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