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Sigh .... logic tells me that as Vločka gets bigger, the fear will alleviate however it is really hard to watch now.

A bit of back story .... Vločka is now 17 weeks old and weighs 25 lbs. She was the runt of the litter and her brothers and sisters are over 30 lbs. She is a healthy, bright, happy, gentle, quiet puppy. My almost 75 lbs, tall, 8 year old, Káva, does EVERYTHING with explosive and enthusiastic energy. She always has. This includes discipline .... One incident sent us to the emergency clinic for soft tissue damage but it was obvious that Káva didn't realize that she was being too rough.

Vločka will play bitey face with her "cousin", a King Charles Cavalier Spaniel and had a blast at puppy kindergarten (the first couple of sessions she was very shy).

Vločka will play with Káva outside as Káva chases the ball running circles around Káva and barking at her. Káva lets her steal the ball, eat out of her bowl, and play a little tug with her. However, when inside, she won't pass Káva, hides in the corner or under my legs, and is reluctant to get out of the car when we get home.

I have tried to do fun things with them together .... walks, frisbee throws, playing outside together. I always treat Káva first and Vločka sleeps in the crate at night so that Káva can sleep with me and I am getting better at noticing Káva's signals.
 

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Kate
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My take is let the dogs be. As long as they aren't fighting or showing signs of aggression, it is fine.

Too much playing together got the pup injured before. And if the older dog doesn't know her size or isn't being gentle - it's probably for the best that they not go crazy together right now. Especially indoors where the risk of injury is higher.

I prefer my dogs just play outside. Less furniture to bang into and no tile floors to skid on, etc.

Inside, I'd prefer for them to just hang out together. Don't push too hard, but as long as there aren't negative incidents, pup will get more confident with her big sister around.
 

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Thank you. That's what I'm hoping. I just hate to see Vločka so tentative around Káva and Káva not understanding why the pup won't play with her. Káva plays bitey face with her cousin (the same one Vločka plays with) as well but he is much more feisty than Vločka.
 

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Puddles
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Sounds like your older dog is teaching the puppy inside manners. Try not to look at this as frightened but more a sign of respect and accepting the rules of engagement for indoors.
This is a good time for you to have some puppy time and let the older dog have some peace in her space. Bitey face was all my older girl would play in the house... there are rules :)
They sound like they are doing really good together and totally agree, let them be.

I'm pretty sure the pup has far more energy and the older dog is saying enough... this is your cue to spend some training one on one. Good job!!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Unfortunately, there are definte fear signs when they are in the house. I am trying to follow their lead to let her know that it is safe and to intervene with Káva's body language begins to get tense.

They do interact and play outside but inside it is definite signs of fear. Sigh.

Here is a video of them playing outside which they do just fine. Inside it's a totally different vibe.


 

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Puddles
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How cute! That's typical puppy and adorable to watch. The older and more confident your pup gets the less "caution" you will see. Just remember in the house not to cuddle the frightened puppy :) It might help you feel better but the pup can perceive this as encouraging the fear of the big bad dog. They will work it out but make sure you have a exercise pen or crate time to allow some alone time for the older dog. After all this is an intruder in their home... Always supervise but they usually end up BFF's before you know it.
 

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I actually had a VERY similar situation as you, except the runt I had was a rescue (shepherd/rottie/whatever else mix). She naturally had fear of people but was never aggressive and was amazing with other dogs. Fast forward a couple of years and I decided to get a golden to be her buddy and as her emotional support dog/things aren't that scary buddy. Ironically, my golden was the pick of the litter that the breeder was going to keep herself but wound up releasing him because he had a defect (not life threatening or anything, just something they didn't want passed along). So now imagine this sweet, former runt/shy girl with this bouncy, confident 'im the center of attention' puppy! My golden prefers to not share as well, so a few things we did. I took them to training class together which allowed them to sort of 'partner' and reinforced the leadership role that my older dog had. I regularly would have practice training sessions with them in which I think they sort of looked at it as teamwork and my confident pup would side-eye his big sister to make sure he was doing it right. In my case, the personalities were reversed from what you're experiencing but the other thing I did was let the dogs be (as others here have said). My older dog definitely corrected my golden but I knew she would do it the right way, and as a result now he knows how to interact with other dogs. Finally, I think the most effective thing was that once my pup was old enough, I took them on long off leash hikes where the two of them would go off exploring together and i swear to god you could see both of them just bursting in smiles at their new little discoveries. They also invented their own game of fetch. My golden is a total ball hog and extreme fetcher whereas my other dog loved to chase and chew the ball but didn't like to bring it back. So the game would go, I'd chuck the golden's ball in one direction, the other in the other direction. Golden would go get his ball, then run to her and collect hers, then back to me. And yes, the two of them got alot of laughs from passers' by because it was so adorable! Sadly, my older dog passed away very suddenly last year and I'll be finally bringing home a new lab puppy after the holidays so we will see how things go. I might be in your shoes then...
 

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I actually had a VERY similar situation as you, except the runt I had was a rescue (shepherd/rottie/whatever else mix). She naturally had fear of people but was never aggressive and was amazing with other dogs. Fast forward a couple of years and I decided to get a golden to be her buddy and as her emotional support dog/things aren't that scary buddy. Ironically, my golden was the pick of the litter that the breeder was going to keep herself but wound up releasing him because he had a defect (not life threatening or anything, just something they didn't want passed along). So now imagine this sweet, former runt/shy girl with this bouncy, confident 'im the center of attention' puppy! My golden prefers to not share as well, so a few things we did. I took them to training class together which allowed them to sort of 'partner' and reinforced the leadership role that my older dog had. I regularly would have practice training sessions with them in which I think they sort of looked at it as teamwork and my confident pup would side-eye his big sister to make sure he was doing it right. In my case, the personalities were reversed from what you're experiencing but the other thing I did was let the dogs be (as others here have said). My older dog definitely corrected my golden but I knew she would do it the right way, and as a result now he knows how to interact with other dogs. Finally, I think the most effective thing was that once my pup was old enough, I took them on long off leash hikes where the two of them would go off exploring together and i swear to god you could see both of them just bursting in smiles at their new little discoveries. They also invented their own game of fetch. My golden is a total ball hog and extreme fetcher whereas my other dog loved to chase and chew the ball but didn't like to bring it back. So the game would go, I'd chuck the golden's ball in one direction, the other in the other direction. Golden would go get his ball, then run to her and collect hers, then back to me. And yes, the two of them got alot of laughs from passers' by because it was so adorable! Sadly, my older dog passed away very suddenly last year and I'll be finally bringing home a new lab puppy after the holidays so we will see how things go. I might be in your shoes then...
Thank you. Unfortunately, Káva did not correct in the right way and now, especially when we are inside, Vločka insists on having me bodily between her and Káva when they are in the same room. I'm following her lead and not pushing it. I am really hoping that as she gets bigger, she will be more confident. The problem, of course, is that she is a very gentle mellow dog even as a puppy where as Káva has explosive and enthusiastic personality even at 8 years old which means she does everything with .... gusto. I can't wait to see the pics of the new puppy!
 
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