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  1. Our family recently got a new 7.5 week old puppy (Boxer – male) and brought him home to our 4 year old female Italian Greyhound. We read about personality and other details for both breeds and felt that they would get along, despite the size difference. We introduced them outside of the home and then brought them inside. We have done other little things, like separate crates in different areas of the house, feeding in different areas of the house and a lot of toys to choose from. Our adult dog seems so sad. How long does it take for the dogs to assimilate?

    1. Dogs may take to one another instantly, never, or anytime period in between those two extremes.

      If your Italian Greyhound had good socialization as puppy (during the Sensitive Period for Socialization ending around 16 weeks) and she has enjoyed regular dog play since – so she really likes other dogs and has good play skills – she may come to like the puppy over the next weeks to months. Since they are very different sizes and ages and personalities you may find that they don’t actively play with one another, but they may participate in the same activity, such as a walk, or they might take turns playing with a toy.

      If your Italian Greyhound has never been very dog social she may never really enjoy your Boxer, but both dogs and their people can still have fun. With your help and good management they can learn to share space peacefully, and both enjoy playing with you.

      I would recommend that the Boxer puppy attend Puppy Kindergarten as soon as possible, so he has a chance to play with other dogs who think his play style is fun, and so he has the opportunity to become more broadly social.

      It would be useful to have a home visit from a dog trainer/behavior consultant, who can create a specific management and training plan to increase the chance of a successful relationship. Go to http://www.ccpdt.org (the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers) to find a certified trainer.

      Write back and tell us how it goes!

  2. What’s a good/reasonable amount to walk your dog each week?

    1. Generally, a dog should have exercise and enrichment every day. A walk is one way to provide both in one package, and deliver those benefits to the human, too!

      The appropriate length of the walk will vary greatly depending on the age, size, health, etc of the participants, but, at least 30 minutes is usually suggested.

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