Getting Mini Pinscher to accept my pit bull puppy

by Rachel
(New York)

I have a mini pinscher that is about 2 yrs old, and just brought home a pit bull puppy that is about 3 months old. My mini pinscher will not be near the pit bull, and won't go on the floor to eat or drink when the pit bull is around.

My mini pinscher had a bad experience with another large puppy a while back, but the pit bull puppy doesn't act like the min pin is around. Now they both are curious about each other, and the pit bull puppy is starting to bark & whine to the min pin.

I would like to see both of them getting along with each other, and not see either one getting hurt. Is there a way to have them get along before the pit bull gets too big?

Gale's Reply:

Hi Rachel,

It sounds like your min pin is afraid of the pit bull puppy. For your min pin, you are basically looking at a program of counter conditioning--that is showing her little by little that it is safe to approach the puppy. Two books I frequently recommend with detailed instructions about this are: The Cautious Canine - How to Help Dogs Conquer Their Fears and Click to Calm - Healing the Aggressive Dog.

But, while you are working with your min pin to feel safe around the puppy, your pit bull puppy needs to be calm too. Otherwise, he may inadvertently frighten your min pin just doing the things that puppies do like bouncing around, barking, etc.

Initially, whenever you do a counter conditioning session with the two of them, you may want to have the puppy leashed so that you can control him if he tries to get too playful. Don't punish the puppy for trying to play. But, interrupt the interaction if the puppy starts getting pushy. Reward the puppy for showing polite, gentle interest.

Be patient. Let the min pin approach the puppy with baby steps in her own time. Avoid the temptation to lure her to the puppy with treats or toys. But, reward her whenever she approaches on her own. Each time she approaches the puppy on her own and is rewarded AND nothing bad happens is like making a deposit in the bank. It's a cumulative process.

Good luck. Feel free to post back here or let us know how things are going.

For more information on obedience training, visit our Pit Bull Training page.

For help with behavioral problems, check out our Dog Behavior Training page.

Comments for Getting Mini Pinscher to accept my pit bull puppy

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Feb 05, 2011
Go for long walks together.
by: Anonymous

The best way I found is to walk them together on leashes, a lot. They get the idea of "pack" from it. Walk first, breakfast or dinner after. That's the way they do it on their own.

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