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Until yesterday, I had two dogs living in two different houses. A 4-month Dobberman puppy and an 8-month half black lab (we don't know his exact breed). Today was supposed to be the day when they finally met and became friends.

I probably started wrong right off the bat by not doing any research and putting them together immediately at the lab's house. The Dobberman was afraid at first but then they started playing. There was a little trouble as the lab is slightly bigger and would kind of tackle the Dobberman, leaving him off balance.

After running around for a while, they begun to play fight. I (and all of my family) assumed this was ok and let them go on. When there was growling and barking we separated them for a few seconds then let them resume. This went on for many hours. Now that it's sleeping time, we are afraid of what they might do to each other without surveillance. The first idea was to lock the lab, but it looks like it won't work.

So, here are my questions on the situation:

  • Did I do the introduction wrong?

  • Will I need to introduce the dogs to each other again?

  • Should the dogs be allowed to play fight?

  • What should I do in times when I can't keep constant vigilance?

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Well, everything you are saying is mainly ok.

You have to keep in mind a handful of things. They are young, so playing must be cut by the leader or it will last hours, as you stated.

The Doberman is close to the adulthood, and if they are two males, sooner or later they will get into a little argument to set a hierarchy if you don't treat them as equals on discipline and rules. If this happens, don't get frightened. Just cut the fight, punish the attacker and don't make drama with the victim because this will create a dangerous situation.

So yes. If you don't have fights right now, you've done good. Just have an eye on them and let nature do it's thing. They'll probably be very good partners.

Did I do the introduction wrong? No. Fast and lacking security measures but your dogs don't look to need them.

Will I need to introduce the dogs to each other again? No. They are having a good starting.

Should the dogs be allowed to play fight? Yes. Keep an eye on them. Play fights will tell you about personality and who is the dominant one, the most excited and so on.

What should I do in times when I can't keep constant vigilance? Pray. Or let them alone in increasing time intervals to get confidence. I do not recommend you to lock them, together nor separated, because youth and closed spaces are not a good combination and you could end with a pair of destroyer and over excited dogs

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