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Hello:

We have a 7 year old mixed poodle dog (20#) , who grew up with a large 80# dog. Unfortunately, our Joni died in August of last year, at 10 years old. So two weeks ago we adopted a 4 month old lab, who is 40#. The smaller dog does not like the puppy and the puppy won't leave the small dog alone and always wants to play and pester the older dog. I have kept them separate and tried to supervise as best I can. We went to private training lessons today with both dogs and I was told to let them play together outside and that dogs work things out, but supervise. I was also told its not good to always keep them apart. I let both dogs outside and unfortunately, it escalated and by the time I broke it up both dogs had mild surface scratches from teeth. Now the trainer tells me to keep them separated.
I don't know what the dog body language cues are, when are they playing? When are they fighting? Any advice? Will the dogs ever get along? Should I re-home the lab before he learns aggressive behavior from the other existing dog? The lab wants to play and the little dog does not want it. The labs does not know when to stop and thus the fight. Help!!! I want to keep the puppy but also want whats best for the other dog who is afraid of this puppy.
 

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