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Our oldest dog is a Yorkshire Terriere named Zoe. She's nine years old, and when we got her at the time, didn't know she came from a backyard breeder. She has a collapsed trachea, epilepsy, and to make things worse, a lame back leg.

Because of these problems, she could never go outside or be socialized with other dogs. We tried epilepsy pills, but because her breathing was so bad, it would be no good.

In the span since she was a puppy to now, has never fully interacted with another dog nor play with one.

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Just recently we acquired another Yorkshire Terrier who's currently 16 weeks old, his name is Loki. He tries to play with her, but even within coming a couple feet to Zoe, she runs away. Of course, he chases her. We end up putting Zoe on the couch where Loki can't go.

She doesn't nip at him, bark, nothing. The only time she gets riled up is if she's having a "sassy" fit where she kicks her hind legs and barks, or when there's someone at the door.

Because of this, she doesn't play as much or really get to "live".

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We really need help because it doesn't seem to be getting any better, as it's like this every minute of the day.

Any suggestions?
 

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If Zoe has never been socialized with dogs, it's possible the best you can do is teach Loki to leave Zoe alone and teach Zoe to ignore new pup. Make sure both dogs, but Zoe especially, have a safe place to go where other dog isn't allowed.

I don't think it's uncommon for an old dog to be less tolerant and less interested in playing with a puppy, even more so for your old pup since she has health problems and doesn't have experience playing with other dogs in general.

Does Zoe seem unhappy? Is it possible she's perfectly content with a mostly sedentary life interacting only with the human family members? Even though she doesn't play, she may not be missing out on anything or have a lower quality of life than a dog that does play.

It might be possible to gradually get Zoe accustomed to Loki by making sure they stay a healthy distance (far enough apart that Zoe doesn't run away) and use treats to create a positive association to Loki. Basically, use counter conditioning to help Zoe overcome her fear, but that will mean making sure Loki is under control (as in on leash) when he's around Zoe so he can't get too close before she's ready.

You could also work on teaching Loki basic obedience like sit, down, stay, come, go to [place], etc. so you can regain control if he does start to chase Zoe.

Disclaimer: Not an expert and have never had more than one dog at a time so I have no first hand experience introducing a new dog to an existing one.
 

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Thank you so much for the reply! Zoe was always content with living a lifestyle that only involved people, so I can't say I'm surprised that she's fearful of Loki.

We're slowly beginning obedience training with Loki, as he gets distracted a lot even with nothing around, but I hope it gets better in the future. We'll definitely take your word into thought, and again, thanks so much!
 
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