Two dogs playing... too rough?

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Two dogs playing... too rough?

Postby calimonster » Tue Jun 05, 2012 10:02 pm

We just took in a 5 month old foster puppy, Cody. We have a 2 year old rescue, Cali.
They seem to adjusting well with a few issues.
This may be more of an issue with me than with them.
They play. Kinda rough. Neither ever seems to be hurt and they will both keep at it, tugging, nipping, pulling. There never appears to be any signs or sounds of aggression between them when they play. Sometimes one tries to assert him- or herself with some humping but nothing ever violent or aggressive.

But when I check over Cali, I can feel where he's been biting her neck and breaking skin. There's no blood but scabs (I guess) from where he grabs. He's still a puppy so he seems to have the puppy razor teeth. Even rubbing and pushing on the spots when I try to gauge injury has no effect on her and she doesn't even flinch.

Are they playing too rough? Should I keep them from playing like this or I am too concerned? Our last dogs didn't really play rough with other; if they ever did, one would yelp and that would be the end of it.

Thanks for any help.
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Re: Two dogs playing... too rough?

Postby Curly_07 » Tue Jun 05, 2012 10:20 pm

How long have you been fostering the pup? Any new dog entering the home should be going through the 2 week shutdown and not interacting with the resident dog until after that time, and only in small doses until you get a feel of it.

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Two dogs playing... too rough?

Postby ChevellesMomma » Wed Jun 06, 2012 3:22 am

Curly_07 wrote:How long have you been fostering the pup? Any new dog entering the home should be going through the 2 week shutdown and not interacting with the resident dog until after that time, and only in small doses until you get a feel of it.

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Even a puppy? Seems a bit extreme....I've fostered a ton of pups and never done a shut down for them and they were fine.

To the OP, puppies play rough. Do you know what age the pup was separated from its mother? Sometimes when they are taken early, the are not taught bite inhibition from their mom and littermates, and you must do it for him. I've always taught it to my foster pups by playing with them myself, and either yelping and/or popping them swiftly when they bit too hard and then putting them away in their crate for a while to calm down.
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Re: Two dogs playing... too rough?

Postby star_frances » Wed Jun 06, 2012 5:25 am

The two week shutdown is not intended for puppies.
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Re: Two dogs playing... too rough?

Postby Curly_07 » Wed Jun 06, 2012 8:09 am

5 months is not what I consider a "puppy". To me, 5 months-1 yr is the teenager stage.

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Two dogs playing... too rough?

Postby AllisonPitbullLvr » Wed Jun 06, 2012 8:37 am

OP, do you feel that they are playing too rough? Proper play should be mutual, with both dogs taking turns at chasing/being chased, etc. If the play makes you uncomfortable, break it up, redirect the dogs to something else and try again later.

"Popping" the pup isn't going to serve any useful purpose and will cause mistrust between you and the pup. "Punishment" only serves to cause confusion unless the pup can make an association between what you perceived as "wrong" and the "correction". So I'd avoid punishing a dog for something he doesn't understand is wrong.

I don't do a two week shut down for foster dogs that age but I DO carefully supervise and monitor any interaction and I give plenty of time apart. We use a crate and rotate system until everyone is 100% comfortable with one another. This can take weeks or months of intervening, interrupting, rewarding and separating. I have two resident dogs. We rotate and take turns and when we need to, either the pup or the resident dogs get a time out in a bedroom with a chewie just to relax and decompress.

Given the growling that your dog is doing when the foster has a treat in his crate beside her, I don't think they have adjusted to one another as well as you think they have. I would take that behavior as warning and back up a little. My theory is that it's always better to be over-cautious and avoid a scuffle than to throw them together and wonder why they ended up fighting.

Thanks for fostering. :)
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Two dogs playing... too rough?

Postby AllisonPitbullLvr » Wed Jun 06, 2012 8:41 am

Also, here is an article that explains step by step the positive way to encourage a soft bite:

http://www.peaceablepaws.com/articles.php?subaction=showfull&id=1282181172&archive=&start_from=&ucat=1&type=Pat
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Re: Two dogs playing... too rough?

Postby MarMar » Wed Jun 06, 2012 9:23 am

:goodpost:

Let the dogs tell you through their language what play is and isn't okay. I've had foster puppies give my shepherd scabby skin and as long as she didn't mind I considered it "collateral damage". Once the puppy teeth go or once "puppy license" expires, the adult dog will be more intolerant of the younger dogs' biting.

I would also avoid "popping" (if this refers to some sort of correction)...this is a good way to create a puppy who is distrustful of your hands, and in some cases may result in stronger biting.

As for the age and shut down question, I would agree again with Allison...at 5 months your major socialization window is closing but there is definitely a need to get that puppy interacting with the world in a positive manner as opposed to a shut-down. Sounds like you're well on your way!
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Re: Two dogs playing... too rough?

Postby Nickdawg » Wed Jun 06, 2012 12:34 pm

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