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Advice on playing with Puppy


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Dexter is doing really well with the new puppy...I`m impressed by how well he has adjusted in such a short time. He is even helping with potty training as he leads Willow outside to the desginated bathroom area :D ...they both do their business and then single file back into the house!

 

My only concern is play time. Dexter is gentle for the most part but I`m wondering how best to go about keeping it civilized. I want to keep the interaction positive at all times and don`t want to scold him too much and have him develop any negative associations with playing with other dogs.

 

I`ve never had two dogs before so this is new to me.

 

Some video of Dexter playing with the puppy:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bt2BIB9l2Ek

 

Have a great Christmas everyone!

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how cute! Dex is certainly very gentle. I have never had a tiny dog so I have never really worried about rough play. Mine are all similar in size so they sound like they are tearing each other apart when they play sometimes.

 

With such a tiny pup you do want to be sure Dex isn't too rough. I wouldn't scold him, maybe just have him take a time out if he gets too rough.

 

At some point when the pup is a bit older Dex may let him know enough is enough, I generally don't step in when a dog corrects an adolescent dog (unless it is really aggressive) it is a good lesson for a pup to learn dog manners and to back off when another dog tells them to stop, it may sound and look harsh but is usually mostly noise and a snap or two (it should never draw blood).

 

Good luck Dex looks like he likes his new buddy.

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Our golden was full grown when we got Jody so for a little while there was a pretty significant size difference. We had good success doing exactly what Wildflower suggested. Stop before things get out of hand and redirect them.

 

 

They are so cute together. Dexter looks happy to have a little buddy.

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I went through something similar when I got Kaiser -- Luke was 80+ pounds to Kaiser's 6 pounds. I *freaked out* any time Luke made any correction towards Kaiser (there was very little play, Luke was NOT happy about the new addition). I feel bad because the result of that is that Luke ended up letting Kaiser walk all over him and push him around. There is a fine line about what is "safe" about such drastically differently sized dogs play together or correct. Ultimately it was up to me to monitor everything to make sure nothing bad happened. Kaiser did get a tooth scratch on his nose one time from Luke when I was in another room -- still have no idea what happened there, but I guess Luke did restrain himself since it was just a scratch.

 

Went through the same thing when I brought Secret home -- she was @ 16 pounds and I know I over corrected Luke again. As a result, Secret gets away with murder with regard to her behavior with Luke (although I think he likes her a bit now). Luke got one good correction in with Secret, she stood up against him on her second day with us and he snapped and gave her a giant bleeding scrape under her chin. I admit he got yelled at big time for that one.

 

It's hard to not be protective of the wee puppies. You want the socialization and bonding to happen with the current dogs, but you do have to monitor the situation and just be careful when there are such large differences in size.

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I don't know, that didn't look particularly worrisome. The two points that might have been questionable were the pouncing and at the point that they get over toward that red bag. At that point, the pup looked a little worried. How old is the puppy? I remember the first puppy experience with an older dog in the house and it can be a little scary since the pup is so tiny.

 

The good thing is that adult dogs are really very good at modulating their play with little puppies and Dexter appears to be doing that, too. It's usually puppies who are pesty more so than older dogs being too rough (at least in my experience)

 

Unless he really gets rough on her, I wouldn't correct him--and I wouldn't correct for anything he was doing in the video if it were at my house. If they get going with a lot of rough wrestling, you might want to intervene so it doesn't escalate. Our puppies rough housed all the time with the big dogs until the big dogs had had enough. .

 

One thing you might want to watch for is the kids' laughter egging them on--I noticed that the kids laughed harder when he was doing that pouncing--totally reasonable on their part since it was amusing but Dexter might see that as encouragement. If you're worried about him getting too rough, it's probably better not to give him any encouragement for starting to get rougher.

 

If you get worried about what's going on, call them both to you and do some training or something like that to redirect their play. Multiple dogs are a blast. You'll have so much fun and they will, too.

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Unless he really gets rough on her, I wouldn't correct him--and I wouldn't correct for anything he was doing in the video if it were at my house.

I agree. I don't particularly like correcting the adult dog because the adult dog correcting a youngster is what dog socialization is all about. Better a pup's own pack teach it proper behavior toward other dogs than having the youngster find out the hard way from a "stranger" dog, who is likely to be much less tolerant of bad behavior.

 

I know which of my adult dogs may not correct appropriately and I'll monitor their interactions with a pup, but interacting with the "big" dogs and learning to understand their language is part of what a pup needs to learn. Rarely have I had an adult dog draw blood on a puppy (and then usually just something mild like a tooth scrape), so I just let them sort it out. Usually when the adult dog objects to the point of snapping, it's because the pup is being obnoxious and ignoring all the (extremely obvious, even to the human) warnings .

 

I also agree with calling them to you if you think the play is getting a little rough. Don't focus just on Dexter, and instead of correcting him, just call both of them to you. That alone will likely be enough of an interruption/redirection to prevent any accidents from rough play.

 

J.

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I didn't have a size difference between my dogs as much as a great age difference. My German-Shep mix was 12 years old and starting to get up more slowly and my father brought home an incredibly rambunctious 5 month old Malamute. My dog did love to play hard but the Mal often got way too rough with her, and often body slammed her while chasing her. What we ended up doing was sort of herding him around her when we saw him getting too crazy, with our backs to him we would refrain from playing with him and body block him from rushing her until he mellowed down, we didn't say anything to him, so it was a very low key correction and he stopped running into her and realized that the play would stop if he got to hyper.

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I don't know, that didn't look particularly worrisome. The two points that might have been questionable were the pouncing and at the point that they get over toward that red bag. At that point, the pup looked a little worried. How old is the puppy? I remember the first puppy experience with an older dog in the house and it can be a little scary since the pup is so tiny.

 

One thing you might want to watch for is the kids' laughter egging them on--I noticed that the kids laughed harder when he was doing that pouncing--totally reasonable on their part since it was amusing but Dexter might see that as encouragement. If you're worried about him getting too rough, it's probably better not to give him any encouragement for starting to get rougher.

 

 

She is a little over 10 weeks now. Dexter is very patient which has been great, this afternoon Willow was crawling over his back when he was lying down and he didn`t even flinch....To be honest I think he likes all the attention.

 

Yes, the kids are the biggest problem. They get over excited and Dexer always feeds on that. We try to keep them calm and sitting still when the dogs are playing....not an easy task :blink: !

 

Thanks for advice everyone. Distracting both of them when the play gets over exhuberant is working well and I figured it was best for them to sort things out on their own without too much correction.

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