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Healthy dog play

AcctMom

Puppy
Forgive me if any of my questions seem stupid, I am still learning. And I will try to give enough details without making this too long.

We have a 1 year old lab mix that we rescued almost a month ago. She was around 3-4 dogs in a foster home and we were told she got along great with them. My brother found a GSD/hound mix puppy that was only 8 pounds, eating dirt around a dumpster, and my sister took him to the vet and kept him this past September. He's probably 6-7 months old now and very healthy. He's very smart and sweet but being a puppy he really never quits.

We are keeping the puppy for two weeks while my sister and family are out of the country. The two dogs really seem to love each other but the puppy is rough and tumble and our girl is too for bursts of time and then she wants her space.
He plays with his mouth open and now she does too. I don't like it but if this is normal then okay. They don't growl in general but when they do I clap and yell TIME OUT so they both stop and look at me, tails wagging.

I really want to know what to allow, what is normal, what signs I should watch for from my girl especially, because I believe she could really hurt him if she gets fed up with his games. My family members all say she will tell him when she's had enough but I feel it's my job to protect her from getting to that point. She absolutely instigates play so it's not like he just picks at her all day.

She has acted jealous of my husband especially when he's trying to train the puppy and actually pooped in the house for what seemed like an intentional act of spite. Since we only had a few weeks to bond with her before the wild man came over, we do try to pay more attention to her now that she's acted like she cares. He certainly doesn't care, he just wants to play.

I need them to be bonded enough for visiting weekly because our families do spend a bit of time together. (there are 4 boys ages 16, 9, 8, and 5 between the two of us) and neither family is the type to leave our dogs at home. But they won't be living together other than a week or two a year.

Tips, advice, comments, concerns, all are welcome. I will try to upload videos in a bit.
 

leavesofjoy

Big Dog
Premium Member
Maybe I'm just used to Griffin and his favourite playmate, a big Dogo, but this doesn't look like too rough play to me! During their playtimes at our trainers, they said one important thing to watch out for is taking turns. That is, you want to watch for one dog being the "boss" of the play for a while, then the other one doing it.

So, for a few turns, Griffin would head paw the Dogo until she flipped over or gave in, and then for a few turns, Griffin would submit. If either one of them got too pushy over and over, always being the boss, they would get a verbal correction and everyone would get a time out for a few minutes.

A few times with other dogs that weren't used to my little beast's style, the corrections came from the other dog, and I did feel that was good and a useful lesson. A sharp bark or air snap, nothing drastic, and Griffin would learn to be more respectful of that dog. He was a puppy at the time, so naturally more deferential to the adult dogs, but I think letting them say "enough" was ok as long as we all monitored it.

As an aside, watching these dogs play was a great way to ease into my morning-

-MN
 

AcctMom

Puppy
They do escalate a bit but yes they are pretty polite taking turns. Usually Hank starts and Ellie is submissive. Then she gets wound up and pins him. I think it's rather comical but wanted to make sure we're not creating bad habits.
 

AcctMom

Puppy
I don't have a video of them biting each other in the neck fat. Neither yelp or bark so it must not hurt too terribly bad. Lol
 

FransterDoo

Big Dog
I couldn't turn the sound on but all 3 of those videos look like nice normal play between dogs!

I still remember the first time we dog-sat another dog and I was so freaked out about the open mouths and the noises and the physicality of the whole thing. Just like kids, you want to make sure everyone is comfortable and having fun and not taking it too far.

He plays with his mouth open and now she does too. I don't like it but if this is normal then okay. They don't growl in general but when they do I clap and yell TIME OUT so they both stop and look at me, tails wagging.

All of that is totally normal. Including the vocalizing. One of my dogs is especially vocal.

I would suggest some google searches on "stress signs in dogs" and "canine body language" so you can start to see what is too much for these dogs and their relationship. Brenda Aloff has a great book that


She has acted jealous of my husband especially when he's trying to train the puppy and actually pooped in the house for what seemed like an intentional act of spite.

I know it's a really common idea but dogs don't poop "in spite" she probably got really excited and maybe a little overstimulated and then oops - there's poop.

It's great that you are doing training sessions with each of them!

I need them to be bonded enough for visiting weekly because our families do spend a bit of time together.

in your videos, they look like good friends! Now, the next time they see each other in could be SUPER EXCITING for the first hour of the visit. So don't worry if they are just nuts when they haven't seen each other in a while.

The other thing we do is make sure everyone takes a nap regularly away from the constant stimulation of having your best buddy over. So for vacations and stuff, I'd highly recommend crate training both of them so you can put them in a crate in another room with a chewies and have them chill out.

The only other thing I noticed was one of the kids kind of in the fray during a play session. That can be a recipe for disaster since dogs and kids play very differently. I'd hate for a misplaced tooth or nail cause an injury. With 4 boys, it could be a good idea to have a rule about letting the dogs be when they are playing.
 

AcctMom

Puppy
Thank you for your response! There really wasn't much noise so the sound might have been on and you not realize it. They are both crate trained and we have his here for two weeks. Boy whines a bit at first but then naps, girl actually goes in hers on her own when she wants to get away. And yes, the kid in the middle is my nephew and the reason I stopped the video. He needed moved and reminded to stay out of it!
 

demo

Little Dog
I'm not one to over react to do dog stuff,but my dog got a infection in her neck from a game of bitty face with her friend and it cost some money.My dog did not seem to mind and does fine at the vet.I let the other dog know less bitty face and more jump and run is good.I think if i noticed the little puncture sooner and cleaned it would of helped.Any way not trying to be stick in the mud,just watch the bitty face.O ya it might not of been from bitty face it could of been a claw or poky stick,who knows?