View Full Version : Rough Play

24th November 2010, 06:45 PM
My neighbor and good friend bought an Austrian Sheppard puppy the day after I bought Chamberlain. We waited until the puppies had their second round of shots and then introduced them to each other. It did not go so well.

The problem is that her puppy was the only puppy born out of the litter and is VERY dominate. Chamberlain is very well behaved and understands doggie manners. (His big sister is a good teacher.)

We brought the dogs to my backyard and stood by ready to intervene at any moment. Chamberlain was the perfect gentleman and just wanted to play, run around, chase and share his toys. Well my friends Austrian Sheppard just wanted to wrestle and dominate Chamberlain, even when he would submit. I felt so bad for my little boy! Her puppy kept pinning him and biting him, even when Chamberlain would cry out, he wouldn’t stop. Several times we would re-direct her puppies attention and a couple times she would have to pick up him up.

We then decided that we would walk them together and see if that helped. Nope…

So then we brought her two year old Austrian Sheppard in the mix to be a calming presence and to break up any fights. Well he tried but her puppy wouldn’t even listen to the older dog! Chamberlain kept trying to play with the older dog, but the other puppy would just run and tackle him. Finally Chamberlain had enough, he growled and snapped at the other puppy.

I am just frustrated because I don’t know how to make the situation better. We both want our dogs to be friends because we plan on doing a lot together with the dogs! Does anyone has any ideas to improve our puppies “relationship?”

24th November 2010, 07:05 PM
Your instincts are right but I would leave them to sort it out as long as Chamberlain isn't in real distress. Play is often rough between puppies and you can generally leave them to it. They will often cry out in play and as long as he isn't in real distress I'd leave them. I would also 100% leave him to snap and growl at the other pup. This is EXCELLENT for the unmannerly pup -- as it would be to let the older dog play with the more active puppy. Both will begin to teach the unmannerly pup to be more polite as they will withdraw from play or warn him through growls/nips when he is too rude. This is what he was missing as a litter singleton and the opportunity to learn better manners now will be invaluable to him and help him learn doggie signals. Also it will help make him less nippy to the humans!!

I'd just be sure to let your guy have some time outs if needed and also -- let Chamberlain have a rest while the adult dog and pup play amongst themselves.

It is actually good for Chamberlain too to learn to be more assertive as needed with an unruly pup imho and to have this puppy playtime rather than be removed from such interactions as they continue to socialise him nicely to other dogs :). It is unusual for a puppy to be truly bullied, and they tend to work out a balance before too long.

26th November 2010, 02:01 PM
Thank you so much for your post!

We are getting the pups together this weekend for play time at one of the tennis courts, I will let you know how it goes!

26th November 2010, 05:27 PM
There was a pup like that in Rylie's first puppy class - although Bennie wasn't that much bigger than Rylie. What my trainer did was make sure that Rylie had a safe place he could go during playtime if he was overwhelmed and sometimes redirect the other pup so that Rylie would have a chance to explore unbothered (this was during play time). Rylie doesn't really "play" with any other dogs except for Max - he far prefers people but he came around to the point where we had to change classes because he really couldn't seem to understand that the Aussie in his agility class did NOT want to be his friend and in fact got terribly cranky if any other dog was within five feet of her. He seems to have hit a balance now where he is happy to greet dogs but is good at leaving them alone as well. When we are in class he tries to find a table or chair to sit on when it's not his turn (maybe because all the other dogs are big?)

26th November 2010, 07:41 PM
I wondered if it was the size thing also, but then he loves to play with Sasha (Great Pyr) but than again that could be because he is playing with her in their "house." So he feels confident.

I wonder if I should have them come into our house, maybe that would upset the power play?

27th November 2010, 12:10 AM
Both of my dogs have always felt more comfortable with bigger dogs - Other than the Aussie that took exception to Rylie the bigger dogs he comes in contact with seem to understand that they can't be rough with him (and we had 50 and 60 lb pups in our puppy class). My friends boxer and bulldog will let Rylie take a stick right out of their mouth. For the most part both of my guys are leery of other small dogs. I'd be careful about playtime in your house. It should be a place where Chamberlain feels safe. We babysat a VERY rambunctious Golden one weekend and I spent a LOT of time managing because she really wanted to play with my guys but she played as if they were her size. I love her to bits but she really can't come to stay again because it makes my guys uncomfortable and always having to keep an eye out in case Molly is coming by to roll them.