Can a 3 year old be going through a 'delayed puppyhood'?

(7 Posts)

Hello,

I have had my lovely 3-year old Staffie/Boxer X rescue for a month and he's doing really well smile

Could it be possible though he's going through a delayed puppyhood because he didn't have one when he was a puppy? (He was a stray, then went to the council pound, then to the rescue - no history pre-dating the stray phase...)

He's so like a puppy when we're out - very submissive when a dog approaches him (lies down sometimes), but then if they want to play he gets more and more boisterous and does a lot of mouthing, and it ratchets up to the point I'll call him away.

Is there anything in particular I can do to discourage the mouthing/full-on aspect? Or should it be a dog that eventually tells him to do one? His tail is wagging furiously when they're playing (I've been watching closely!) so I know he is playing.

I'd love to not have to call him away as I'd be happy for him to play until he drops, but it just seems to get too full-on. I thought perhaps he's acting out his puppyhood and doesn't realise how big and clumsy he actually is?

Wondered if anyone had been through similar. He does the mouthing thing on me at home occasionally and I've been discouraging it.

In all other respects he is really fantastic. I've got recall in the bag using clicker and treats, and even when involved with other dogs he'll come when I call. He lives for food so training has been a doddle. I just need to keep him away from picnics and...food... He's a serious cuddler too!

Thanks in advance, and thanks for reading smile

ender Fri 02-May-14 16:27:16

It sounds like he's got more boxer than staffy in him if he loves playing with other dogs. As long as owner and other dog happy why not let him?
My lab is 3 yrs old and still plays like a loon with other dogs, esp boxers, but only when invited. Looks really OTT but there's never a problem, lots of face biting, leaping about and wrestling, sometimes carries on for half an hour. Eventually dogs wear themselves out and have a lie down or go off and chew grass together.

OnaPromise Fri 02-May-14 16:43:27

Yes that is possible, and it may take him a while to settle down. Once they realise they've got their feet under the table you get some adolescent type behaviour, testing boundaries etc. Mouthing you at home I would just get up and turn away from him, so eventually there's no point in him doing it many more. With other dogs, they do mouth each other when playing. If you think it is just boisterous play rather than him getting aggressive I would probably only let him off lead to play if you can control him and with dogs who are definitely going to be up for it. Tail wagging is not always friendliness, they sometimes do it when over excited. I would continue to practice caution until you know him better. Our rescue greyhound gets a bit boisterous but we can muzzle him because he's used to it, and we only let him run about with other big or robust dogs.

OnaPromise Fri 02-May-14 16:46:41

He sounds lovely btw. Congratulations!

Hi onapromse and ender, thanks for replying!

He is definitely gorgeous and I'm 100% certain he's playing (albeit 'rough' play!), but you've given me food for thought.

My previous staffie was a great play fighter, but it always seemed quite slow-motion and simulated (mouthing), if that makes sense?! He was also an ace dodger and tied the other dogs in knots with his fast moves grin

The last thing I want to do is stop him from playing or start getting neurotic about him being too full-on so it's good to know this is fairly normal! You're right about exercising caution though - I've only had him a month so we're still getting to know each other...

I'll just be sure that the other dog is up for 'extreme play' lol and if not I'll call him away.

Ender your lab sounds gorgeous, and just like mine! That's another thing he'd only ever start playing if the other dog invites him. So far, he's never actually initiated a game - quite happy to have a small sniff and trot on if they don't look up for playing.

Thanks again, that's reassured me smile
Threesteps x

musicposy Fri 02-May-14 22:48:32

Ddog1 and Ddog2 race around mouthing each other and fake growling as if they are a few weeks old. Ddog2 has never stopped thinking she's a puppy at 4, but Ddog1 is nearly 12 and definitely old enough to know better!
I wonder if they ever slow down?
Congrats on your rescue, he sounds lovely. We've just taken on two rescues <crazy dog lady with too many dogs> who haven't really had a life until now and it's very rewarding. Hope you have lots of fun ahead smile

Aw music, they sound lovely smile

Thanks for your post, and congrats on your 2 rescues!

I'm on rescue no. 2 here and haven't regretted it for a second apart from when I'm hungover and they behave like lunatics

have a good weekend x

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