3 month old puppy biting older dog and friends' puppies(9 Posts)
Help! We have a 15 week old working cocker spaniel and a 6 year old miniature schnauzer. We've had the puppy since 11 weeks, so she had extended time with her litter mates and mother and another older dog belonging to the breeder. Which I would've thought would've been good in terms of learning about bite inhibition.
She is still chasing our older dog for a large proportion of the day -biting his tail, his beard, his neck. She's broken the skin on his tail a couple of times. He growls and retaliates (schnauzers are quite growly anyway) but I don't believe we've seen any aggressive behaviour. I don't believe it is annoying him quite as much as it was 3 weeks ago (he's no longer hiding under our legs!) but it is excessive and tiring!
I've separated them and held her/ignored her when the behaviour is prolonged. I've rewarded "nice" behaviour between them. I've crated her when she seems over tired or over stimulated. I'm also aware of her breed characteristics - feed her from a Kong Wobbler, do lots of small training sessions throughout the day, stimulate her mentally but also plan rest periods.
On walks she is really quite submissive with other adult dogs, but a friend visited yesterday with their 3 month old sprocker and she acted in the same way she does with our schnauzer. The friend thought her behaviour was completely inappropriate and took her puppy home
We visited another friend with a 6 mth old puppy and they didn't like her behaviour either
What should we do?! I had expected her to have stopped hassling our older dog quite so much by now, and whilst I think a certain amount of puppy rough & tumble is to be expected with other puppies (both other friends are first time owners and a little precious!) we are concerned that her behaviour is excessive.
Any advice appreciated. We will seek one to one help from a trainer if necessary.
Oops appalling English there - would've thought would've... !!
I had the bitey pup too! We took him to puppy classes where he has supervised play with other pups and a trainer supervised and explained what was appropriate and how to 're direct him before he became bitey.
My cocker was a very horror for biting and nipping when he was tiny, but he gradually learnt what was and wasn't appropriate from other dogs. I walked him daily with an older spaniel who was tolerant of having his ears and tail nipped as they ran around and played, but would retaliate if my pup went too far.
I found he did play rough with other puppies as none of them were entirely sure of correct dog play and etiquette. However, I would agree with the benefits of Puppy classes, where they do get to meet, greet, play and learn alongside young dogs of all ages, with the very helpful guidance of an experienced trainer.
I also focused massively on socialising him with other dogs whenever possible and he really did learn so much, yes he was growled at and nipped (not bitten) occasionally, but this was teaching him to play gently and to read other dogs body language which is so important.
They are not called 'cockerdiles' for nothing!!
It doesn't sound like your puppy is genuinely aggressive. I have a 5 month old lurcher who likes to play rough and I'm sure would enjoy a bitey session with him. The only time that things went a bit wrong for us was actually with a schnauser, they were having a bitey play session in the park, think the schnauser started growling and then so did my pup and they both got aggressive.
But it sounds like you are doing the right things and that he will slowly learn. I think there are very different opinions from other dog owners about what is and isn't acceptable. As a new dog owner I initially found the bitey play rather horrifying but my pup enjoys it so much and is normally able to judge whether another dog wants to join in or not, so I have got used to it. But I think if you don't have a bitey pup then another dog biting yours would seem awful, even if the pups are quite happy.
There's bitey play and there's bitey play ...bit hard to tell without actually seeing it in action
The key thing I think is, is it reciprocal? Are both puppies enjoying it and initiating play?
If one of them is squealing and getting upset then you definitely need to step in and redirect. However my dog has a couple of whippet friends and he has lovely pretend biting sessions with them - the key thing is there's never any actual contact - occasionally one of the whippets will forget and catch my dog with a tooth and he'll squeal and come and stand in between my legs for a timeout. He's always happy to start the game again though
Thanks for your replies!
I do think the bitey sessions between my 2 dogs have lessened somewhat and my schnauzer is definitely teasing her now, but when she gets into it she is definitely biting and not just mouthing. She still latches onto his tail or beard!
We started puppy classes two weeks ago, she's fine there because they are all on leads. I think my sprocker friend's comments upset me because they thought that she was aggressive and ruining his socialisation. But the sprocker was definitely retaliating! I'm pretty sure she's boisterous but not aggressive, so will continue to curb her when she gets a bit too excited.
More dreadful English - too many definitelys! I'm rubbish at posting on my phone
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