I have a 3 yr old chocolate lab Kade, who is very well behaved/trained. Two months ago we got a yellow lab Sunny, he is just a lil over four months now. Sunny and Kade have been doing so good getting to know each other, they do great on walks together, and don't disagree or fight over food, and share toys. But of course the puppy will agitate Kade sometimes because he wants to play constantly, no big deal!! Kade will just hop up on the couch when he has had enough and the puppy will find something else to do. My only concern is the
past few days they have started to play fight. lots of growling snarling rolling all over the place and knocking each other down.They will chase each other all around the house/yard. Seems to last for a good while, but i noticed that especially when they are outside their vocals seem to be more aggressive growling and barking. I even try to incorporate a toy, but sometimes this is not successful. To me it's just play you can tell the puppy loves it. I'm a little nervous they will hurt themselves, so i monitor at all times, and when it gets tooo crazy i break it up. I makes me wonder what the neighbors think. It may look very different from far away. I've definitely talked to friends who have two dogs and they all tell me it's normal, and to let it go. But in the same sense everyone has different perspectives! This is all a very new experience having two dogs together, they are becoming such good friends I just want to make sure they grow up happy.
I'm sure it's fine - the usual "test" of appropriate play is to remove one of the dogs (the rougher one, if play isn't equal) and see what the other dog does - if he immediately tries to re engage his buddy, play is fine. If he wanders off to do something else, time to stop the play for now.
I do think time outs are useful - teaching both dogs self control and instilling an off switch. Every once in a while break off the play and do a bit of obedience work with both dogs. A dog that can stop play and then hold a down stay is a very well trained dog!
Bitey face is normal along with the growling and showing the teeth and it's easy for others to think that it is fighting.You will know when it is fighting believe me. I experienced the same thing introducing a puppy to the house and it did turn into a dominance fight with blood spilt and the only thing that stopped it was neutering.If your two are neutered then I wouldn't worry. Even if they aren't neutered, some Labs are laid back enough not to want to fight for dominance. You seem to be doing the right thing by monitoring their play.
Sounds normal. My Nellie is very vocal and wild when she plays. Sometimes I think she is killing poor Bailey but he keeps coming back for more. They are matched in weight at about 100 pounds each but Nellie is much more agile and can be a lunatic so sometimes I put a stop to it.
The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated. -- Gandhi
What has already been said, but....I don't know where you are or what your weather has been like. Here is something to add to your observations.
It has been really hot here for several weeks. The activity level of almost all the dogs at the dog park has been quite low, with little interaction. This past week we had quite the cooling trend, highs in the 70s vs the recent 90s. The activity level at the DP has increased remarkedly. The play fighting, and chasing of each other is back to 'normal'. It is good to see. And the 2-legged visitors at the DP have more energy also.<g>
Hershey Kisses, In charge of getting Ed out to the dog park so that he gets some exercise.
Well that makes me feel a whole lot better! Thank you everyone for the great advise At least today the dogs have been pretty laid back, so i'm hopeful.