Hi, everyone! We've had our new puppy, Rylee, for exactly one week now. She has been WONDERFUL so far, except for one minor issue: She plays REALLY rough with our three-year-old French Bulldog, Tucker. She bites him really hard and even pulls at his skin, usually in the neck/face area.
I have no doubt that she really is just playing and doesn't intend to hurt him at all. But she has those sharp little puppy teeth and she bites him SO hard sometimes! Rylee is only nine weeks old and Tucker weighs about three times what she does, so I'm sure he could put a stop to it if he tried. But Tucker is VERY sweet and seems to really like Rylee, so I think he's hesitant to snap at her when she does this. It's like he's trying to be extra patient with her because he realizes that she's a puppy and doesn't know any better. He does seem to enjoy playing with her and even initiates play pretty often. But I can tell he doesn't like the biting very much! As soon as she starts biting too hard, he just stops playing and tolerates the biting. I wish he'd just snap at her a couple times to teach her not to bite so hard, but he just won't stand up for himself.
We do have her enrolled in Puppy Kindergarten, and I'm hoping that will help some. But her classes don't start until March 26, so I'm wondering if anyone has any advice until then?
~ Rylee's Mama
You need to be the referee. What are you doing when she bites? If you got her 8wks or after she should have learned the basic bite inhibitions from her littermates, but puppies explore the world with their mouths so she will still be bitey.
Be consistent with a "no bite" command. Redirect with a toy, separate them if it gets too much.
While yes a corrective snap from an older dog would be helpful to teach the youngster to settle down/back off, you don't want to let it get to a point where your older dog snaps and it is more so a snap then a correct. If he hasn't done it already, I would think he's waiting for some help. Think of how much patience it would require to have a little one with shark teeth nipping at you constantly when all you want to do is play... kind of annoying. Give Tucker a break & help him control Rylee with commands & such. You want to ensure a pleasant experience otherwise you could have issues later on with how well they get along.
Make sure Rylee gets enough play time with humans as well to help tucker her out. Time outs in her crate would help.
~ Rylee's Mama
They do need to establish pecking order, so don't "over" supervise, just don't let it get out of control. Be careful with "no" as a command, it can be too broad for them to understand. "no bite" is more specific. Sounds like you are on the right track! Puppies are so cute & so much fun.... but so much work!!! Those little teeth hurt!
I'm at work today, but I just went home at lunchtime to let them out and play with them for awhile. Rylee was doing really well with Tucker this time! They did play a little bit while I was home, but Rylee was being pretty gentle. The few times she did start to bite a little too hard, she settled down as soon as I told her to. Of course, she was probably asleep in her crate all morning, so she was probably still sleepy. Tonight might be a different story!
~ Rylee's Mama
We have the same issue. Out lab pup is 8.5 weeks and our Havanese is 9 months. They play pretty rough sometimes and we separate them when this happens. The Havanese knows what stop means and obeys but the puppy always comes back for more. The only thing I am worried about is if this will teach the lab pup to be more aggressive which is what we do not want. Like you, I am hoping the old dog will put the pup in her place but that has not happened yet so I guess we will just keep a close watch and see how things evolve.
You should test whether your older dog is ok with the biting by interrupting a play session by holding your puppy. If your older dog comes over to you then you have nothing to worry about. If your older larger dog does not come over to you, then you have a larger issue.
Older dogs will usually tolerate an awful lot from puppies without any issue. I would not equate the pain you feel when puppy teeth connect with your skin with your dog's experience - they have much tougher hides. Unless your bulldog is complaining/crying or avoiding the puppy, I would leave it alone.
Sharon, Blaise and Diesel.
Emma tolerated a lot from Maxx and I only intefered when she would try to get away. She did not correct him until he was much older and he now understands when she has had enough. He knows better than to argue with her!
Maxx & Emma Jean
Ozzy - 10/16/02 - 06/28/11 - Always in my heart.
Sometimes the hardest part isn't letting go - but learning to start over.
Thank you, everybody! Tucker has finally started to let Rylee know when he's had enough. He isn't mean at all, but just puts her in her place. He growls at her and then she backs off. This makes me feel better. I'm so glad he's finally standing up for himself, and that it seems to be working! We still keep a close eye on them so that we can intervene if need be, but we haven't had to do that in a while now. I think she's learning!
~ Rylee's Mama