Nipping older dog
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Thread: Nipping older dog

  1. #1
    Nvrgn is offline Junior Member
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    DefaultNipping older dog

    Wyatt is 8 weeks old - and nippy (normal behavior I know). I've noticed that he no longer nips at the three adult females and one adult cat (unless they invite him to play) because they have been correcting him (gently, not rough corrections). However, he is relentless with my 10 year old male beagle. He hangs on him, chews his ear and Chance just sits there or rolls his eye (as if it feels good). Chance is capable of getting away, but shows little interest in moving from him. I've caught the two of them "ruff housing" and Chance is very gentle with him, lots of play bows, bitey face and growling.

    My question - Should I interfere and separate them if things are NOT getting too rambunctious? Chance has always been well socialized and loves other dogs and puppies especially. With the fostering I'vedone in the past he has been around 10+ other dogs in the house and only had an issue with one that kept attacking him (but that didn't give him any fear, he still loves all sizes of other dogs). Or should I trust that my old man will correct things if he gets too annoyed?

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  3. #2
    TimC. is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Nipping older dog

    As long as no one gets physically hurt I say leave it alone, let them work it out.
    Olie

  4. #3
    varybarry is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Nipping older dog

    I think everything will be fine... my two labs Cecil and Congo used to do that. Cecil was 5 years old when we got Congo as a puppy. Cecil was playful with Congo even when Congo was a little a rough. Cecil eventually corrected Congo and the play continued. Congo began to learn Cecil's limits and the two are best friends to this day. No worries friend its just a little puppy loving...
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  6. #4
    mom2ruger is offline Member
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    DefaultRe: Nipping older dog

    I have been having a similar problem with Ruger. He is way nippy with my sister's boxer but not with other dogs. My sister's dog won't correct Ruger at all even when he is bleeding from the nips. My sister get really frustrated with him but I don't know how to make him stop.

  7. #5
    Nvrgn is offline Junior Member
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    DefaultRe: Nipping older dog

    Chance and Wyatt were very funny last night and unrelenting. They were play wrestling - we kept moving them apart to make sure that they both wanted to play - Wyatt would lay on his back and Chance would lay over him and lick his belly and Wyatt would chew Chance's tags. I finally had to put each of them in their crate (Chance is only 10 - but has Addison's disease and CHF - so tires easily and the puppy was overdue for his nap) for a quiet time. They both fell into an exhausted sleep for a nap. Once they napped - they just laid together on the pillow and in the tiny crate.

    Its funny that Wyatt doesn't wrestle with the other dogs like that (especially Dru who is my rough houser with other dogs).

  8. #6
    varybarry is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Nipping older dog

    That's really funny... I love it when my dogs take a big naps after they get done playing. It makes owning labs all worthwhile to see them enjoy each other's company
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  9. #7
    pboig is offline Junior Member
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    DefaultRe: Nipping older dog

    I am having a problem with Abby. She is about a year old and we rescued her from Animal Control. She had been living on the streets. I have a bulldog and two golden retrievers(all rescues). Abby is very mouthy - nipping at all of the dogs, but particularly the bulldog. We've had her for about three months. Is there anything to do besides letting them work it out???

  10. #8
    Nvrgn is offline Junior Member
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    DefaultRe: Nipping older dog

    pboig - I have four adult dogs (mostly rescues) and Wyatt an 8 week old lab pup that I've had for three weeks (he is an orphan or was an orphan). I don't allow my adult dogs (and especially the "teenagers" at a year)to work things out. Chance my 10.5 year old will nip at the older girls or any adult fosters that come into the house to "play", but I discourage it because it can cause fights which I don't allow in (or outside) the house. He doesn't do that to all dogs, nor dogs that he doesn't know. Just one housemate (a spayed female) and a male (neutered) foster that use to live here. Neither dog would fight him, just push him around a bit. Chance would nip at their butts and then run the other way. With the foster - I think it was the fur - Chance loves eating fur and he was long haired, and the foster would ignore him. With my female beagle, he usually nips when she is playing with another female beagle and it is getting intense and he gets excited and tries to join in. I also believe he does it because if they get too intense everyone gets quiet time in the crate with a treat and he is smart enough to figure out how to get a treat and they all love their crates and associate it with quiet time and good treats and/or toys that are not allowed when they free roam.

    I do allow bitey face to a point but use that as a training tool for settle and calm - frequently interrupting loud and active play. If I allowed them unlimited bitey face - they could get too excited and I don't want to take the chance of a fight.

    I think your situation with Abby might be a little different than what I have going on with a very young puppy. I think the young puppies (I've never had a little one before - most of mine have been older) have special protection that they loose when they are older. You need to watch the play and the nipping to make sure they don't develop into "fights". I would discourage it if your other dogs look like they are being picked on. One way to check that is to separate the bulldog from Abby - does the bulldog look to go back with Abby or prefer to stay away.

    I personally, watching my dogs body language. When Chance is stressed by another dog, he will lick his lips, look away, not make eye contact. When the dogs are roughhousing - I notice when things get escalated, one will shake and the other will shake then they both may bound for the water bowl, another sign that things were getting a little out of hand. Also the growling may change or posture. Instead of both of them rolling around on the floor (as they get tired they lazy fight two on their backs on the floor making bitey face), one may alway be on top, or even try to hump the other one (males and females alike - even though they are all spayed/netured), if this happens I interrupt.

    You didn't mention if your other dogs are males or females? Is Abby spayed? Are the other dogs neutered/spayed? How is your bulldog reacting? It may be that Abby doesn't have socialization skills and can't interact appropriately with other dogs? A favorite way to teach settle is to have the dog on a leash and if she gets too active, step on the leash so she just has enough room to stand or lay down. Once she lays down (and after a while they all do), quickly treat her and say settle or nice settle or whatever works. Also, practice recall if having treats in a multi-dog household doesn't cause competition. I use kibble (they are chow hounds) so will all come sit for a treat.

    I also think dogs play differently depending on the breed. You didn't mention the breed that Abby is. I adopted a 2 year old Boston Terrier a couple of years ago - and the Boston's play very differently than the beagles. When we first brought the Boston home to the three beagles and she started her boingin around their heads and her open mouth and boxing with her paws they looked at her like what???????? Now they know her play signs. I'm not sure about labs - as this is my first lab. I had a Border Collie Retriever mix, who herded all the other animals in play - he wasn't as mouthy.

    Maybe someone can help you with more information.


  11. #9
    TimC. is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Nipping older dog

    Quote Originally Posted by pboig
    I am having a problem with Abby. She is about a year old and we rescued her from Animal Control. She had been living on the streets. I have a bulldog and two golden retrievers(all rescues). Abby is very mouthy - nipping at all of the dogs, but particularly the bulldog. We've had her for about three months. Is there anything to do besides letting them work it out???
    As long as the fight doesn't develop into something where one of them needs to go to the hospital let them work it out. If the bulldog is submissive to Abby you need to support Abby and completely ignore the bulldog. I know this goes against everything you would think because as humans we want to support the underdog. But if Abby is above the bulldog in the pack you could be doing more harm by supporting that dog. The bulldog will think "maybe my status is moving up in the pack?" Where Abby will feel she is moving down in status and the fights could become more frequent and hostile. By supporting Abby after a fight pet her praise her give her rubs and unless the bulldog is physically hurt completely ignore the bulldog.
    Olie

  12. #10
    varybarry is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Nipping older dog

    Yeah that is the way to deal with a dog fight. I read it in a book that supporting the underdog can cause more problems then just letting the two work things out.
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