Puppy Play

Got a new, young, furry love in your life? This is the place for you to ask all of your questions-big or small! Just remember that you are receiving advice from other dog owners and lovers... not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a vet or behaviorist! Most important is to remember to have fun with your new fur baby.


Barked: Tue Aug 6, '13 12:41pm PST 
I know that it is normal for puppies/dog to play by jumping on each other, nipping, pawing, growling, barking etc. but can this encourage bad playing behaviour?

Zeea is 11 weeks old and loves to play with my sister's dog (Silas, 1 1/2) they play quite rough and they get pulled apart if either one yelps. I play with Zeea and now she has started growling (play growl) at me also she nips. I tell her enough and she stops at the time but next time she'll do it again. Today she was biting and pulling my hair.

It also doesn't help that my fiance and family thinks her barking and growling is perfectly fine because it's 'play', they even go so far as to 'bark' or 'growl' back.

I am not sure who is right...is my fiance right that her barking/growling and nipping (since it's what puppies do) is no problem? Or I'm I right to discourage it so it doesn't develop into anything (especially since she is going to be at least 50 pounds, I can only imagine how people would react to her growling/barking).

Serious Face
Barked: Tue Aug 6, '13 1:48pm PST 
I think rough play with other dogs is fine so long as both dogs seem to be having fun. Stopping the play for a bit when one of them yelps is good because it teaches the other when they have gone too far. You can let them play again after a few minutes. smile

Discourage her from biting people and pulling on hair. Dogs can totally learn that rough play with other dogs is okay, but rough play with people is not. You can try yelping like another puppy does and ignoring her for a few minutes when she does this. You can also try redirecting her mouth onto a toy when you see her coming at you (before she gets her teeth on you). Play biting on people may be cute when they're a puppy, but not when they're all grown up.

She will probably keep trying to bite on you for a few months. This is just what puppies do, all you can do is stay consistent with how you respond to it and eventually she will learn that biting on people means no play time (and that biting on toys means lots of play time). It would be good if you could get your fiance on your side with this. My boyfriend is really inconsistent with play biting, so while Arya doesn't bite on me very much anymore, she bites on him all the time (sometimes she gets attention for it, sometimes he's really irritated).

I don't think her barking and growling is a problem if it's all in good fun during play. She's probably just very excited. smile I don't mind excitement barking during play, but I try to ignore barking for attention when we aren't playing.