Relentless Play (no surprise...)

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PJH9's picture
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Joined: 2011-08-21

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Hey all, quick question:

Have a new female puppy in the house.   Had her for about 3 weeks now.  We also have a 3 year old neutered male boxer.  Here is the situation:

-For the first 10 days or so in the house, she was sweet as a button and got along great with the boxer.

-About a week ago we were playing in the backyard, and the level went up a notch.  She started nipping at his ankles, ears, jowls... well everything.  The boxer responded in boxer fashion- clipping her legs and bowling her over, pawing at her when she got too agressive.  

-Since then their play has been largely of that fashion- high speed with lots of rolling. Nobody has growled, tails have been up, and the boxer has been very lenient with her nipping at him.  Lots of teeth and mouths, but no ferocity.

-However, she has been positively RELENTLESS with him, particularly in the morning and at night (high activity periods).  She basically won't leave him alone during those times, and she ends up gettting really really ramped up.  I've been letting it go for for a little bit, then stepping in and giving them a time out.  She'll chill out for a little while, but will start right up again, when she's given freedome to do so. 

-Until now, it has looked to me just like rough play, and I've chalked it up to her being a.) a puppy, b.) a doberman, c.) getting more confident in her home, and him being a.) a boxer, c.) willing to play.

I've almost hoped that he would just gowl/bark at her and solve the issue himself, but that hasn't happened and I don't think it would deter her anyways. 

 

Any cause for concern?  Sound about right for a doberpuppy?

Thank you in advance for the feedback.

HarleyBear's picture
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Joined: 2011-08-17

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They do play rough sometimes, don' they?  Harley is the same way with his friend Cody (Cocker-Cavalier Mix).  Cody will tell him to back off, but it sounds to me like your boxer hasn't yet.  

Have you tried a tie-down in the living room?  That way you can all hang out and watch TV, and she gets used to being in the same room with the boxer and not harassing him.  Give them each a chew toy so they are occupied and you can have some peace.  You need to teach them that rough-housing happens outside, not inside behavior.

Also, when Harley was a pup and bugging Ellie, I would do some training.  When things got really ramped up, I would pull out the treat bag and make them work.  That way they focused on me and not each other.  Make her do some puppy push-ups (sits and downs) and teach them new tricks (while the boxer is out).  I would say my commands and both my dog would do them simultaneously.  Harley was more into the treats than bugging Ellie.  

Wolfgirl_121's picture
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Joined: 2010-11-08

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When Skye started playing rough with my grandma's sheltie, I did the same thing as HarleyBear... re-direct with treats and training, you know, FUN stuff. At her age you dont want to correct with discipline, dobes are very sensitive and don't respond well to even verbal correction as pups.