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Puppy Play

November 27th, 2006, 09:17 AM
We had a friend bring over her husky to play with Sprocket the other day, and they played for 2 hrs straight. One thing I noticed and am a bit concerned about is the fact that on occasion when they were playing, Sprocket would lift his lip up and show his teeth. He didn't do this at the beginning, it seems as though when he got a bit more comfortable, he started doing it. This is the first time he's been with another dog for this length of time since he's been with us. We're definitley making a habit of him interacting with other dogs, and Meka seemed to know he was a puppy and went easy on him considering what a pain in the butt he was towards her.

Is the teeth showing thing just a puppy thing or should I nip it in the butt before it gets out of hand? :dog:

November 27th, 2006, 09:35 AM
i noticed when i was socializing my pup that she would do that when she needed a break, especially if the other dog was bigger that her. She would play like crazy and then show her teeth, so i would take her outside for a few minutes and let her regain herself and then she would go back and play again.

November 27th, 2006, 11:43 AM
"nip it in the butt" - I would not recommend biting her in the butt. :yuck: I think the phrase is 'nip it in the bud' (like trimming roses). :p

Anyway....2 hours of play for the first time is a lot. I would try to break it into smaller sections. 20 mins. of play - 20 minute rest - 30 mintues of play - etc. Of course it depends on the age of your pup (sounds young).

Think of little kids, when they play too long and hard they get tired and cranky - pups are the same. A little lip curling can be assertive play or it can be aggressive. You have to get to know your pup to decide which it is. However if it ever gets out of your comfort zone you have every right to step in a correct her. I would then remove her for a few minutes to let her calm down. Perhaps have her go back in to the other dog on leash attached to you so you can be more on top of it.

Some dogs play very rough and its just fine - other dogs don't deal with rough play too well and the lip lifting is their way of warning the other dog to back off. Sounds like the other dog was respectful to your pup and perhaps your pup was just insecure enough to want to back the older dog off.

November 27th, 2006, 11:56 AM
Thanks for your your help dogcatharmony and tenderfoot. Sprocket just turned 11 weeks old and Meka is 1 1/2 now...she's very good with Spocket and seems to know when she's around little kids and puppies, as she's very calm and tolerates alot from either. I never thought that he'd be sick of it after a while, and really, we didn't mean it to end up being 2 hrs, but we all stood in the kitchen talking while the dogs played. The dogs play well together though, I was quite happy. I think next time, we'll go over to Meka's and depending on how Sprocket does, we'll take him home after a 1/2 hr to hour if he displays the lip curl again, or just take him our for a pee break.

It's been so long since I've had a puppy, I don't know how to deal with them anymore.:sad: