how much play is too much

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how much play is too much

This is a discussion on how much play is too much within the Puppy Help forums, part of the Dog Training and Behavior category; So, our new pup, now 12 weeks, loves to play with our older dog, and vice versa. Its so nice to see our old rescue ...

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Old 11-18-2014, 07:08 PM
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how much play is too much

So, our new pup, now 12 weeks, loves to play with our older dog, and vice versa. Its so nice to see our old rescue FINALLY play like a dog! Heartwarming..

However, the little one is relentless. Non stop. AT her continually. And she has been SO good. She keeps rolling him, gentle pins, gentle growls, tail is always going.

But, he never stops. He takes her bones and toys, and no matter how much she keeps disciplining him (maybe not strong enough?) he just is non stop.

He will escalate to where he is doing the crazy blind run around the house thing. Its usually at this point that I step in and scoop him up. He almost always immediately, or at least in a minute or two, settles right down and snoozes.

He will go in his crate fine and stay in there for anywhere up to 3 hours (usually only as much as 2)..

He also seems to want to be touching me or my other dog almost all the time.

Are these bad signs? Should he be expected to stop the madness earlier? Is the fact that my older dog isn't stronger with him going to cause problems down the road?
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Old 11-18-2014, 07:31 PM
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First, it's very likely that for now at least, your older dog has given your new one a "puppy license" that is basically like a get-out-of-jail-free card. As the puppy ages it's almost certain that you older dog with become a little more insistent that the puppy behave properly.
What I do in the situation you describe ( I have a 4-month old)is protect certain items from the puppy by saving a few toys/bones and putting them in the "grown ups only" room. Quenya doesn't care about toys unless someone is playing with her, so she's never a problem. Victoria however likes items that are hers. I give both the older dogs the choice to go into a room where the puppy can't go, where I leave a few toys that are just for them. If you make sure your older dog has a place she can escape to, she can decide on her own when she's had enough of your puppy. My two will leave the living room where everyone is playing and head to their private room when they've had enough, which is my cue to let them in and shut the door--thus barring psycho-puppy from their presence.

Puppy zoomies are common, and I let Skipper (my puppy) indulge himself without stopping him.

Additionally, make sure you are spending a lot of individual time with your older dog, not just time with her when the puppy is around.
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Last edited by RoughDiamond; 11-18-2014 at 07:34 PM.
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Old 11-19-2014, 07:43 AM
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I agree with @RoughDiamond on all points, and just wanted to add that puppies do need to be corrected by older dogs once in awhile. It's not aggression on the part of the older dog, but every now and then the older dogs will put a puppy in it's "place" so to speak -- as a way to teach them what is acceptable dog behavior and what isn't. Since you already have an older dog who is gentle, this is great. Your pup will learn proper dog etiquette in a supervised, safe environment -- rather than at the dog park or on the street via some strange and possibly reactive, un-mannered dog.

IMO if you have an older dog that is well mannered, let them play and "sort it out" unless you see that your pup is really starting to tire out and is getting exhausted. Then you'll want to separate the pup and give him a quiet place of his own to settle down (say, his crate.) Older dogs know their limits generally, and will remove themselves or give the pup a correction to say "hey, that's enough now. Settle down!"

Our cat does that with Scarlett. Bella will play with the pup but when she's had enough, she'll let the dog know and then remove herself from the scene. The pup has learnt her signals, as your pup will learn from your older dog.

If you do see a bit of irritation occur, then try to slow down the play. Rubbing your puppy's ears and head will help calm him down. Also, try to engage him in some chewing or other more calm activity to replace the rougher play.

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