My puppy's newest game, is it normal?

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My puppy's newest game, is it normal?

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Old 02-18-2014, 04:33 PM
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My puppy's newest game, is it normal?

This is my first puppy/dog (although I've trained my sister's dog) of my own. He's nine months old now and is an intact Pit/lab mix.

Lately he's started up a new "game."

My puppy has been having fun messing around with my sister's dog (chi/jack/dach). Anyways, Fritz (the little dog) will be chilling and chewing on a toy. Fen (my puppy) sees him and just HAS to mess with him. He'll try to take the toy and Fritz will growl and give him full warning to back the heck off. So of course Fen keeps hopping around (often in a play bow) and causes Fritz to growl more and more. Fen will then paw at him (often to try and take the toy) or just try and knock Fritz around by nudging him with his snout. This often sets Fritz off who then charges at Fen. Fritz then barks and snaps but Fen just avoids it and moves like it's a game. Fritz will go back to the toy and Fen will do it all over again.

Fritz makes it painfully obvious that he doesn't want to be messed with but Fen doesn't care. I've scolded Fen when he does this but he'll just jump back a few feet and start messing with Fritz again a few seconds later. If I get up to make him back off he'll take off and try and get me to chase him (play bow and excited barking as well sometimes).

He's started this within these last two months so I think it's some adolescent dog-game or something. However, Fritz's barking gets REALLY annoying and I fear Fen might never learn to respect other dogs (at least smaller dogs, he's gotten himself bitten by screwing around with older and larger dogs).

So, is this normal annoying puppy behavior or should I at least keep a close eye on it?
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Old 02-18-2014, 04:38 PM
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Pretty normal stuff. Though I would still end the game myself, but separating the two of them. Just put the puppy on the other side of a gate or door. You never know if the older dog will get fed up one day.
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Old 02-18-2014, 04:43 PM
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I would avoid having your puppy in that situation, if the dog is growling like that, the next step will be biting likely. It sounds like Fritz is resource guarding his toy. There are some great articles on here reguarding that topic. But I would not let your puppy keep antagonizing your older dog. That isn't fair to him. We have an older Lab, a year old GSD mix, and a puppy. If either of the older dogs seem like they are just not interested in playing with the puppy, and she is not getting their hints, I will distract and play with her myself, or if that doesn't work she will go in her kennel temporarily. Our older dogs are great with her and have never even growled at her at any point, but they should not have to put up with everything just because they will...And I don't want them to get pushed over their limit.
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Old 02-18-2014, 04:44 PM
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Also congratulations on your new puppy! Pictures!
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Old 02-18-2014, 04:50 PM
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Normal, yes. Appropriate, no.
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Old 02-18-2014, 04:59 PM
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Yeah, I separate them when it gets too bad. I was hoping he'd learn from experience not to mess with Fritz (he has been bitten several times because of it) but that's not sticking. I do separate them when Fenrir gets obsessive about it.

Fritz is kinda a resource guarder. He used to have a big problem with it but now he's doing pretty good. Often when the growling starts is when Fritz wants to be alone. If Fritz wants to play with Fenrir and a toy at the same time it's a lot different. However, Fritz is just so small that Fenrir can drag him around now (so if Fritz doesn't want to play and has one of the rope toys Fen can grab it and force a game of tug-o-war).
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Old 02-18-2014, 06:57 PM
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You need to separate them the FIRST time Fritz says no- don't give Fen a chance to try again. NO means NO! And by separating them and ending the game you are reinforcing Fritz' personal boundaries and showing Fen that his behavior is uncool. If Fritz is like "okay, we can play" then great, let them play, but if your pup is bored and looking to get a kick out of the other dog's frustration, that is not acceptable. Remove the puppy and give him something to occupy his time and energy- stuffed kong, some training, a marrow bone, etc.
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Old 02-18-2014, 10:59 PM
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Ok, I'll start removing him at first warning. I guess I just expected him to listen to another dog like he does when it comes to food. If Fritz was larger I bet Fen would listen to him right away though, lol. Luckily he learns pretty quickly.
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