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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys!

Need Advice, Opinions, Suggestions

I have a new 10 wk old male st. bernard puppy,tucker, and a 3.5 yr old female havanese mix,sophie. Sophie is still trying to get used to and accept him and now shes starting to interact with him more. Recently they started to play with each other but I'm not sure if sophie is actually playing, or fighting/being aggressive.

When they "play" Sophie barks at him with a deep tone and also growls at him, then she proceeds to chase him around the house or yard. She doesn't seem tense, and she never attempts to hurt him, but her energy level is unusually elevated. She also won't stop chasing/growling/ barking at Tucker unless I pick her up to calm her down.

Another thing to add is that both her and the puppy have their tails up and waving. Tucker sometimes seems like he's scared but after they "play" he would approach her again like nothing happened. When they are not "playing" they seem okay around each other except for the occasional growl from sophie when tucker invades her personal space.

I've only had tucker for 2 weeks and I've had Sophie for almost 2 years.

All of the behaviors I've described is very uncharacteristic of Sophie. She is a very calm, sweet-loving dog who is very well socialized and behaved around other dogs. But I'm not sure how experienced she is around puppies.

P.S I've never raised a puppy before so I'm not exactly sure how the interactions between puppies and adult dogs should be, especially in the beginning of their relationship.

So What Do Y'all Think?

Is This Playing? Is This Normal Play Behavior? Is Sophie Showing Aggression? Should I Let It Be? Should I Correct It?
 

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Is there any chance you could get a video of it? Also, what's Tucker's size like relative to Sophie?

Large breed puppies are huge and klutzy; I would not blame Sophie one bit if she were a little leery of him. They aren't even safe from themselves with those huge feet! Another issue that arises a lot is that in order to greet/interact with a small dog, a large dog has to get quite close. That's a whole lot of dog right in the little guy's area and sometimes they will tell that to the puppy!

Try to keep the experiences between them positive but if aggression is shown, just separate them. The last thing you want is for either dog to learn that communicating a good warning rather than biting is unacceptable. I also find that puppies, because they are still learning how to interact with other dogs, don't know when to make an exit. So if it's clear that his presence is unappreciated by the other dog, try to call him away to play with you. Supervised and positive interactions will help Tucker get the hang of socializing with small dogs and learning how not to intimidate them. And if you don't let Tucker pester her too much, Sophie will gain confidence that she is not fending for herself; that if things get out of hand you will give her a break from Tucker.
 

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Sounds like doggie play since there is no yelps. When my dogs play it sometimes sounds like they are killing each other but it is all in play. Watch the body language. If the pup yipes watch carefully you don't want it to go to blood. If there are no warning sounds I would let them play. Growling is OK just no snarling there is a difference. Watch and listen if it gets to ruff intervene by removing the puppy.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hey guys! thanks for the input...

They played again today and instead of freaking out this time, I just observed them and realized that they were indeed playing.

another odd behavior I observed today was that sophie repeatedly tried to mount and hump the puppy. It seemed really odd to me because shes spayed... but I read online that shes just trying to tell him who's boss... is this behavior okay?
 

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Hey guys! thanks for the input...

They played again today and instead of freaking out this time, I just observed them and realized that they were indeed playing.

another odd behavior I observed today was that sophie repeatedly tried to mount and hump the puppy. It seemed really odd to me because shes spayed... but I read online that shes just trying to tell him who's boss... is this behavior okay?
She is just making a statement but I would not let it become habit. I would tell her off. I used to board dogs and I boarded two Golden's that lived together and that is all they did is hump all the time I found it quite obnoxious.
 

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She is just making a statement but I would not let it become habit. I would tell her off. I used to board dogs and I boarded two Golden's that lived together and that is all they did is hump all the time I found it quite obnoxious.
Ok I have a similar case I have a 15 month female Shih Tzu spawned and I just got a 8 week female pomeranian not old enough to spay yet and I noticed what appeared to the pom humping the Shihtzu. I thought that only male dogs humped.
 

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Ok I have a similar case I have a 15 month female Shih Tzu spawned and I just got a 8 week female pomeranian not old enough to spay yet and I noticed what appeared to the pom humping the Shihtzu. I thought that only male dogs humped.
This is an ancient thread, so I will be locking it as you have another thread running anyway. But - humping is (here) excited overarousal - not sexual. Humping is very seldom sexual. Just step in calmly and stop it before it starts.
 
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