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Old June 28th, 2020, 08:39 AM
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hazelrunpack hazelrunpack is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Just east of the Hazelnut Patch, Wisconsin
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Welcome to the board!

It sounds like your 9-yr-old was acting appropriately. And from your description, it sounds like your little one is showing typical puppy behavior. Puppies can be a 'menace', but they're not being aggressive, per se. They're working out boundaries, and your older dog is putting Puppy in his place. You told Older Dog to sit and he backed off, which is a good sign that he was interacting reasonably and appropriately.

So, let them play, but support your older dog's decisions. Don't correct your older dog unless he gets too rough. Pinning Puppy down, holding (not actively biting or shaking) Puppy by the scruff or neck, chewing lightly on paws is okay, even if there's a show of teeth without much wrinkle in the lips. Growling by Older Dog is usually okay, especially if there's play bowing going on at the same time. (With time, you'll be able to hear the difference between play growling and 'hey, I'm ticked off' growling.) Air snapping at Puppy is usually a sign that Older Dog has had enough and it's time to separate them. If Puppy gets bad, pick him up and give him a time out away from your older dog. If Older Dog seems stressed (shaking, backing away), pick up Puppy and give him a time out away from Older Dog.

Puppies also try to push boundaries with humans. Humans also need to set boundaries. Growling and biting aren't allowed. Same deal--if pup bites or growls, try to distract him with toys. Yipping if he nips you can be effective, as well. He's not really trying to hurt you and yipping is the way puppies signal each other that they're getting too rough. If he's still too rough, time out time.

Also remember that he'll be starting to teethe soon. That's a blessing because those little sharp baby teeth with be replaced with smoother, slightly duller adult teeth--but it also means his mouth will hurt and the chewing will get worse before it gets better. So lay in a supply of cheap washcloths that you can dampen and throw in the freezer--he can chew (under very close supervision so he doesn't rip off pieces and eat them) on the frozen cloth and it'll soothe his gums. Also, get lots of tough chewing toys to keep him busy.

One thing that has helped me immensely during all our 'puppy times' has been bicycle gloves--they cover the palm and the back of the hand, but leave the fingers bare. You'll be amazed at how they help you keep your patience with Puppy as he goes through his 'mouthy' stages--plus it helps you avoid what we call 'hamburger hands'. So I highly recommend you get a pair...or two...or three.

Congratulations on your new puppy! They are an adventure, that's for sure. Remember that a tired Puppy is a good puppy. And don't forget that your Older Dog has precedence! He'll be your best aid in training since dogs learn better from other dogs than from humans.

Good luck and keep us posted--and if you happen to have a picture or two of your dogs to share with us, we'd appreciate it!
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