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Rough play with dog.....is this a bad idea?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
We have a 10 mo chihuahua who loves rough play. He is rough and tumble with our Labrador and is almost always the one to instigate the play.

He seems to see our kids as play mates as well. My oldest DD will creep up to him saying "nice doggie" and this gets him going. He jumps up and runs and chases her and she runs away. He will hide and stalk her waiting for her to pass by and Then off they go again. Its great fun and they could do this for hours.

My concern is that they really get going. He will try to wrestle with her the way he does with other dogs. He uses his mouth on her biting, growling, chasing etc..... It's Never done aggressively. Never. Its always in the same style of play he does with our dog where they run and chase and wrestle in the backyard and, the second she wants to stop, she just picks him up and he immediately stops and starts giving kisses (licks) and calms down.

He's only 6 lbs so, he can't really hurt her but, sometimes he will go too far. One time while she was hiding under a blanket and he was trying to get to her, he accidentally bit her cheek. He didn't break the skin but, it did hurt.

I sometimes wonder if it's a good idea to allow him to see her as a play mate. He adores her and will instigate the play as much as she does but, I worry about allowing him to chase and growl and use his mouth in play with her. Thoughts?
post #2 of 4

I am not comfortable with the dog using his mouth like that when playing with the kids. Our dog is quite a bit larger than yours -- about 50 pounds. The rule in our house is when he uses his mouth like that in play with the kids the play stops. Doesn't happen very often any more.

post #3 of 4
I agree: our pup (7 months old) is welcome to play rough-and-tumble with us or our daughter, but she does NOT get to use her mouth on us ever. From 9 weeks on we were very firm that when teeth hit our daughter's skin play time was over (we trained our daughter to use a loud "yelp" and walk away. I let Merlow mouth me a little, but when it got too hard I'd yelp too and put her in the kennel. Then as she got older I responded to lighter and lighter pressure, and now at seven months she does not use her mouth to play with us at all.

We do tug-o-war games and such, and before she was really good about not useing her mouth on our skin we would wrestle while she had a chew toy or rope in her mouth. That way she could use her mouth but on an acceptable toy instead of on our fingers, arms, or ankles.
post #4 of 4

We are in a puppy training class right now (geared at pups 3-4 months) and the instructor was saying that at this age, no teeth to skin should be allowed,  Teeth to pants leg, give the puppy something else to chew.  Teeth to bare ankle means pup is immediately put into 15 second "time out."  Playtime ends, and puppy is put somewhere boring for about 15 seconds.


This doesn't always work out very well for us logistically, but we do immediately end any play when teeth touch skin.

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