Puppy and Older Dog Playing or Fighting? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-20-2018, 07:58 PM Thread Starter
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I have an almost 2 year old German Shepherd (male - not neutered). He is well socialized, energetic, good temperament, rough play. We just got an 8 week female German Shepherd. They get along most of the time. The 2 year old male grabs at her neck (not full bite) and nudges her alot. He definitely enjoys her company and he loves to play. However, with grabbing her neck I'm unsure if he is trying to be dominent and causing trouble. The puppy usually responds back with bites, barks and growls. At times it turns into play because the puppy goes into the play position with a high tail. And this exites him so much that he knocks her over by running at her or around her (he is 90lbs). She loves to bite at his cheeks. However, what worries me is when she starts to snarl at him because he goes for her neck. She looks crazy! She rarely submits to him and it escalates because of that. Is this normal?? Is it playing, fighting or both?

Last edited by ldicioccio1; 08-20-2018 at 08:00 PM.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-20-2018, 08:19 PM
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Do not allow them to continue playing rough. 90lb dog vs puppy is not fair at all.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-20-2018, 08:49 PM
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I have one friend who adopted an 18 months old 100lb male GSD. Shortly after, she adopted a 3 months old male. Funnily enough, the little one bites on the big one, crawls over him etc but the big dog doesn't care. It drives mt friend crazy but the big dog just kinda accepted that. It's a matter of dog personalities I suppose. And plus, the big dog is STILL a puppy, so if he did 'lead' the little one, it'd be like yhe blind leading the blind.

But if one of your dogs don't agree with the other's behaviour, correct them right away and be CONSTANT. If they still don't listen, seperate them for the time being.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-20-2018, 10:00 PM Thread Starter
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Yes, I have seen many older german shepherds lay there and take the behavior of the puppy. He does that with somethings - like when he is eating a bone or playing with a toy and she tries to take it. He is usually calm - isn't food possessive and if it is a toy he is chewing on he will give her a little growl (she usually fights back). But it is the grabbing of her neck that triggers the puppy. And he isn't aware of how rough he playing when he runs around her- he is use to playing with large dogs that enjoy wrestling. I am currently supervising like crazy and at times leashing him. But I am wondering if the constant grabbing her neck him playing or trying to be dominant or something else.

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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-20-2018, 10:25 PM
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Why risk an injury? Keep them separated until she is larger and then try again.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-20-2018, 10:54 PM
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Yeah, I'd keep them apart. I can't remember where but I either read about it or saw it on a show on Animal Planet, Nat Geo, or something, but a full grown dog and a small puppy went after a thrown ball. The big dog was so ball focused that it ran over the puppy and seriously injured it....broken bones and internal injuries if I remember correctly. Another story...a family brought back a brand new puppy and in the driveway brought out the full grown dog to introduce him to the puppy. The big dog ran right over and couldn't stop fast enough and rolled right over the puppy. On the very first day, the puppy had a broken leg. There are other stories between large and small dogs that I know/have heard, but y'all get the picture. I know these things are anomalies and don't happen often, but I just wouldn't take that chance.
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