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We have a 3.5 month old female pup. Very lively, and shows no fear aggression toward other dogs. Maybe 25-26##.


My grown daughter lives nearby and has a 4 year old female Springer Spaniel, about 38 ##, pretty strong for her size, and very energetic. When she brings the Springer over, they play rather roughly and will go until they are both exhausted. The Springer is tolerant of rough play from a pup, and does not react viciously. That said, they will chase each other. The pup does about 70-75% of the chasing. And they will mouth each other and wrestle a bit. Mostly they run around like crazy.
Our pup still has baby teeth, she can clamp down pretty good, and I'm afraid if she caught some of the Spaniel's ear leather, that might provoke a reaction.



Questions: (1) is there any danger to the pup's growth plates? Much of the house is carpeted, but not all. They do more running than jumping.
(2) Any danger to the pup's cardio system? When we get them apart, sometimes, her heart seems like it is beating out of her chest.
(3) Should I avoid having two females playing, for fear that rivalry will take over and the Springer may jump the pup? This Springer is pretty sweet tempered, and as I say, tolerant of the pup--so far. We try to avoid having toys out that they might get possessive over.

I would hate to crate her every time my daughter and her dog visit. But neither do I want her to over-do it and stress growth plates, or get jumped, and become fear aggressive.
So far, she shows no fear of other dogs. When the Spaniel comes in the door, the pup gets excited, and the games commence until we separate them. She just seems to like playing at a flat-out pace and a little on the rough side.
 

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You are blessed to have a dog who is tolerant of puppies, this is great for the puppy. Just let them play, and when you think they are getting too rowdy, break it up and separate them so they can rest. Just like a little kids. They don’t know when to stop, and that is when you step in.
 

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Probably not a good idea to let them get so wound up that they run each other to exhaustion.How about 20 minutes or so of playtime before winding them back down with a potty break on leash,a drink of water,and some down time?It's a good opportunity to learn self control.
 

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Like the other posts, I agree that natural play is great exercise and most likely safe. I do think you should monitor them and settle them down if they are overdoing it or are getting tired. Because they get along so well, you also have a great opportunity to teach them how to settle down. Once they have had a good romp, you and your daughter could get the dogs to lie down and chill for a while. You would probably need a leash for the pup, and maybe even for the Springer.

I have a 6 month old GSD and a 13 year old golden retriever. As improbable as it seems, the retriever loves to play with the shepherd. Given her age, she can only handle so much activity. Now, she will sleep at the drop of a hat, so I used a leash from when the gsd was first home when play time was over. I have taught the pup the command, " leave her" and when I put him in a down and give him a chew toy he knows it's time just hang out. For my two, the easiest way to start was by giving them each a bully stick. They were so crazy about them that they would focus on that rather than each other.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for replies.

The pup shows no ill effects, and always votes for play the minute the Springer comes through the door.
Good for the Springer too, as she spends a lot of time alone during the week.

Visits are usually weekends, so we have the whole crew, daughter, wife, myself, son-in-law, often my other grown daughter to monitor.

A time out occasionally seems like a good idea, and they definitely get to the point where they both could use one.

The pup is now somewhere between 28-29 ##, so the size difference shrinks a little with every day.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Pup not putting on weight quite that fast, by the way. I was just guess-timating in the first post based on last vet visit. Actually weighed her last night.
It is kind of funny when the other dog comes over, you can almost sense her saying, "Wait, you were smaller last time." The play will continue when the size disparity runs the other way. The Springer used to play with our previous GSD, who was a tallish and athletic 75-78 ## or so.
 
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