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TM puppy play- what's ok and what's not?


My new TM Betty (~10wks) shares a house with two ~2yr old Vizslas (quite a crew, right?) and they tend to rough-house pretty hard. Betty has ZERO fear of the larger, older dogs and I can't really tell how much to let them 'go at it' and establish their roles as older, more alpha pack leaders (the V's) or if I should be stepping in to try to mellow out the TM. Am I teaching her dog aggression or am I teaching her how to "get along"? The V's definitely put her on her back and are very 'gentle', but I just don't know what I am perpetuating here- learning or bad behavior. Any input is welcome!


Well-Known Member
First thing I would say is that there should only be one pack leader and that is you. Period. Let them play and enjoy themselves but again, this is something you control and if you would like them to stop because it is getting too rough then have them stop. It sounds to me that they are playing and enjoying themselves as dogs and as a pack.


Well-Known Member
I agree with season, and I will add that older dogs often will help greatly to socialize pups, but if she isn't getting the message from them, I think stepping in is a must. I'm a great believer that older dogs are co-trainers to a puppy in that they will show the dog appropriate behavior sometimes, in my opinion, in a clearer way to a pup than a handler. However, 10 weeks is very young, so they might not start really laying down the law with her for another month or more due to hormonal changes that will occur in the puppy as she grows, which will signal to your older dogs that the rascal needs to take more responsibility in her actions and won't be permitted the same leeway as a very young puppy.

"Nothing is neither good nor bad, but thinking makes it so."
Hamlet Prince of Denmark


Well-Known Member
I'd step in if they're knocking furniture over (and/or send them outside to play), or if the TM starts to act fearful of the V's approach, or if the TM starts charging at the V's in a less-than-puppy-playful manner.

Otherwise - let 'em at it!

But, as said above, it's your house, your rules. You should stop them anytime YOU are uncomfortable with the level of energy they're using.