Exclusively Setters

Home for Irish Setter Lovers Around the World

New 9 week old male puppy playing with my 2 yr. old Irish...Need Advice!!

Ive had my sweet new puppy for a week now, & Summer has been amazing in accepting him. He wants to play with her all the time, and she can get a little rough with her paws on his back, or head wrestling, where I'm concerned about his neck. He is almost 15 lbs. Should I intercede until he's a little older or just let them work it out? Nervous New Mom!
Also, yesterday, for the first time, she growled and went to nip as he was taking a toy from her. She had let him take anything prior to this.

All advice greatly appreciated.


Views: 380

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

I would supervise all play for a few months.....so that nothing wrong happens! Puppies have very sharp teeth and claws and so the older dog might get hurt and react. It is great that the young one is being accepted so easily but don' t let him rule! He has to accept the other dog as his role model and also will need a lot of rest, so get the puppy separated and in his bed from time to time and spend some time with older one so as no feeling of jealousy develops! I hope this helps a bit! :-)
Thanks for your reply. I have been giving here one on one time. She's been the baby all her life, so this is quite a change for her. She watches me talk to him and looks sad!

Hi Alayane, I agree with Catherine, at first all play needs to be supervised just in case of accidents.....I have just been through this experience myself, George is now 6months old and a little bit quieter lol!!! I did separate them from time to time to give him and the other two a bit of a breather, my others are 6 1/2 and 4yrs old, the 4yr old has also always been the youngest so big change for him not being the baby anymore!! I love the way they learn from the older dogs though and the older one is definately the pack leader and recognised as such without having to exert himself too much but... just occsionally.he will give a gentle warning if things get too much and it is generally heeded.  On xmas day he wanted ALL the toys, just like children really!! Mine now seem to ahve bonded well and i'm sure Summer will enjoy having someone to romp with in times to come xx

I agree with Catherine.  All puppies need supervising in play with adult dogs.  Puppies can often go right over the top, and then injure themselves by doing silly things.  I always separate a pup from an adult dog before they go over the top.  Obviously as they become older, you can allow more in the way of rough and rumbles.  It is important too that you get your new puppy playing with you too, so that she bonds to you as well as your older dog. I tell all my new puppy mums and dads this, because it is so important.  Another important thing I tell them, is to get the puppy out and about for walkies on their own a few times a week too, so that they build up their own confidence in life, and don't become too dependent upon the adult dog, as those puppies can often develop some issues with nervousness as they become older.  This is some really good advice which shouldn't be overlooked.  I take all my own new youngsters out alone to socialize them at the very least twice a week until they are about 6 months of age. 

Adult dogs should be able to discipline puppies, unless they are going well over the top, where good supervision would be necessary,.  A nip "don't you steal my toy" would be quite acceptable, or a nip which says "back off, you have really over stepped the mark here" would also be quite acceptable.  When this happens, I then intervene if the puppy starts acting silly as a response to this and then give them some time out. A lot of people forget that this is the way dogs communicate, set boundaries. Its all part of the learning process particularly with regards to personal boundaries, ie what you can and cannot do around me.  And yes there are times we have to intervene to be good parents and  to make that judgment as to when enough is enough.  Its all about getting the balance :-)  good luck. I love the settling in new puppy times and watching how they start setting their own rules and boundaries.

Here is a video of my two youngest dogs.  You will hear Barkley's groans start to take on more meaning, and  then you can hear him swear at her, and tell her to "watch it".  This is a mild admonishment, which is quite acceptable, watch her response to this,. She is actually learning what the rules of the game are.  She did get a couple of more harsh words from him as she became older and full on, which again, where quite acceptable, but  nothing over the top, if I saw anything brewing, they were separated before things became too heated.


Thank you everyone for your personal stories, it really helps, and thanks Fran for the video. That is exactly how they play, but, when on the floor, he jumps on her, biting her mouth, tries to hang off her collar, which now I remove in the house, and has become quite the little tough guy in the past few days. He's only been here 1 week today, and oh what a difference. He's full of himself and is a little terror. It escalates when she comes running with one of her favorite toys, and he, of course, wants everything she has. She seems to be less tolerant each day and this morning was a very nasty growl, which sounded to me like a bite was next. Has anyone had their older dog actually bite the puppy? I get so nervous, but do want her to school him. The only other time I had an adult dog and puppy, was Mother & Son, and, I never had to intervene.

Oh yes, Barkley and Tallulah both made DaisyMae scream on a number of occasions when she was a puppy, but she soon learned that "grrrrrrrr" was a warning to stop. These days she beats Barkley up and gives him what for, especially when he starts getting randy when she starts giving off her girly smells :-D

This sounds so familiar I kept 2 pups from my bitches litter and they do play like this. Luckily they have each other to play with rather than just their mum.

I am probably repeating what everyone else has said but here goes anyway.

They have been socialised with a few dogs my parents Lab and my best friends broken coated Jack Russell which was great when they were her size but now they are bigger than her bless her she soon puts them in their place.

Your older dog is just asserting her authority letting her know she is the alpha female and will bare her teeth and even nip if he is getting too much for her. My parents have a Lab and have a boy puppy from the litter and he is a right tearaway and steals her food, toys my mum was telling her off when she bared her teeth at him, I soon put her right and told her he will be a nightmare as he gets older if she didn't let their lab put him in his place.

Setter's play alot with their mouths and teeth and the grabbing of the neck is their way of asserting dominance and your girl is just trying to let him know he has stepped over the line like Fran has said their is a time when you might have to step in and you can tell because the sound of the growl and the barring of teeth changes.

My older dog is mum and yes she snapped at sky and nipped her the other day but it was because she had driven her to it as she is a right madam worse than her brother as she doesn't understand the word no seriously wondering if she is deaf, I then remember that they are setters and have selective hearing. They also like to smack each other with their paws something they try to do to my poor cat smacking him on the head as they want to play with him as they think he is a toy to play with.

Supervision is probably necessary for a little while but don't worry they will soon be the best of friend

Having added pup Annie to our household recently I know that it can get pretty hectic at times! Fortunately I am very confident about my adult dogs and know they will not harm the pup but will set clear boundaries. Growling & snarling can sound very ferocious but little Annie understands the language and just ducks down wagging her tail very hard... perfect body language! And sometimes sneeking up on the bone she wanted at the same time!

I never reprimand any of my adult dogs for scolding the pup when she gets too full of herself. But I will at times myself interfere and make the puppy have a 'time out' in her Varikennel when she gets over excited. It is very important for the pup to learn at an early age that over-excitement gets it no-where and throwing tantrums only leads to being 'put on hold' until she has come to her senses.

This worked extremely well for me and within just a couple of weeks the puppy had already learnt a decent amount of self restraint.

However a word of warning: I would never let my puppy approach an adult dog that I do not know! That could end up with the puppy getting seriously hurt.

Thank you! All great replies, and I really do feel better reading everyone's advice.

Any and all advice warmly appreciated, if there are more to offer!
Thanks Susan, I've taken all advice given here, and see a difference, by curbing Dash from flying in her face biting Her. He gets the message, and let's Summer know I'm with her. He's becoming a 4-Star General, full of himself, and even when she corrects him, he gets louder and more aggressive. This morning he was biting on her lip, and she allowed him while squealing! I reprimanded him, saying "no bite"' gently holding his mouth. It took a few times, but he got the message. As far as other Adult dogs, I never allow my puppies around them, until much older, and I know the dog.




© 2024   Created by Gene.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service