Hello everybody,
I have been a lurker for a long time, but now I need your help... (And please excuse my English, I am a francophone...) And sorry for the long post...
Until last march, I had 2 dogs: Zoe, a female Rott-Lab mix, 9 years old, and a rescued 4 years old female Shih Tzu, Ming. They both got along very well, slept side by side on the same dog-bed, played together a lot, etc... Then in march, Zoe became very sick, some kind of leukemia, and we had to have her put to sleep... We were so sad, it happened so fast... But we decided to adopt another dog, we love dogs and wanted Ming to have a new companion.One month ago, after lots of research, we found a lovely 10 weeks old black female Labrador, Maggie. She is now almost 14 weeks old, full of energy, and a MONSTER (well, in the eyes of Ming the Shih Tzu!). Being a puppy, she always wants to play with Ming, but she is very energetic, and jumps on Ming and paws her and bullies her a lot. (She is now 8 pounds heavier than Ming). At first, we decided to let them work it out between themselves, but Ming is not a dominant dog, so all she does is run from Maggie while barking at her and menacing to bite.

I hoped she would get so fed up she would finally bite Maggie hard enough for her to understand she had to respect Ming a little more, but to no avail. Sometimes, Ming nips her, and Maggie will stand back a little, but not for long...
We keep them separated in the house, Maggie being confined to the kitchen until she is totally housebroken. They can see each other, and occasionnally sniff noses through the gate, and Ming often lies besides Maggie's crate while the MONSTER is sleeping. We take long daily walks with the two dogs (they are loose, we are in a rural area and walk through fields and woods), and Maggie will leave Ming alone most of the time, being occupied at following her nose and carrying sticks. But as soon as Maggie wants to approach Ming, the poor Shih Tzu panics and barks and shows teeth and runs from the MONSTER. Poor Maggie just wants to play, but she is too rough... We were hoping things would get better as time goes by, but no...

It has been going on for a month. I guess we will have to take this matter in our own hands? But how? It's clear that Ming is unable to assert herself, Maggie terrorizes her and she wants nothing to do with that MONSTER. Or do we have to wait for Maggie to get older and calm down? But I find it sad that these two can't get along...
What would be the best way to make the puppy understand that Ming is not a toy and that she must respect her more?
TIA,
Louise M., QC
Until last march, I had 2 dogs: Zoe, a female Rott-Lab mix, 9 years old, and a rescued 4 years ... so fast... But we decided to adopt another dog, we love dogs and wanted Ming to have a new companion.

I'm so sorry about your loss.
One month ago, after lots of research, we found a lovely 10 weeks old black female Labrador, Maggie. She is ... and jumps on Ming and paws her and bullies her a lot. (She is now 8 pounds heavier than Ming).

Well, yes. That is a lab puppy for you.
At first, we decided to let them work it out between themselves, but Ming is not a dominant dog, so ... more, but to no avail. Sometimes, Ming nips her, and Maggie will stand back a little, but not for long...

I would expect that.
We keep them separated in the house, Maggie being confined to the kitchen until she is totally housebroken. They can ... to play, but she is too rough... We were hoping things would get better as time goes by, but no...

Well, can get better in time. You are the pack leaders. You choose what behavior to allow or not allow. Your puppy's idea of play is natural to her, just as your older dog's is. I can imagine how frustrated the puppy is at having a potential playmate who doesn't seem to know how to play properly. An adult lab would not have a problem with the puppy's play style.
It has been going on for a month. I guess we will have to take this matter in our own hands? But how?

The problem is a mismatch in breeds and sizes and ages and temperaments. So you can't allow the puppy to do what comes naturally. Call the puppy off and redirect her to allowed behavior. No yelling just give her something else to do.
It's clear that Ming is unable to assert herself, Maggie terrorizes her and she wants nothing to do with that ... wait for Maggie to get older and calm down? But I find it sad that these two can't get along...

Labrador retrievers vary greatly in energy level and rambunciousness. You can train Maggie to leave the other dog alone, but whether she ever "calms down" enough to play the way Ming wants will depend upon her background. They don't "grow up" quickly. Expect some slight drop off in puppy play at about 18 months, and another slight drop over the next year, but after that - it depends.
What was the mother like? Was she a clam and relaxed dog? When you met the mother did she walk or trot or run? When you watched the puppies play together were they rough or gentle with each other? Did you watch the mother interact with the puppies? How did that interaction go?
What would be the best way to make the puppy understand that Ming is not a toy and that she must respect her more?

Respect is earned. You can distract and redirect Maggie from playing roughly with Ming. That may change her behavior, especially when you are around. It won't make Maggie respect Ming. The response will depend upon Maggie's respect for you.
If you step in and prevent Maggie from being a little terror then Ming's attitude may become more accepting.

Diane Blackman
http://dog-play.com /
http://dogplay.com/Shop /
(Email Removed) a écrit dans le message de [nq:1]I'm so sorry about your loss.
Thank you, it has indeed been some very hard days...
I can imagine how frustrated the puppy is at having a potential playmate who doesn't seem to know how to play properly. An adult lab would not have a problem with the puppy's play style.

When Zoe was there, Ming was the one who initiated play, and they would play a lot together. They often played "bitey face", and Zoe would lie on her back to put herself more to Ming's level. But she was not very rough with Ming, and being older, she did not have the energy that Maggie has. So I wrongly assumed that Ming would be happy to have a new companion to play, and I thought she would be a lot more assertive than she is in fact...
And I wanted a puppy... Maybe I should have gotten an older dog??
The problem is a mismatch in breeds and sizes and ages and temperaments. So you can't allow the puppy to do what comes naturally. Call the puppy off and redirect her to allowed behavior. No yelling just give her something else to do.

Oh we do that... or at least try to do that! But redirecting Maggie when Ming is around is nearly impossible. She is really focused on playing and goes back very quickly to annoying Ming... It's quite a challenge, I tell you!
What was the mother like? Was she a clam and relaxed dog? When you met the mother did she walk ... rough or gentle with each other? Did you watch the mother interact with the puppies? How did that interaction go?

Her mother was very friendly, and I would say she was "in the middle", not very relaxed, but not hyper either... Her father was calmer. The puppies (there were four left) played, well, like puppies Emotion: surprise) But they were more interested by me and my husband, so they did not interact a lot with each other... And Maggie was a little more shy than her brothers. I did not see the mother interacting with the puppies.
Respect is earned. You can distract and redirect Maggie from playing roughly with Ming. That may change her behavior, especially ... you. If you step in and prevent Maggie from being a little terror then Ming's attitude may become more accepting.

Well, we will try and try again, hoping she will calm down with time... She is a lovely 3 months old puppy, and we love her very much! (I'm not speaking for Ming here ;o)
Thanks Diane!
Well, we will try and try again, hoping she will calm down with time... She is a lovely 3 months old puppy, and we love her very much! (I'm not speaking for Ming here ;o)

It may just take time. When I borught home my Tsuki the much older and larger dogs spent about 3 weeks trying to keep out of reach of the little shark. And they had the physical stature to absorb his puppy play. I can imagine it would have taken longer if the sizes had been reversed.

Try to find a good quality puppy class. Not one that is a free for all play session. You don't want Maggie to practice behavior she isn't allowed at home. But a class where you and she can learn about controlled interaction. It may take some effort to find one, but you likely can.

Diane Blackman
http://dog-play.com /
http://dogplay.com/Shop /
(Email Removed) a écrit dans le message de [nq:1]Try to find a good quality puppy class. Not one that is a free for all play session. ... you and she can learn about controlled interaction. It may take some effort to find one, but you likely can.
Thanks for the idea, we will look around...
Louise M., QC
"Jennifer" (Email Removed) a écrit dans le message de
oh wow, that would be hard. I have an older lab ( 1 year) and he has only just started to calm down. Our new puppy and him play very rough with each other. I wouldn't know how to stop it. Puppies just like playing.

Yeah, Maggie loves rough play too... Last week, she met her "cousins" and one of them (a one year old "very mixed" breed) is a very rough player too. They had so much fun together, they would not stop until exhausted...

But retrospectively, I'm not sure if it was a good thing... Was it or was it not?? It really did not teach Maggie to behave and be gentler... But on the other hand, she finally had a friend to play with, and as much as she wanted...
Since yesterday, I have begun placing myself between Ming and Maggie when it gets too rough, saying "Doux, doux..." (hmm... something like "gentle, gentle" in english) and Maggie finally seems to have noticed that I don't like the way she behaves. She does not jump on Ming, she goes more slowly (well, most of the time anyway Emotion: surprise) and Ming is much more relaxed. Ming even initiated play tonight, bringing her Kong to Maggie and telling her "come and get it if you can"!
So maybe there is hope!
Louise M., QC