I have a 12 lbs cairn terrier/pug and a 50 yellow lab. We just got the lab 7 days ago. The problem I am having is the lab is being a little too rough in playing. She is putting her entire mouth around the terriers neck and hanging on to it. She has also started grabbing the collar and trying to lift the terrier and move her around. Is this normal behavior or should I try to stop it and if I do......how?
I know they are trying to establish dominance but should I let this continue and hopefully they will owrk it out. The terrier gets scared and shows the signs such as ears back, tail between leg and running scared. How do I correct this besides keeping the two of them away from each other?
It's a little of both....This what I would do. First, I would remove the little ones collar if they are playing. My dogs also take advantage of the collar and drag each other around by it.
Then I would let them play. But if the lab gets a little too rambunctious I would say no, take the lab and play with him myself. I am pretty sure he is not trying to establish dominace but simply trying to have a good time. So, we simply have to teach where the limit is...this is the no...but he is not being "bad". So, I think harsh discpline is not needed, but simply redirect that energy to a game of ball or something else. But when you are done the lab is most likely going to be a little riled up. I would put him in a crate for 20 minutes to let him cool down.
It's also not fair to the little one to live in fear. But somewhere he has to also learn to tell the other dog that enough is enough. He will never learn how to do this if you step every single time.
I think the bigger problem I have with letting dogs who are new to my house playing with other dogs...especially very intensly with high emotion is they learn other dogs are more fun than you are. And they bond with the other dog more than you. So, what I do is when I get a new dog is limit the interaction. I let them meet and play. But not until the dog has played with me first. I use a crates to seperate them while I cannot interact. Then when I am ready or come home. I let them out one at a time for a few minutes of ball. It does not have to be long. And in fact I prefer to put them back in the crate wanting more. This helps dog learn that I am fun and exciting. Then when both dogs are done, and after being put back in the crate for 20 minutes or so, so they can think about the great time they had with me. I let them out together....But again, I will stop them if they start having too much fun. I do this for a while, a few months. Then the day will come When I notice that the dogs have fallen in love with me, and believe I am the funnest thing ever. Then I do not worry about it so much. Usually I can tell when this happens when I call the dog, and no matter what they are doing they come running to me....and as a reward the get exactly what they want....another game of ball.
I believe a dog's finest hour, the greatest fulfillment he holds dear, is when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle-with a ball in his mouth."