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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have 2 dogs. Tanner – American Bulldog mix, 4 months old tomorrow. Timber – German Shepherd (possibly mixed with Husky), 4.5 months old.

When we introduced them everything was fine. The only time Timber has growled was when he was eating and Tanner tried to eat out of Timber’s food bowl. This only happened once and now they always eat and drink out of each others food and water dishes with no problem.

Timber is very mellow and is content lying around with his toys or being by my side as he never likes to be alone (If you leave the room for a minute he is very vocal). Tanner is more hyper. He always pounces on Timber and bites him softly on the neck and barks at him. He only seems to be trying to play with him though and its pretty much always Tanner initiating the play. Eventually Timber starts in and they start to play with one another, so it seems. I think Timber is more of the alpha since he seems to always dominate Tanner. After awhile its Tanner that starts to get more forceful with Timber and the “playing” seems to get really rough. I’ve heard growling only a couple of times and it only seems to come from Tanner. Usually my husband or I will direct their attention elsewhere and keep them occupied or we just tell him to basically play nice and knock it off.

When they are outside they have to be by each others side, exploring everything. If me or my husband is playing with Timber or giving affection to him, Tanner tries to move Timber out of the way or bites his ears and neck. If we are playing with Tanner or he is laying next to us Timber comes to lay and play as well but doesn’t bite or pay much attention to Tanner.

Is it normal for them to play this rough? Should I let them do it or break it up?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I honestly cannot answer that question because the only time I have heard TImber yelp because of Tanner I stopped what they were doing immediately. It took me a couple of times of telling Tanner "No!" for him to stop so I guess in that sense no, he was not really stopping but I have never heard Timber yelp again.
 

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When Maddi and Chance get to rough housing if you didn't know better you'd think they were trying to kill eachother. They always release when the other yelps though (Maddi actually runs away, lol).
 

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I would be leary of this kind of play when they turn about 10 months old. Soon this play (which is training ) will turn into a fight to establish boss.
 

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This is part of pups just playing and learning which is boss. It can get real rough. If it looks like
it is being taken past the point into a fight that is the time to stop it. They are always going to play, they just have to learn to respect each other. It will take a couple of years for some of this to tame down. It will get even rougher when they are about 7 months old. The real time to prove themselves. Just stay on top of it.
 
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