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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-22-2010, 08:22 AM Thread Starter
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Thoughts Please

Hi Everyone,

I am curious as to your thoughts. Rico, Hav, age 23 months lives with us and Taffy, Welsh Terrier, age 7 female. We have had Rico since Oct. The dogs, after initial adjustment, are wonderful together as
Both dogs initiate play. Taffy is seemingly the dominate dog.

Rico constantly, and I do mean constantly, nibbles and nuzzles Taffy, he nuzzles her behind the ears, he pulls her beard, he nibbles her ears, her neck, he mouths her back legs as she walks by. He cannot seem to get enough of her. Surprisingly, she tolerates it. I worry that it's because I was so hard on Taffy when we first got Rico because I worried she'd be overly dominant to him based on her "terrier-ness." Taffy is very human submissive and was the submissive dog when we had Razz, a Shar Pei. Razz established and kept dominance for 6 years after a $500 vet bill fight when Taffy made a try for top dog status. Taffy is very ummmm territorial ie warn off passing dogs and she absolutely hates the female JRT neighbor.

Do you think Taffy will continue to tolerate all the nuzzling, nudging and nibbling from Rico? Is this normal? If I were Taffy, it would drive me insane. I researched long and hard before deciding on a male Hav as a female Welsh Terror companion as Taff often seems to feel threatened by other dogs (again, this may just be her terrierness as misinterpreted by me).

Finally, even though Rico will be 2 next month he seems quite puppified. He is very affectionate to all of us. We adore him. Actually, I thought no dog could ever come close to Razz in my affections. I was wrong.

My worry is that he will drive Taffy to the limit and she will snap. Even though she only weighs only 5 lbs more (16lbs vs 11 lbs) she is much much stronger and muscular than Rico.

Should I be stopping this behavior of Rico's even though Taffy seems ok with it? Is it normal Hav/dog behavior? I feel like I should be kissing Taffy's paws for being so very tolerant...

What are your thoughts?
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-22-2010, 08:42 AM
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Personally, I would not worry about it since they seem to have comfortably settled into their roles with each other. If Taffy doesn't let him know she wants a particular behavior stopped, I wouldn't project onto it what your reaction would be. They all have a way of figuring out their places in the pack. They're adorable together. Have fun with them.

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-22-2010, 09:49 AM
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Hi Dana, I agree with Geri in that the dogs will set their own boundaries and make it clear when enough is enough. If Taffy never growls, pushes away, or warns Rico when he's all over her, then I'd assume she's o.k. with it. There is almost always some warning sign, doggie body language that a dog will project to let the other dog know what they are feeling and/or about to do. Maybe Rico doesn't "get it", but it may be that Taffy either doesn't give off warning signals or she really is very o.k. with all the snuggling.

I'd keep an eye on things, but i wouldn't intervene and like Geri said, I'd be careful about projecting your worries about it or you might actually start something that isn't even there.

Havs are very 'puppy-like' for years. They can be joyful, social, and playful until they reach their senior years and even then.

Hello. My name is marj and I have MHS.

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-22-2010, 12:27 PM
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Taffy looks like she is enjoying and encourageing the play in that video. Marley is alot like you describe Rico. He is 22 months old and full of puppy energy. He pulls tails and grabs legs on my other dogs and at first I worried it would get irritating especially after adopting Chingy who is 11 1/2 years old. If I were an older dog I think it would bother me, but it doesn't bother her at all. When she has enough she ducks under the table or jumps into my lap. When Taffy has had enough she will tell him and most likely you would pick up on her telling him a few times before she would snap. They look adorable together in the video!
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-22-2010, 12:42 PM
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They look like they have a blast together. When Murphy (my Hav) is with KoKo (my daughter's Yorkie) I have to frequently seperate them. Murphy loves KoKo but KoKo does not like Murphy at all. She is becoming a bit more tolerant but they will never be the friends that I had hoped. I just keep an eye on them. KoKo is just a totally people dog! She loves her humans. Murphy is an everything dog. He loves humans but he so wants a playmate.

I think that Taffy will let him know with a low growl and a nip if she is tired of the rough housing.

Holly & Murphy
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-23-2010, 09:11 AM
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Oh Holly, KoKo really does sound like our Kira. She kept everyone in the household in line. Humans, dogs and cats....even the parrot we had at one point in time, LOL. She tried to let the fish in the aquariums know she was boss, but they ignored her.

She would greet other dogs when they came to visit, but soon she was back up on the sofa with the people, where she belonged. I swear, she would pout big time if you told her she was a dog too. She never did believe it.

Murray & his mama, Sally~
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-23-2010, 04:36 PM
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Thanks so much for posting this video. It looks just like our 2 playing (only the baby is on the bottom in our pack) and I have been worried about the permanet damage I was doing by not breaking it up. We have a 1yo (Rey) that is constantly eating at our 4mo (Rigby) ears. We just thought Rey had an ear fetish (he nibbles human and dog ears). Glad to hear that other multiple dog owners see this as safe play (I've never owned more than one dog at a time before). If this is not safe play if there is a size difference in the dogs someone please let me know! At first I worried that I should protect the "baby" from the big dog as he seems to get frustrated because Rey is constantly pestering him. Rigby will now tear after him growling and trying to bite (poor baby only gets fur and never skin since Rey has the thick cotton coat) oh yeah...and the mounting each other by both boys. We let them work it out and Rigby has instituted a safe zone (his expen) when he needs a minute to catch his breath or just to be left alone. Rey seems to realize that this is an area he should leave him alone. Given a few minutes he will come out ready for more (or Rey will entice him out with a favorite toy). I just hope that when Rigby is bigger it does not become a problem (pay back for those many months of being the chew toy).

Trisha M - Rey & Rigby's Mommie
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