Is this behavior a concern? - Havanese Forum : Havanese Forums
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-22-2010, 11:55 PM Thread Starter
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Is this behavior a concern?

Snoopy's been with us now for a little better than a month. Snickers 'seems' to love her new playmate and from a casual observance they do indeed seem to get along very well.

Being a new dog owner, and a new two dog owner - I've not witnessed a lot of dog behaviors. SO, when they play they appear to be trying to grab each others mouths / lips all the while they are RLH. There's some growling going on, but no real arguments - and a lot of chasing. Snickers seems to come out on top mostly, and Snoopy seems to be doing most of the Growling. Snoopy seems to be the instigator (as in if he were hurting he'd back away, but he doesn't) This is especially evident when Snickers goes down into her flat on the ground submissive "let's play I won't hurt you" position -- She somehow always manages to get the upper hand.

I do worry about Snickers being several pounds heavier than Snoopy is, as when they really get going she tends to pounce on Snoopy. I don't want her hurting him. Should I stop this kind of roughhousing before it get's to the pouncing point? I'm really hoping that Snoopy puts on some bulk so he's more of a match for Snickers.

So, what's up with the attacking the mouth?


Jim and Lynda and Snickers and the new P&P machine Snoopy.
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-23-2010, 02:37 AM
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Jim, I only have one Hav, so nothing personal to describe, but it sounds like good games of what folks here call "Bitey-face." It seems to be a much enjoyed game with many multiple hav families. Try searching it.

Sheri, Tucker's Mom
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-23-2010, 05:56 AM
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Yes, I think it is pretty normal. However, I now have Candy (my 2 and a half pound maltese puppy) and although Cocotini seems to play fairly gently with her (minimal pouncing), my Mom's Havanese plays much more roughly. She is only 6 months and doesn't seem to realize she is almost 3 times Candy's size. As a result when she pounces on Candy she pretty much lays Candy flat- I do have to supervise them very closely and not let it get to rough as I think Candy could get hurt because she is so little.

Jocelyn, Mindy, Cocotini, and Candy

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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-23-2010, 07:45 AM
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I've seen that a lot at my playdates, they do snip at each other's mouth's/muzzle but I haven't seen any serious injury from it, ie. blood, etc. I do think they are saying something to each other with the gesture,

I don't know how long the rough play lasts...I do understand your concern! I Hate seeing it and worry someone will get hurt, too.

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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-23-2010, 07:56 AM
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It's normal. One will yipe if it gets too much and the other will feel badly for it. Even 7 week old puppies sound like they are going to kill each other sometimes when they are playing. They'll work it out.
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-23-2010, 09:13 AM
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Tom's right - if there is a real yipe they will back off. "They" know they're playing but "we" can't always tell!!!

Next weekend Abby is going to get to play with a 6 mo. old Tibetan Terrier at my daughter's house so I'm anxious to see if they will be good friends - sure hope so! The only other dog she's ever played with was Cicero and it was love at first sight!

Kathie, Abby & McGee's Mom
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-23-2010, 10:35 AM
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Daisy and Beau do this same bitey-face thing. When we first got Beau, Daisy would get up on the couch and hang her head over the edge (Beau couldn't get up there). Beau would jump at her face and bit at her. She would start the whole thing - so obviously liked it!

Now a year later, Beau is bigger, stronger, faster... and they still play the same game, but take turns being on the couch or bed while the other one jumps at the "bitey-face".

They just enjoy it for some odd reason.... and it never results in anyone getting hurt. Sometimes I'll get tired of the growling that goes along with this game, so I'll tell them, "okay guys, that's enough," and pick one of them up so they calm down....

Lynda (Daisy & Beau's mom)
Daisy Mae - born 4/05/08
Beau - born 4/25/09
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-23-2010, 10:48 AM
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Our trainer told us if you startle them during play with a stamp of the foot and a loud 'hey' and they part, then it's ok...but if they don't then they're almost too into it and it could get more dangerous. We had the concern when Kipling got together with Jersey - his sibling...not the same weight difference issue you have since they are brothers...but they also did that bitey thing...more so when they were younger.

Also if one didn't like it he/she would remove themselves from the play.

I only have my one, but from what I've read and heard this all sounds normal and I think it's good you keep such a close're a good doggy dad!

Sylvia and Kipling
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-23-2010, 11:09 AM
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My dogs are very different physically. Shadow is a compact, bulkier boy who weighed 17 pounds when he was younger (he's 15 lbs now). Kidget is 15 lbs, but her body length is longer and she's much taller. She's also a year younger and came into the house a year after he did (he was a year old), but our girl has absolutely ruled from day one.LOL

My dogs do everything together... EVERY thing. But maybe once/twice a year, they'll have a squabble over something. They sound FIERCE, but the disagreement is over and forgotten in a matter of seconds. In fact, my heart will still be racing and they've already moved on to a nap or some other activity. I asked my vet about this when they were puppies and he said to watch them, but to let them work it out on their own. I think it's just their way of re-establishing their place in the pack order.

When Shadow and Kidget roughhouse (usually on my bed) I can actually hear their teeth clicking/hitting against each other's, but they're definitely playing. I will admit that I usually can't resist and stick my hand in there to join the game.LOL

I don't know if anyone else has seen this with their dogs, but mine "wash" each other's face.LOL One will sit with their eyes closed and the other will lick their face.LOL My vet said they like the saltiness of the other's tears. That's probably closer to the truth, but I prefer to think that they're taking care of each other.LOLOL

Anyway, they're smart dogs; if one pounces or bites too hard, the other will let them know about it and they’ll soon learn each other’s limits.
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-23-2010, 11:39 AM
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Mine have always done that to each other. The instigator these days is Ms. Tuesday. She bites at, growls, pounces, grabs hair and runs. The only time I worried about it was when the newest member of the family was much smaller, but even then they worked it out themselves.

<b>Just Milo and me, and . . . </b>Bailey makes three . . . until Ruby said, "hey, what about me?"
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