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Thread: How to tell the difference with play fighting and a real fight

  1. #1

    Cool How to tell the difference with play fighting and a real fight

    My puppies are pretty new to each other. I originally thought that the younger one would keep her distance from Charlie but... not really. How to I tell if the puppies are playing or fighting. Charlie is double her size so I really need to know. Sometimes I hear Mollie yelping because Charlie has her ear but I seems like it's play...play... then attack! Will be back tommorow at around 10. But for now I need to sleep.

  2. #2
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    I can just tell with mine. They play bitey face game all the time but if Harley is over it and Bella wants to keep going his tone changes as does his body language.

    There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face.

  3. #3

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    I wouldn't worry too much, growling and yelping is a normal part of play and it's important to let the puppies interact without hovering around and interfering. Very young puppies aren't capable of aggression. You could adversely affect their development if you stop the play for the wrong reasons. They will make a range of noises as they learn to communicate with each other and most of the time they will sort out their differences with no involvement from you.

    If it seems like one is victimizing the other and there are constant yelps of pain and distress from the weaker puppy, that's when you'd have to break up the play and separate the two. If you have to do this, make an angry growling noise to show you're displeased with the bully, but don't pet or cuddle the victim because you don't want to reinforce wimpy behaviour. The idea is to communicate that hurting is wrong, but being a tattletale will not be rewarded either.

  4. #4

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    I think the funny thing is the small one is causing most of the fights with the older one

  5. #5

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    Yes this is very normal and there's nothing to worry about. They are not fighting.

  6. #6
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    Before Stella I'd never had a staffy, so had no idea how rough they were.
    My little boy is really gentle, so when i saw them playing for the first time i kind of freaked out and separated them lol

    The second time, i got video of it and sent it to a trainer friend who, who told me she definitely wasn't trying to kill him :P

    Now, even if it looks excessively rough, i just let them go. As long as no one is bleeding, its fine..

  7. #7
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    Lol staffies are all noise when they play!

    There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face.

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    If anyone see's my dogs playing they instantly presume that they're fighting and franticly ask me why i don't separate them. My dogs play very rough but its still play, no harm in it at all. They are very vocal when playing, lots of yelping and growling but none of it is in an aggressive manner.
    I've seen them fight (mainly if food is dropped and they both want it) and its not pretty at all... blood has been drawn, Dodge is usually the victim because she's smaller. But i can instantly tell if there is going to be a fight, even if they were previously playing and one gets sick of the other and decides to pick a fight (doesn't happen often, but has happened) their body language just changes, its quite easy to pick up on if you're observant.
    As your pups get older they'll have the odd squabble to see who's the boss, that is probably when you'll see the difference between playing rough and actual aggression.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by jadielee87 View Post
    Lol staffies are all noise when they play!
    they really are

    Stella is a talker too, so it usually all starts with her yelling at everyone to play with her and if she is ignored she either runs up and bowls them over or darts past and steals the toy/ball/whatever they think is more important then her lol
    Even the cat is no exception. She must play too :P

  10. #10
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    Hahaha sounds like Bella! She is very manipulative with Harley to get him to play with her! Lol she is forever playing with the cat to, softly gums her ears and face! Lol

    There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face.

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