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· Registered
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I don't know if this is normal puppy behavior or not....

Belka is 26 lbs now and I think quite submissive to other dogs. In puppy class when we have playtime he's always the one to roll onto his back and show his belly to other pups. But it doesn't seem to be submissive as he kicks his feet and licks/nips/snaps at their lips and chin.

However, what I'm curious about is more when we are meeting adult dogs or pups out in public. We are taking him around lots of other dogs to make sure he's well socialized with different dogs.

When meeting a new dog, he will lick at their mouth and give "kisses" and then he will nip at their lips or chin. This understandably throws a lot of the dogs off guard. While we haven't had any attack and nip back we did have one pitbull growl at him afterward.

I usually pull him away when I notice he started nipping and make him sit and "settle" but I really don't know if this is normal behavior or if there is something I should be doing to curb this?

I want to teach him how to correctly approach another dog but I don't know how to do that... is there any advice you can give me? Please? I'm worried if this behavior continues into when he gets older that when he is nipped he will retaliate. And he already has quite a bit of jaw strength and if he hurts another dog, whether in retaliation or not, with his breed there may not be a lot of understanding and leniency.

· Super Moderator
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Puppies are like toddlers in that they don't always know proper social manners with other dogs, and since your pup was taken from the litter early, it really doesn't surprise me. Nipping at lips and stuff...not really abnormal, I would say. I've seen adult dogs do that, but they typically have good bite inhibition, so it's not like they're hurting their playmate. Adult dogs typically give puppies a "puppy license" in that they can get away with more than say, an adult. Letting him play with puppies his own age, or with adult dogs who are known to enjoy puppies and only deal out appropriate corrections is the best way to teach him to play with other dogs. It's hard for humans to do that! Removing him when he gets too amped up is a good way to go, too.

The rolling over and showing is belly like that is most likely him "handicapping" himself. Dogs usually take turns being the "loser" when they play, so they roll on their back or "fall down" or some nonsense like that lol. It's not necessarily submissive, just a tactic to encourage other dogs to play with them.
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