Puppy Forum and Dog Forums banner

Urgent! Please help! 3 m.old biting puncture wounds into 11 m.old during play

1339 Views 8 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Jenness
The first minor puncture wounds were immediately treated by the vet, this happened while we were away for a few days and they were under the care of our roommate. I chalked this up to a fluke and too rough of play. This is now the second time i have found telltale blood and open skin and I am keeping my fingers crossed we dont have to deal with a secondary bacterial infection again.

Our younger puppy, charlie, hadn't had this issue while his littermate was still under our care because they matched each other in energy and would correct each other which is normal learning of socialization. But now it is only the two of them and billie, our older dog is gentle to the point of flaw.

I can honestly say that we are at our wits end. We love charlie tons but he is very stubborn and while we have conquered a lot of basic training this is something that is becoming very worrying to me.

He is doing wonderful learning bite inhibition on humans, and he is rarely mouthy with us - however, when playing with billie he is extremely rough and her problem is that she tolerates too much from him and rarely ever yelps or really gets angry with him when he crosses a line. The thing is he never shows any kind of outright aggression, they have never had a fight - he just yanks on her neck to roughly and i have caught him the act several times now.

We try to correct the behavior by redirecting the game, or using a stern no, shaking a can of coins, etc. and he does stop his game but eventually he keeps going back at her in this way. This second injury is right next to the original, same spot right on her upper neck - beneath the chin.

I have never dealt with this, I am quite honestly unsure of what can be done, he will soon enough be larger than her (he is quite a big puppy, they are both mutts) and I am worried that once his milkteeth are gone we will be dealing with serious puncture wounds rather than tiny superficial ones.

Has anyone else dealt with this?
See less See more
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
One of the big reasons your older dog probably isn't doing anything about it yet because your younger dog is under 6 months, therefore gets the "puppy pass" from your older dog.

I personally would suggest a time out. If Charlie starts playing too roughly pick him up (or lead him if he's too big) to another room and close the door, or gate him off. Don't pay attention to him for a bout 5 minutes, then bring him back. If he starts playing too rough, do it again. Eventually he should learn. Also, ensure he is getting enough walking exercise, mental stimulation (training), and toy time with a person.

Saying "No" doesn't really help because it's not redirecting the behavior. When something like this happens, making a physical correct, or even shaking a can of coins isn't really the way to go. Try redirecting the game with a toy, or giving the time out if that's not working.

Best of luck! =]
See less See more
Thank you so much for your reply. I am going to try the timeout method.
I am a stay at home mom so-to-speak for most of the time, the thing thats bothering me most is that he does the classic "head down" im sorry, and walks himself away from billie and will stop playing for that time period when we do say no, he does know that hes doing wrong because the game doesn't continue.
The stressful thing are those fractions of a minute when im looking away that he does get his teeth into her and we don't ever even hear a YELP out of her. When we arent home, since the first incident, I set up a gate and i keep them separate but he managed to get her at some point last night even though when they are together they are with me in the bedroom, and charlie is practically my shadow when i walk around the house.
See less See more
You have to watch them and protect her. No other way. It is very common for a socialized adult to be bullied by a puppy, and it's your job to protect her.

BTW, you can wash wounds with soap and water, then call the Vet to ask about applying Neosporin. I think the plain is OK, but call the Vet. I know that Aloe leaf is OK, if there are any concerns.
You have to watch them and protect her. No other way. It is very common for a socialized adult to be bullied by a puppy, and it's your job to protect her.

BTW, you can wash wounds with soap and water, then call the Vet to ask about applying Neosporin. I think the plain is OK, but call the Vet. I know that Aloe leaf is OK, if there are any concerns.
Very good advice, please jump on this. You are the brains in the program, use them to protect your dog.
UPDATE: As much as we did to keep the wound clean (we were using dawn soap & neosporin as per the vet just like the last time this happened), she tore herself up scratching last night and we had to bring her to the vet ASAP and she is undergoing a second course of antibiotics for bacterial infection.

I was constantly separating them, definitely given him a stern yell more than once when he acts out too much and he KNOWS.. thats whats the frustrating bit, i can even look at him if hes just barely starting to mouth at her legs and he will stop! so how do you teach a dog not to be a bully? I guess is the question i am asking.

The other big hindrance is that Billie never gives a sign of distress, and she never yelps. She has had her cornea scratched and didn't yelp, and we saw when it happened! When she was little and would get underfoot, if a person accidentally stepped on her tail she wouldn't cry, but would show a limp or would cower. That is why i am so mindful of her that she doesnt get injured and watch her like a hawk.

This last time we literally have no idea when he managed to bite her because they haven't been allowed to roughhouse since the last bite (which was probably a month ago), and as stated before I do not leave them unsupervised together, they are kept separate directly because of this problem.

It has been put to me by the vet that I should consider muzzling him, or even using a shock collar that offers the function of a vibrate or beeping as a warning, and I am putting it to those of you that know (because all i hear are awful things) - will this only exacerbate the problem? Will he grow out of this? Should I be realistic and consider re-homing while he is still young?​
See less See more
sidenote: just so that there is a clear picture, charlie is a very stimulated puppy because i am aware of his destructive streak when he is not (we lost a couch when we took a trip to atlanta, the same time period when billie was bit). he has part of his meals in kong toys, frozen chewies, an assortment of toys that we play with, fetch 10 minutes a day, morning and evening jogs of about 1-2 miles, we take him to the dog park often and is VERY submissive when another dog comes up to him, he has a kiddie pool break a few times a week, and is generally kept very engaged and we are working on a lot of basic commands a few times a day. this is not an issue of a bored/understimulated puppy as i have been accused of by several local dog trainers i have put the question of his bullying to.
which is the reason why i came on this forum to hopefully find sound advice
See less See more
This is a tough one! I feel for you because I myself have a very high energy, rough playing pup. She is an only dog and will most likely stay that way due to her energy level. I think what the problem is, is that you have a very high energy pup and a low, or at least lower energy dog. I don't think it sounds like he is really a bully. He is a puppy and he wants to play. He also probably still has those razor sharp puppy teeth! That is probably part of the reason why blood is being drawn.

What some of the other member suggested with the timeouts might work, but I think it works much better when the correction comes from the other dog and not from the human. I would suggest really limiting how much time the two spend together since the older dog is not able to give corrections. Try to find a puppy play group as well as a group of well socialized older dogs. You definitely still want him to play with other dogs, just make sure they are the right dogs. Steer him away from all submissive, fearful, low energy, and obviously aggressive dogs. Look for the playful, high energy ones. Some dogs are really good with puppies and some not.

The positive side to all of this is that you have a dog that is using his mouth a lot and he will very easily learn bite inhibition by playing with other puppies and dogs. In my opinion, the rougher the play, the more they learn their limits and what is acceptable and what is not. Of course you never want to let it get too out of hand. As for the two dogs living together, I think if it continues to go on without the other dog correcting, your pup it not going to continue to rough house and annoy her. Maybe the time-out system will work though, def. give that a shot, I hope it does!

Just don't be too hard on the pup, he's still very young and that energy level is definitely a genetic thing that is not going to go away anytime soon...
See less See more
**sorry I meant to say he is not going to stop annoying her, that came out wrong :p**
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.