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Question
I have a 9 mo old Maltese, Miss Wiggles & 1 year old toy poodle, Rambo.  They seem to like each other but they constantly are chewing on each other. They appear to be play fighting but they bite each other on the back legs or on the face pretty  hard. My maltese is worse at this type of fighting than my poodle.If I seperate them to different rooms, they will whine for the other one. Do I need to stop this behavior, I am worried it will cause them to become agressive. They will stop when I call them down but only for a few minutes. What should I do? Hope you can help.

Erma

Answer
Hi Erma. All dogs use their mouths during play. I interrupt when one dog seems to always be the "victim" or comes running to me for help. Most dogs learn to inhibit their play behavior pretty well - or else they lose their playmate.

I can't comment specifically on the play between your dogs without seeing it. If you want to upload a video to YouTube, send me a link.

I would guess that your Maltese needs some down-time away from Rambo. It's great that you can interrupt them. When you do that, give the puppy something else to do that's fun. Can he play with you and a tug toy, chase a ball, un-stuff a Kong?

Let me know if you have any questions or comments!

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Barb Gadola, CPDT-KA, KPA CTP

Expertise

I can answer questions related to problem dog behaviors, teaching polite manners, puppy raising, and any type of training-related issues. My website page, www.DistinctiveDogTraining.com/resources offers a wealth of information on training and behavior issues as well.

Experience

I've been training dogs since 1989 and own and operate Distinctive Dog Training LLC in Keller TX. I specialize in providing practical and positive solutions for families through personalized training in their home.

Organizations
Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner
Victoria Stilwell Positively! Licensed Trainer
Association of Pet Dog Trainers
Association of Animal Behavior Professionals
Truly Dog Friendly Coalition

Education/Credentials
BS in Education
Graduate work in Behavioral Psychology
Karen Pryor Academy Dog Training Program
Certified Professional Dog Trainer

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