Creating Kinder, Gentler Experiences for Pets



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- Adding Behavior Services -

Puppy Play Socialization Goals and Guidelines

Play Session Acceptable Behavior



      Play Bow






Play Session Unacceptable Behavior

      Mounting longer than 5 seconds - best if other puppy corrects this

      Persistent barking “5 bark rule = no more than 5 consecutive barks allowed.”

      Serious fighting

      Any panic by anybody

      Pinning or chasing a worried dog

      Approaching a cornered fearful dog

      Growling with hackles raised

At a Puppy Party

Pass the Puppy

    Look for relaxed posture. 

    Test with acceptance of food. 

    If accepting food, increase gentle handling

    If not accepting food, relax; no handling

Interrupt Inappropriate Behavior

It is only appropriate to interfere if the puppies are exhibiting repeated unacceptable behavior. Give puppies a lot of slack at first. Most pups learn to inhibit their aggression on their own through finding other puppies do not want to play with an aggressive playmate.


Try to interrupt and redirect the aggressive behavior if it continues. The dog’s natural desire to play is the motivation to modify its own behavior, because inappropriate play gets a redirection, or “time out” for several seconds.

Controlling Unacceptable Behavior

1.   Interrupt the behavior and redirect the puppy towards another puppy. No punishment or scolding.

2.   If the puppy repeats the behavior suspend him for a short time out, and then allow the puppy to resume play redirecting it towards another puppy. 

3.   If the same behavior occurs again, give the puppy  a time out in the owners lap for the duration of that play session. 

4.   The puppy should be allowed to play in the next play session. If the puppy repeats the behavior again, suspend the aggressing puppy in the air, then roll it on its side (while being calm, jolly, and being a gentle giant) on the ground and let the other puppies sniff all over it.  

5.   If the puppy repeats aggressive play again, put in time out on the owners lap for the duration of the puppy party, you may take pup for a walk or place in a kennel.

6.   Recommend a pet behavior analysis prior to attending another class.

...::::::: Copyright 2000-Present  All Rights Reserved by Rolan Tripp, DVM  and Susan Tripp, MS, Animal Behavior Network and Associates :::::::...