When does rough play turn to mean play (with other dogs?)

I realize that older dogs practice the "puppy license" and let young puppies do whatever they want when they play, to a point. I also know that the elder dog will put the puppy in its place if he/she gets too rough, but what I'm not sure about is what Rocky's started doing.

Rocky just got a new playmate in my grandma's dog. We go over to let him run outside with her dog in a nice fenced yard and get some much needed exercise and socialization. But the last day or so he's started sounding rabid when they play. His ears go back and he growls and gets the older dog down (who lets him by the way) and just gets nutty. It sounds like something from a horror movie, think Cujo. I stopped him a couple times because I got worried, but the older dog didn't seem to mind his play. I know she won't hesitate to snap at him or run off if he bites too hard.

Should I continue to let him play, or since he sounds aggressive, should I just keep from letting him rough play with other dogs? I have read some dogs do this at his age.. he's 12 weeks.

I should add, he hardly nips me and never sounds like this at other times.

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I am not sure, but there should be someone here who could help you with this question. Cindi is a dog trainer at petsmart she has good advice.
I have the same question. Toby just turned 9 weeks old and is being well socialized by Roary and Lucky, whom are both adults. They let Toby nip, bite, and jump all over them, but also stop him if they don't like what he is doing. However, I wonder if this will give Toby an aggressive behavior once he becomes an adult. So far, if I think he is over doing it, I step in and tell him no. But, I'm also clueless as to how much is enough rough housing.
I think you may do well to find some other playmates for this pup. As pups grow they test their abilities with other dogs. Some dogs are great to teach good dog skills and others are not. As he continues this behavior with your grandmas dog he is also learning that this is how he is going to behave with any dog. It will be good for him to learn to play a bit more respectfully with other dogs. Grandmas dog may be overwhelmed with the play and just lay in a submissive position. I would not let this behavior continue. I think it would be also great for you to take an obedience class. This will give him the opportunity to learn good basic commands, socialize with different people and dogs and help you become a bit more enlightened about his behaviors. Good luck.
It is really important that your puppy play with other puppies, not just dogs right now. They learn important social skills and bite inhibition. Experts recommend puppies meet at least 100 other puppies or dogs by the time they are three months old. It would be to his benefit to learn how to play with bigger and smaller puppies appropriately.

Not being there it is hard to tell if this is rough play, play growling or aggression. There are lots of other signs that go into each behavior. You should see if somewhere local there is a supervised puppy playgroup you can take him to and see how he does.
I wouldn't worry. When puppies play they emulate prey behavior where the other dog is the hunt, or like he is protecting his hunt from other dogs. But though it looks scary they are playing within a threshold. Caesar does that all the time with Emma, my boyfriend's terrier. The growl, bite, roll around, but when he is too rough she quickly corrects him.


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