We have a black lab puppy 13 weeks old and a yellow lab puppy 8 weeks old from a different liter. Unfortunately we didn’t read about the disadvantages of having 2 at the same time until your site. So here we are!! The problem we are having is our black lab does not play nicely. When the yellow lab is out the black continually bites her on the neck, scruff, and tries to get on top of her. It is a constant fight. I don’t want our new puppy to always be attacked. So at this point we keep them separated. Do you have any tips that could help?
Rough play at during the very early puppy stage is normal for dogs. It is at this age that they are learning about the pack hierarchy and their place in the dog pack (and human family).
Unless blood is being drawn, you should not interfere with the playtime these two pups have together. Do not scoop up the younger puppy nor scold the older pup for playing. The dogs have to learn which is alpha at this stage and how to communicate with each other. When you remove one dog from the play, you are not letting them form their necessary bond.
It may seem cruel but we are humans and you must remember that they are dogs. Normally pups in the same litter will play fight (which seems a bit aggressive to us) in order to become a more social and well-rounded adult dog down the line. Hindering this play can cause the younger pup to be more fearful or aggressive of new dogs/people in the future. The older dog may have the same problem as they are unsure as to where they stand within the family hierarchy.
Allow them to play and if it gets too rough, divert the black Labrador’s attention to something else. Also, play with the pups separately to show them that you are the alpha dog in the family and to wear them out. Remember, a tired pup is a good pup and if you don’t get that energy out in a constructive manner, Labrador Retrievers will tend to become very destructive.
One-on-one training and tiring those pups are the best ways to help increase the opportunity to have happy, healthy and calm assertive dogs in the end.