I have a 5year old male staffy and just got an 8week old female staffy pup. They seem to have bonded very well in a short space of time but my puppy is constantly nipping my dog.
I'm sure she is just playing and my dog lets her and he also lick's her ear's a lot. He sometimes nibbles on them too, he isn't hurting her at all but I'm just wondering if this is normal behaviour as when they play this is all they do constantly?
And how can i get them to stop doing it all the time?
Hi It sounds as though you're off to a good start with your staffy's, (and I have to tell you that I just love this breed. We had an adorable English Staffy who was the happiest dog on the planet!)
The licking, nipping etc. is pretty normal behavior, they're getting to know each other and bonding in their own way. However you do want to make sure that the puppy doesn't bug the heck out of the older dog. Puppies can be very demanding and often don't take "No" for an answer. It does sound as though your older dog is being very patient with the newcomer.
When you've got a new pup in the family it's generally best to let the dogs work out their relationship at their own pace, and on their own terms. Of course, if there is aggression and you're afraid of someone getting hurt you need to step in, but otherwise it's best just to let them get on with it.
I think that once they've become more familiar with each other this constant nipping will settle down. Staffys have a very high tolerance for pain and this nipping may not bother either of them nearly as much as it's bothering you. But if you anyone draws blood, or anything like that you'll need to tell them "no" when the nipping starts and separate them for a little while.
If it gets to the point where it's too annoying or gets painful, your older dog will let the puppy know that she's stepped over the line. That too is very normal behavior. Puppies can be very irritating to older dogs sometimes but they're also generally submissive and understand when they're being told off.
Do remember to help support your older dog's position as 'top dog' by always greeting, petting, feeding etc. him first. That reinforces that natural pecking order and can help to avoid any jealousy issues arising later on.
Best of luck with both your dogs. If you want more information and tips on introducing a new puppy into your family, check out our Introducing A New Puppy page