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Friday, 12 September 2014

Nips and Nibbles

I have a German Shepherd bitch (Hope) who is about two years old, and recently bought two little pups (both girls, Nalah and Kitana) who are now nine weeks.

Hope is very maternal with the pups, and often keeps food aside for them and cuddles them to sleep.

Recently I've noticed Hope is nibbling Kitana all over her body, what does this mean? It's only ever Kitana, as she's the more playful one with Hope. Should we be worried about it? She's never hurt the pup, and the pup always goes back for more.


Beth, via email 

1 comment:

  1. Behaviourist Karen Wild has advised:

    This sounds like she is 'adopting' the puppies and from your description it sounds like Hope is nuzzling and playing with the puppy. It can be hard to say without seeing but I have witnessed puppies being gently nibbled by their mum and it has been a normal interaction. If there is any escalation in the behaviour in terms of speed or force (from either dog) I would watch this closely. You may find as Kitana gets older that her puppy antics become a little more physical in which case Hope may decide that enough is enough but it is quite usual for adult dogs to gently discpline pups when this occurs. However if Kitana or indeed Hope comes back for more and the other dog allows the interaction, I would not worry overly.