How much biting is too much when playing?

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Boxer Pal
We now have an 8 week old female boxer and a 1 year old male pug. They love to play with the tug toy and chase each other around. Everything is good, but the longer they play the rougher they get. Then they start biting alot, both of them. I know they are still playing when they do it and very rarely does one of them yelp cause they are being hurt. It appears to be harmless fun, but I does worry us a bit. How much biting is to much is my question? When should we draw the line between playing and being to rough? I know this is a tough question to answer probably, but any input would help.

We are not really worried about either of their safety, but just don't want either to get hurt by accident.

Thanks for your input in advance.


Your Friendly Moderator
My advice is to let the dogs work out their own limits with each other. The only time you would need to step in is if the "warnings" became a fight. But this probably won't happen, especially if your dogs are spay/neutered.

But, that being said, it is also your comfort level and the circumstances and the dogs involved. One has to make an informed decision at the time, based on these things and knowing your dog and its ability to "control" itself.

This thread may or may not be of assistance to you.

Good luck.


Boxer Buddy
I agree. Let them work it out. My Dakota is 4 months old and is already larger than my other dog who is 13 years old. At first I worried since Dakota played so rough. Usually Dakota yelps since he doesn't stop and my other normally bites him softly on the ear. Then he stops. As long as they aren't fighting you are ok. Puppies will be puppies. It took weeks for my other dog to even start playing with Dakota. Good Luck. :D

J. Brown

Boxer Pal
I definitely agree with letting the dogs work it out. As puppies they are like babies, constantly learning and testing. They are learning to control thier bite pressure. This comes only from being able to nip and being nipped back. They learn quickly what doesn't work and what makes the fun stop (which is exactly what they don't want to have happen!) They also realize what it feels like. When another dog yelps, nips them back, or stops playing, they realize that what they were doing should not continue. This works for us as well! Every puppy goes through a stage where they want to test thier bite pressure on us. We all know that being nipped with puppy teeth is not a pleasant experience. When the puppy mouths you, or nips you, stop play instantly and turn away. Make an "ow" sound if you like, they'll understand that thier nipping made all of the fun stop and you are unhappy. Ignore them for a few minutes, then resume play. If it happens again, repeat the action of turning away, getting up, saying "ow!" and ignoring them for a few minutes. It's all repitition, but they learn quickly without having to use punishment. They become sensitive to the fact that thier teeth can cause pain and make the fun stop.
I hope this helps! I know it worked for us for now we just get licked to death!


Boxer Booster
I agree with letting them work it out too. I also have a pug and a boxer. My pug was almost two when I got my boxer. They have worked out great together. Pugslee lets her know when enough is enough and if she doesn't listen he will come over by me and that is a safe zone. No horsing too close to mommy.



Super Boxer
Let them work it out!!

I, too, would let them work things out on their own.
Even when you begin to take your dogs to dog parks. Just watch out for others who believe that dogs shouldn't play that way. I think it's great that your boxer is learning how to play with your pug! It may help him to learn to be gentle with little dogs as he gets bigger!! My boxer is gentle but ends up knocking over little dogs and puppies!!! :eek:

Good Luck!! :D
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