Big dog v's little dog playtime - Jenna the Rottweiler and our mixed breed pup
Jenna became a part of our lives when my son was deployed to Iraq, she was with us for a little over a year.... when he returned she went back to live with him. Well circumstances has brought her back to us and this time I think it's for good.
Jenna is the most mild mannered, best tempered dog that I have ever known. When she left us I was heartbroken so we got a smaller dog to help fill the void, now that she's back.......she (90 lbs) and Tanner (my 19 lb mix pup) get along beautifully.
My question is how do I get her to play easy with him or will this come naturally in time....
Personally I wouldn't worry too much about this as Jenna is obviously a very good natured dog and has totally accepted Tanner as her friend, so she will try hard not to hurt him!
Rotties can be clumsy and they never seem to understand how big they are, so yes they can 'play rough' even bowling over a small dog in fun. But it rarely, if ever, ends in damage being done unless the other dog is a tiny toy breed as they can be fragile and easily hurt accidentally.
It may look worse to you than it actually is, and a certain amount of roughhousing can cause squeals, growls, yelps etc. - it's normal and usually no one is actually being scared or hurt. It's just play.
However, if you're ever worried that things are getting a bit rough for Tanner, it's perfectly okay to interrupt play and tell Jenna to 'go easy' and calm them down a bit before play resumes. If it gets really crazy, just separate them for a while.
As they get used to each other this will become less of a problem because right now they're unfamiliar with each other and probably very excited to have a playmate. Dogs are intuitive and if Tanner really is hurting, Jenna will understand that and ease up on him. If he finds it too much he will let her know all about it and probably quit playing/interacting for a while. It's normal canine interaction.
I hope this helps and I wish you all the best with your dogs.