I have been taking Abbey (10 months now) to an open play group once a week. She has been having a blast and it wears her out. However, the past few weeks she has been playing too rough with some of the other puppies that are younger than her. She does excellent with older dogs and I am impressed to see how she adjusts her play to accomodate them. I know it isn't aggression, but it sure sounds like it. I have observed that if I catch her when she begins play growling I can give her a time out and let her go after a few minutes. It doesn't take long for her to get amped up again though. Has anyone else experienced this? Maybe I shouldn't let her play with younger pups for a while? I know it is all in play because I know my dogs body language, however I don't think some of the other parents appreciate the rough play.
Our Sophie loves to play with my son's boxer. She will nip her back legs and makes my son's dog whimper. They are just playing, lots of bitey face, etc. We have been using our don't bite command every time she does it. She has gotten better, but it still happens. Has Abbey drawn blood on any of the puppies she plays with?
Sophie DOB 04/13/2011 6 mo
Sophie 15 months, with Skye
No, she has never drawn blood. Most of it is noise on her part but it takes a bit to get her attention. I usually have to grab her nose and make her look at me. She calms right down, but can get excited again pretty quickly. We had an issue with a 5 month old pitbull puppy last friday. They were playing fine and it got out of control. I got Abbey calmed down but the other puppy kept attacking her and me. The owner took a little too long to get control of their pup. I know that isn't our fault, but because of the high excitment Abbey proceeded to rough house with a 6 month old lab puppy and the owner was not happy. Yelling at me to get Abbey off his baby. I know it is important to socialize, but maybe when it gets to be too much it is time to leave.
I would try to find a friend with a pup about her size to socialize with. That way you can introduce play on a smaller scale than the dog park and with people you don't know. When she gets too rough, and doesn't follow your commands, leash her, make her sit with you for a few minutes. Let her go, if she doesn't obey you command, just keep doing that and see if she finally gets it.
Sophie DOB 04/13/2011 6 mo
Sophie 15 months, with Skye
Is she just loud? Myself, I wouldn't interfere as long as they're playing. It sounds like normal Lab play to me. This is a couple of mine to show you what normal bitey face/growing, snarling play fighting is. Teddie & Raven bitey face 11/12/11 - YouTube Sounds fierce, but it's harmless.
♣ Laura ♣
Love bitty face! Great video Laura!
Karen and the gang
BBI Kodi's Journey To Anotch (Journey)
BBI Kodi's Blackpowder Striker (Flint)
On Abbey's part is it definately only noise and a lot of the pouncing play, although there is some mouthing going on. I guess what I don't like is the fact I can't get her attention when she gets too intense. I need to pay more attention and try and cool her down before she gets that way. This is an open play that is provided by our teachers of our obedience class. They don't seem to be worried as they tell me to just cool her down. It upset me when the guy acted like we were killing his baby. Abbey has been in the "medium class" as she is under 60 lbs and under a year old. They might need to move us to the "large class", although there are some pretty big dogs in that play group.
growling in play isn't a bad thing, lots of dogs are talkative when they play, i would never stop play due to a growl alone.
but good to practice getting their attention (and sending them RIGHT BACK TO PLAY! so they learn that going to you isn't the end of play). If her overall play is too rough for the dog she is playing with then yes, separate the dogs (give your girl a rest).
ar there not teachers or guides there? To help some of the owners who's pups are too high energy (help owners see when to step in) and help others who fear their dogs are being hurt (when they are not)?? I would talk to the teacher about the other owner's fears and ask her to specifically watch those two dogs and give her two cents.
Charlie (foster) and Rocky
Yes, the owners and a couple of their employees are there every week. The last few weeks a lot more dogs have been showing up since it is full blown winter here. The play groups are getting much larger. She does limit the large play group to only 8 though since it is inside. The owner doesn't have a problem with telling people they can't come back if they aren't willing to follow her rules. The pitbull owner didn't seem to really care, he just laughed it off. The other owner with the lab puppy probably won't come back. He was pretty upset, but his puppy was really shy and he wasn't giving her a safety net like he was supposed to do. I will make it a point to show up early this week and chat with the owner. She is a behaviorist so I trust what she has to say. Abbey doesn't have a mean bone in her body and for the most part is quite a mellow pup. Playing with other dogs is what she loves and that is my way of making sure she gets plenty of exercise.
This actually sounds a bit like Chester...but he has ALWAYS been like this. He wouldn't hurt a fly (as the instructor says) but because of his size he can be a little intimidating. He is almost 7 months now, and things have really started to improve dramatically. He received that bad bite a few weeks back in class, and he is much more cautious now.
Chester & his mom (Noah and Marmie, forever in my heart)