How much "play growling" is normal?
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Thread: How much "play growling" is normal?

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    GreenDragonLady's Avatar
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    DefaultHow much "play growling" is normal?

    *Cross post from other lab board...I wanted as much help as possible!*

    When playing together, my 4 month old and 5 year old labs growl a LOT. I'm not sure if I should be concerned or if it's all just play. Yesterday the 5 year old was chasing the puppy, and she was whining too (the 5 year old). Their tails are always up and wagging, and their ears are usually forward (or as forward as they can be). I've never had two dogs at once and wanted some feedback.

    Thanks!

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    justine's Avatar
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    It really depends on the dogs. You mostly need to watch body language. I've done a lot of reading up on these things, but some dogs are very vocal when they play.

    That said, growing/yipping/barking are sometimes just normal play. Obviously if the noises change and start to sound VERY vicious and not like their normal play, it's probably best to break it up before it gets worse.

    With the body language, if both of their tails are wagging, they are probably just playing, but it's hard to know for sure without being there firsthand.

    Your older lab should be able to tell the younger pup when enough is enough. Sometimes it's a loud bark or showing of teeth, but again, it depends on the dog.

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    When Jazzy was a pup, they both made a lot of noise when playing, but every once in awhile I felt Jake was getting too serious and I would call a time out for both of them.

    Brookville, Pa.

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    kaytris is offline Senior Member
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    Separate them and remove the louder one from the action. If the quieter one immediately tries to reengage play, it's all good. If quiet one leaves to find something else to do, that play was too rough.

    There's nothing wrong with occasional time outs to settle down - learning to relax after high arousal is a valuable skill.

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    I guess as long as everyone seems happy and there is no real aggression I'd assume it's play growling. When it's a threatening growl, it sounds different, more serious. IMO


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    Belles mom is offline Senior Member
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    When my kids go at it with 'play growling' it sounds like a pitbull ring (or at least what I would imagine one to sounds like). A few years ago I was talking to a non-dog person on the phone while outside watching the kids play. I other person was very concerned that there was blood being spilt!


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    Quote Originally Posted by Belles mom View Post
    When my kids go at it with 'play growling' it sounds like a pitbull ring (or at least what I would imagine one to sounds like). A few years ago I was talking to a non-dog person on the phone while outside watching the kids play. I other person was very concerned that there was blood being spilt!
    LOL I know what you mean. My neighbor got really concerned the other day because Abbey and Toby were playing and both are very vocal so it was pretty growly and she came across the hall to see if something was wrong. She's not a dog person. Nice of her, though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Belles mom View Post
    When my kids go at it with 'play growling' it sounds like a pitbull ring (or at least what I would imagine one to sounds like). A few years ago I was talking to a non-dog person on the phone while outside watching the kids play. I other person was very concerned that there was blood being spilt!
    That is pretty much how it sounds in my house.
    Kim

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    ...what the others have said.

    here are two pics
    Zoe and her best friend Hayley. Zoe is the one w/her paw on Hayley, and she is very verbal



    and chilling together
    Linda and Zoë, the Umlaut
    Honolulu, Hawaii

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    Quote Originally Posted by zoesmom View Post
    ...what the others have said.

    here are two pics
    Zoe and her best friend Hayley. Zoe is the one w/her paw on Hayley, and she is very verbal

    OK, this could be my two! (except for the size...Rosie is only 4 months). Sometimes they get chasing each other around the house like their tails are on fire!

    PJ has been alone for 4 1/2 years, and I think she is really happy to have a playmate. They each get alone time too.

    Thanks for the accounts of your labs, everyone!

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