After training class each week some of the people let their dogs have a little get-together/socialization/play time in a large enclosed area at the training facility. Dee has always been very dog orientated and gets really excited at the prospect of playing with another dog or dogs. I believe that part of this excitement is because she is an only dog and doesn't have a built-in playmate at home.....and of course she is still young. Today there were four dogs in the group...varying sizes. Her enthusiasm can be a little much for a more timid dog or a dog much smaller than herself. I think Labs have their own play style and it can get a bit rough. Curious.....do you find your Labs adjust their play to suit the size of the other dog? My first Lab did this, but then she was brought up with smaller dogs.
Nothing to do with size, but Judy adjusts her play intensity to a lower level for Mitzi. Judy and Duke play very roughly outside with each other, but Mitzi wants none of that. If I put M&J together without Duke, Judy plays with Mitzi but she's not so rough. I love to see M&J enjoy playing with each other one on one.
Abby will adjust her "level" of play depending on the size of the dog (or other animal ie: cat) that she is playing with. It was also funny to watch her with Molly. When we first brought her home she was soooo gentle now that Molly is almost Abby's size she is a lot rougher with her play. She's also a lot gentler around small kids.
Molly doesn't really adjust her "level" of play at all. I do however see her starting to do this. She will play a bit gentler with our neighbors kitten, but she can still be rough.
~Abby, Molly, and Penny (the honorary lab)
I remember when Biscuit was in training classes (until about 8 mos, I think). I asked my trainer about this as well. She said that she noticed that Labs and Golden Retrievers have a similar play style, bitey face/ neck, body slamming, and other breeds have their own "style", with individual differenaces, of course.
She also said that young Labs typically take a lot of time to really develop "body awareness", and social awareness- an ability to figure out just how big they are, and what type of play the other dog(s) want. It seems to come with maturity and exposure to lots of different types of dogs, or even other animals like cats, and kids. Biscuit's now 2, and he will adjust his level of enthusiasm/energy to the dog/cat/kid he's playing with because he's learned doggy manners and social cues sent off by other dogs/cats/kids. But, I probably would've been very nervous to let him around very small dogs or older dogs who didn't appreciate puppies unsupervised when he was younger. He was just too much for them!
<br />Kristin & Biscuit
I have seen Riley body slam with other large dogs..especially with other labs..and I've seen him play bow in front of little dogs and let them chew on his lips..now with Robbie he is a little rougher than he has been with other little dogs..maybe it's some jealousy or he knows Robbie can take it..Robbie was playing with a Rottie pup the other day who is a little bigger and definitely heftier than him and Robbie had him down on the ground..LOL
She is still very "puppy," and maybe those manners will kick in at some point....soon I hope.* Right now I really don't think she gives any thought to size whether it be huge or tiny ...... which is why we stick to playing with dogs that aren't too small and are very good natured.* Strangely so far there haven't been any other Labs or even Goldens in our ongoing class.* I try to match her up with the more layed back group of dogs because I don't want her playing really hard.* We do have a Labradoodle pup in the class now who I have to say is very sweet.....a rescue pup.* *I think it would do her good to have a couple of dogs gently but firmly put her in her place when she gets too overbearing.* She needs to learn to respect other dogs space and that you can't just race in and start playing without going through the correct motions.* My other dogs all seemed to know this, and I'm sure that she will learn eventually as she matures and has different experiences.* *:-\*
Murray adjusts to whatever dog he is playing with. He loves the ruff n tumble body slam with his girlfriend Drew, the Rottie. He plays chase and bitey face with Essy. He lays on the ground and ruffs up his buddy Rosie the JRT.
Angus used to completely overwhelm any new dog with his desire to play. He is some better about having gotten it out of his system since we got Simon.
I have never tried him with small dogs...all his friends are around his size or bigger. But I do think he would bring it down a notch for a friendly smaller dog.
Connie and "The Boys":
Angus, Yellow Lab, CGC, RE, CD
Simon, d.b.a. Flat Coated Retriever, CGC, RE, CD
Gone ahead, but forever in my heart:
Crash, Pit Bull x Rottweiler x Golden Retriever
Lydia - That's exactly what my last Lab was like....incredibly sensible and sensitive. To be fair we did have other (smaller) dogs then and also cats.... and children around, whereas now we just have the one dog, but she was generally just more layed back....higher energy, but calmer. With other "family" dogs to play with I don't think she felt the same need to rough house with every dog she met. I think Dee just gets so hyped to play that she can barely contain her over abundant enthusiasm. Once she runs around a bit she settles down and picks up anything she can find to try to initiate a game of tug, but the other dogs don't seem to catch on. : Yesterday she located a big stick somewhere and ran around trying to push it at the other dogs to get them to play. They mainly just ducked. LOL
Connie - Yes, I think she just craves play with other dogs. Her and Angus have always sounded alot alike to me. I have to be careful because of her hips not being 100%, so this makes things more difficult. I'm picky about who she plays with because of this. Maybe someday when she's really settled down we'll think about getting a second dog.