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dogs play fighting

maggiemay
January 1st, 2008, 10:41 PM
My sister's puppy and my maggie get along fairly well... but they play fight all of the time. I really dont like it because sometimes they get a little "aggressive" about it. they growl a lot when they do it. I tell them enough and seperate them all of the time but its like they dont even hear me and go right back at it.
Does anyone with multiple canines have this problem? I dont know how to get them to stop doing this! I just think that it encourages aggressive behavior and they cant play like that with other dogs because not all dogs approve and im sure their owners wouldnt like it. i dont even like it.
Any suggestions?

TeriM
January 2nd, 2008, 02:02 AM
It is actually very common for dogs to growl when the play especially dogs that know each other well and it is not considered agressive behaviour. In fact playing with a good doggie friend can be extremely important in the socialization process. You will definately know if it crosses the line to agressive behaviour and at that time both parties will definately need a "time-out". Other actions such as humping should also recieve time-outs. A play growl is much different from a "threaten" growl and can usually be easily distinguished by watching their body language.

I would try to work on developing regular "time-out" periods anyway. It is very difficult with puppies as they have such short attention spans but it is a good idea to work on a "settle" command where they each must lie quietly apart for a few minutes and then gradually work up to longer periods.

Purpledomino
January 2nd, 2008, 09:14 AM
I agree with TeriM. Sounds to me like your sisters puppy and your dog are just having normal play sessions and having alot of fun just being dogs. My new Minpin pup and almost two year old Minpin play fight whenever they have the chance...and the growling is just part of it. Chances are that your older girl knows this is a puppy, and acts accordingly. My Bullmastiff and Great Dane constantly play fight as well.....and if you didn't know any better with their growling sounds, you'd think they were ripping each other apart!

It's all good.... :dog:

bendyfoot
January 2nd, 2008, 09:27 AM
Yep, the growling and baring of teeth is perfectly normal and not necessarily a sign of aggression. Usually, if the game goes too far, one pup will yip. The other should stop right away at the yip, if not, the game should be stopped. My two play fight ALL the time, lots of teeth, growling, and biting of cheeks and legs...note that this "biting" is really just holding and does not break skin, and shouldn't hurt, and when one gets uncomfortable she yips, and the other lets go right away. All of this stuff teaches manners.

In fact, I would have to say that since we got Jaida , our older dog Gracie has become much more polite and has developed better manners and boundaries with other dogs, very much due to their daily play sessions and interactions. She is extremely responsive to any of Jaida's signals during play, shows a lot of patience with her over toys/treats etc., and is now displaying this behaviour to other dogs (she has a history of pretty bad dog agression). Gracie did not get much of these kinds of interactions before we got Jaida, and they have most definitely helped her mature and become more social.

clm
January 2nd, 2008, 10:03 AM
Mine growl and bark and bare their teeth, run at each other and hit chest to chest. It's all normal play for them. Sounds like a fight, but that's how they play.


Cindy

LavenderRott
January 2nd, 2008, 10:06 AM
Yep - dogs play rough and it is in no way indicitive of aggression issues. Some dogs are more vocal, some less. And just because these two particular dogs play rough together, doesn't mean that either of them will play that rough with another dog.

http://i82.photobucket.com/albums/j250/LilacDragon/playin.jpg

These two were absolutely voracious with each other but very gentle and mild with other dogs.

maggiemay
January 2nd, 2008, 10:55 AM
thanks very much for all of the replies. I just wanted to make sure that other peoples dogs do the same thing. it just seems so rough... besides they basically rip through the house. I wish i had a fenced in yard to just let them run around in but hmm i rent my house...or well my mother does.

does anyone have problems with their dogs fighting over bones? They get pretty possessive with bones and toys sometimes and dont share very well. when they fight i take away the bone and dont give it back for a while...should i give them a time out in this case for a while or is jsut taking the bone away everytime going to fix it?

maggiemay
January 2nd, 2008, 10:56 AM
oooh and the picture examples were great!!!

LavenderRott
January 2nd, 2008, 11:12 AM
I crate my resource aggressive dogs with hi-value treats like bones. This way they can eat/chew in peace.

clm
January 2nd, 2008, 11:19 AM
Bentley usually wants both bull wrinkles when I first give them to them in the morning before we leave for work, after a few minutes he settles down to just one and lets Baxter have the other.
They will growl and bare teeth at each other if one trys to take the other ones treat. Never gets too out of hand though.
They never do that to us though, we can pick up anything either dog is chewing.

Cindy

maggiemay
January 2nd, 2008, 01:13 PM
I have no problem taking what the dogs on chewing on, but they wont let one another have what they are chewing on.

bendyfoot
January 2nd, 2008, 01:20 PM
Gracie used to be resource agressive (not just with dogs but with people...people aren't a problem now after lots of work) and we had to be careful with high-value items. But it seems like the girls have a good understanding of each other's boundaries. Jaida often steals Gracie's stuff, Gracie will usually show her teeth and growl a bit. If Gracie really means it, Jaida leaves her alone. If not (Gracie has a lot of fun being snarly and bossy), Jaida takes the item and Gracie lets her without a fuss. Sometimes Gracie lets her take it (because the stealing of the item really seems to be the most fun thing, not the item itself), and them promptly takes it back.
Generally speaking, we get two of EVERYTHING (treats, bowls, stuffies, bones, whatever). And if any new toys or chewies come in the house, they both get one at the same time. We never seem to have any problems. But the snarly/growly bit is always a factor. Again, this is pretty normal doggie communication and dogs need to learn what it means and how to say it. If they're lunging/fighting physically with each other over items, that needs to stop.

sizzledog
January 9th, 2008, 07:24 PM
This sounds pretty normal to me - my dobes are inseparable, best buddies.. and they play fight daily. Both are very vocal and like to "show off their teeth".

Unless your two are getting too serious about it and actually starting scuffles, I wouldn't worry about it.

They look pretty gruesome, but in reality they're just having fun!

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v107/lhartlep/Ronin%20and%20Ilsa/november2007664.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v107/lhartlep/IMG_8229.jpg

Longblades
January 10th, 2008, 07:51 AM
WOW. Really good pic examples. I'd just like to echo all the other comments and add a bit. You don't say what your sister's dog is but if it is a lot bigger than your pup then I would be careful puppy doesn't get hurt by accident. A young pup's joints, ligaments, tendons etc. are still growing and too exuberant play with a bigger or older dog could hurt your pup in ways that might not show up till much later in life.

A rule of thumb I'm following with our puppy is 5 minutes of walk for each month of age. That means 10 minutes for us. We will have several 10 minute outings during the day but no more than 10 minutes each time. I think it seems reasonable to apply this to play time with another dog and make those times no more than 10 minutes per play as well. Just think, if you decided to run a marathon, how you would have to do much shorter distances at first, in order to build up to the whole distance. Puppies are the same and should only do little bits at first.

Other things should be limited, according to some and one is the breeder of our Lab. She says NO running full tilt till one year of age. So no jogging with you while you train for that marathon :). She also says NO running up and down full flights of stairs till six months of age. Going up and down stairs puts tremendous stress on elbows and knees and may lead to problems in later life.

Are they real bones? Bones, real bones or anything dogs really like, are high value treats and I would separate the dogs when they have them.

amatazes
January 10th, 2008, 08:36 AM
totally normal. my yorkie fights like that with the pitbull and boxers at the dog run. If it hurts they will cry.
it's good for them to play fight like that too because it teaches them boundaries. When they're using too mush force or not playing fair. Seriously, if you really sit back and watch them you can see the process.

Ford Girl
January 10th, 2008, 10:13 AM
Yep, agreed, and look at this one....is it a rabbid wolf? Nope, my sister's huskey! LOL! My golden shows her teeth in play all the time, and plays really loud, and her smaller friends just pull and tug the crap out of her ears and neck and extra fur...she lets them, they take turn being on top! They also let out little yelps if it gets too much, dogs they play together alot are good at regulating the pain/roughness threashhold. It looks aweful to us, and it looks like it hurts, but they love it.

When we go to drop in dog play, the trainers tell the owners not to interfere, they will tell us when it's inappropriate and when to intervien, otherwise let them at it. We usually never have to.

Ford Girl
January 10th, 2008, 10:32 AM
thanks very much for all of the replies. I just wanted to make sure that other peoples dogs do the same thing. it just seems so rough... besides they basically rip through the house. I wish i had a fenced in yard to just let them run around in but hmm i rent my house...or well my mother does.

does anyone have problems with their dogs fighting over bones? They get pretty possessive with bones and toys sometimes and dont share very well. when they fight i take away the bone and dont give it back for a while...should i give them a time out in this case for a while or is jsut taking the bone away everytime going to fix it?

Personally, I don't allow bones when we have a dog over for a play date, and we pick up most of the toys, our friends Doby is toy possesive, so why not be safe and pick them up. They have each other to play with, they don't need bones or toys while playing. If it's a long visit, and you want them to settle, you could pen one or both, and give each a bone, seperated...not together. :thumbs up

Kristin7
January 10th, 2008, 11:15 AM
I'm sorry I don't have advice but wanted to comment that I love the pics of the dogs play fighting! They all look so fierce while they're having fun.

TMac
January 18th, 2008, 12:08 PM
Ooooh! I love those pics!!! Thanks everybody! I especially like the wrinkled noses on Sizzledog's dobie and on Dazy in FordGirl's pic!! LOVE IT!:cloud9:

AMYAPC
January 21st, 2008, 12:16 PM
My two do the exact same thing, sounds like they are killing each other! They are both very vocal, sometimes it is annoying so I seperate them, but they are not hurting each other, just playing!