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Normal Play Behaviour in Dogs

December 3rd, 2010, 09:05 PM
I have a small (11lb) JackRussel/Dachshund. She is pretty lively. She seems to play a little rough with other dogs. She uses her teeth a lot.

At puppy class during play times when she is paired with other similar sized dogs like the floofy ones, they don't seem to know what to do with her. She's here..she's there..she's up ...she's down..first she has them by the tail..then she's jumped over them. One owner said she reminded him of a cartoon character - she is just a whirlwind. The little dogs seem to be a bit perplexed and overwhelmed by her.

While she plays intensely she seems to have good bite inhibition, there generally are no sounds to indicate anyone is hurt.

She spends time together with a friend who is a largish terrier/poodle (about 40lbs). She really goes all out on him, but as a bigger dog he is nonplussed with her attempting to hang off of his moustache. He just will pin her down. They get along well together, even if it looks like someone is going to get hurt.

What are the rules of dog play fighting? I'm not sure how to teach a dog to play nice. Will she just eventually figure out how to play with little dogs?

December 4th, 2010, 11:32 PM
It seems it's just her style of play as this mix is pretty hyperactive. As long as there are no bad yelps or squeals and no breaking of skin, I wouldn't worry, unless the little dogs are becoming very timid or shy and avoiding any play, or are shaking with fear. Then you should intervene by distracting her. Hopefully she may learn some obedience commands soon to "come" or "leave it" in the months to come.

December 9th, 2010, 10:33 PM
like catlover said it could just be her play style mixed with hyperactivity. Maybe trying going for a brisk walk before playtime to try and calm her down?

Floppy Dog
December 14th, 2010, 05:45 PM
It's in the breed. Jack Russells and Dachshunds are hunting dogs and they both follow their quarry into burrows (Russels were bred to go after rabbits and Dachshunds after badgers). Your dog is by nature a very active and energetic dog. Other "floofy" dogs, as you so descriptively call them, were bred as lap pets, food tasters and companions, and are by nature much less active and energetic. The key to judging dog play is whether both dogs spend a roughly equal amount of time being "preditor" and "prey" or "chaser" and "chasee", as the case may be. Don't let the noise worry you too much either. I have a Cocker Spaniel, my step son and DIL have a mixed breed that's about 4-5 times bigger. The play gets noisy and pretty ferocious, but there has never been any blood spilled. In fact, when we dog sit for SS and DIL, both the dogs wind up sleeping very close together.

December 19th, 2010, 01:18 AM
It sounds like a little bit "ill mannered" which is fine! All dogs learn that playing like that won't get what they want and usually end up offering a different behaviour (not biting so hard ect).

The over excitement can be managed with obedience. Work on your sit-stays, down-stays, focus (watch the handler) and recalls. This will help her with her impulsive tendencies.

All in all, all dogs play differently its up to the dogs to find a suitable playmate.