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  #1  
Old 06-30-2005, 08:46 AM
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Default Dogs play/wrestling

Just wanted some opinions on my 9 month old Dobermans play with other dogs. We take her to an off-leash park where many of the dogs enjoy grabbing at each others neck with their teeth and play fighting.

To me, this seems violent and I like to discourage her from playing with other dogs this way, although many owners cheer on their dog. This is probably natural puppy behaviour but it scares me that some day she'll try to play with a child in this manner.

Should i remove her from dogs who play this way or just let them play?
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Old 06-30-2005, 09:03 AM
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Two of mine play this way but we watch them. I don't think you want it to get out of hand and either of them injuring each other. To cheer them on I don't think is a good thing since it is encouraging them to possible go further, just my opinion.
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Old 06-30-2005, 09:11 AM
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Dogs - especially breeds like the Dobermans, German Shepherds, molosser breeds, etc. that are bred to be guardians - are much smarter than we give them credit for about the difference in playing with another dog and entertaining a child. Some of the rough and tumble ours indulge in together is unnerving, to say the least, but if there's a child around they turn into these unbelievably gentle, careful and hyper-aware babysitters. They are fascinated with babies too - very careful, making soft little cooing noises.

The one thing I would suggest is that you occasionally stop them and have them calm down so they are used to responding to that. There are going to be times when you do need for them to stop and chill out and your life will be much easier if they are used to responding to a command to that effect.\

I would also be somewhat uncomfortable with that kind of hard play at a dog park with dogs they weren't well acquainted with - especially when there are several dogs nearby. It doesn't take a whole lot sometimes for one watching from the sidelines to jump in and turn things from a friendly wrestling match into a full blown fight!
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Old 06-30-2005, 09:30 AM
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Totally agree with Renee. On another note, I would be very careful with dogs playing and grabbing on wrestling around the next area. The reason I say this, is because my two large dogs were playing this way years ago and one of them got their mouth stuck in the others collar. They twisted a certain way beacuse they were scared and that made the problem worse as it tightened the collar on my female and completley cut off her air supply. She was turning blue and the collar was twisted so tight that I could not free either of them. The dog who had his mouth stuck was trying to pull away which was making it even tighter and harder for my female to breathe. It was a buckle collar to boot and I could not for the life of me get the buckle undone. By an act of some divine power there was a really lound noise outside that scared the dog who was stuck and he moved in a way that freed them....sign of relief! Lesson learned is that they never play rough with collars on and the next day I went out and bought them all quick-release collars
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Old 06-30-2005, 09:33 AM
Fran27 Fran27 is offline
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I'm glad you brought up this!

Renee, any idea on how to teach your dogs to calm down when they are being too rough? The only thing I think of is to make them come and sit and give them a treat but they start again right afterwards (well mostly Boris) so I have to seperate them.

I'm also starting to get the idea that it's normal play for them, but I admit it's scary and I can't help worrying.
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Old 06-30-2005, 09:39 AM
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I agree too, with Renee and Showpug. My almost 2 yr old Doberman will play with his friends who are close to his size so roughly that you would not believe it. And yet, he plays with our Chihuahuas exceedingly carefully. They know what they're doing...maybe not so much when they're very young, but as they grow, they understand.

About the collars....just one more reason I don't leave a collar on my dogs unless we're on a walk or training. In the house, they go naked. My breeder had two of her dogs playing in the yard while she went to the grocery store. She came home to one dead dog. Like Showpug described, one dog got it's teeth stuck in the collar and the other dog strangled. They can get their collar caught on anything. It's very dangerous, IMO.
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Old 06-30-2005, 10:10 AM
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Mine never wear collars here on the farm. Too much to get caught on, and I don't want someone chipping a tooth on a metal part of a collar when they're wrestling.

Now if I could just find a place to put the collars that was handy where Kharma wouldn't steal Shiva and Bimmer's collars and hide them, leaving hers the only one handy . . .
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In a controversy the instant we feel anger we have already ceased striving for the truth, and have begun striving for ourselves. ~Buddha

Stupid is the most notoriously incurable and contagious disease known to mankind. If you find yourself in close proximity to someone infected with stupid, walk away as soon as said infection is noted.


There are few things more nauseating than pure obedience. ~ Kvothe

***8206;"silence is the language of god, all else is poor translation."
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  #8  
Old 06-30-2005, 10:33 AM
Fran27 Fran27 is offline
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Lol Renee. Your dogs are something aren't they?
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  #9  
Old 06-30-2005, 10:42 AM
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Thanks for the comments. I have noticed my dog (Abby) only plays this way with certain dogs (similar size, age, etc.).

I will definitely have to work on getting her to listen to my commands more reliably when playing this way though. That seems to be one of our biggest challenges in training right now...getting Abby to respond to us when there are distractions (i.e. other dogs). I guess the best way to do this is with lots of practice and even more treats?!
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  #10  
Old 06-30-2005, 10:47 AM
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I have to say that I too have gotten to the point where mine never wear collars either, but it still scares me...I always worry they could by accident get loose and although they are microchipped, not many people would have them checked for a chip etc. I guess it would be okay to leave collars on pugs as they have no snout and physically can not get stuck, but you never know
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