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Old 12-02-2012, 09:00 PM
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Thoughts on rough-housing

My Yukon and my female Blue Heeler, Mika seem like they constantly rough-house. Its usually not a big deal unless they are bother us or get too rough (which they do sometimes). Their game mostly consists of them play biting and chasing each other and sometimes one of them will get mad I guess and bite harder than accepted. Thoughts on this??

Yukon is almost 8 months and intact and Mika is about a year old. He does seem to be "interested" in her even though she's spayed but I think its mostly a playing thing. Is this okay for them to play like this in your opinion? It doesn't seem to cause any other problems except I noticed them guarding their food a bit this evening (there was beef trimmings mixed in, I think that caused it). And neither of them have aggression issues with other dogs as far as I've seen.
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Old 12-02-2012, 09:37 PM
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Let them play. As long as they both seem to be enjoying it, there is no harm in it. Dogs are pretty good at 'self limiting', and playing within the 'mutual' boundaries. The occassional disagreement is bound to happen, they are still learning from one another.
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Old 12-02-2012, 09:43 PM
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#1 rule - I do not want them rough housing when I'm not home or watching them. Because accidents CAN happen while they are roughing. And I do think that if playfighting persists too long, one or the other dogs may actually get serious and snap. They are dogs. Dogs are animals.

#2 rule - obedience comes first. When the dogs are playfighting, or even with playfighting - you are still the big cheese when it comes to the dogs. If you tell them to stop, they must stop immediately. <- This is very important when it comes to avoiding any confrontations or nastiness between the dogs.

I guess what we do is watch the dogs - like I have my 78lb Jacks playfighting with my 15lb Bertie. Jacks is very light on his feet and gentle with his mouth. The main thing with Jacks is we have to remind him to be gentle with his paws (he boxes). We will give them a couple minutes and as soon as one or the other is starting to look tired or frazzled, we step in and tell them to break it up.

The key though is you are paying attention and monitoring the playfighting.
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Old 12-02-2012, 09:56 PM
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Great advice! Yes, when we're not home the Heeler is crated so they don't fight and they stop if I tell them. I just don't want them to become aggressive or anything :-) Thank y'all.
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Old 12-02-2012, 10:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Megora View Post
#1 rule - I do not want them rough housing when I'm not home or watching them. Because accidents CAN happen while they are roughing. And I do think that if playfighting persists too long, one or the other dogs may actually get serious and snap. They are dogs. Dogs are animals.

#2 rule - obedience comes first. When the dogs are playfighting, or even with playfighting - you are still the big cheese when it comes to the dogs. If you tell them to stop, they must stop immediately. <- This is very important when it comes to avoiding any confrontations or nastiness between the dogs.

I guess what we do is watch the dogs - like I have my 78lb Jacks playfighting with my 15lb Bertie. Jacks is very light on his feet and gentle with his mouth. The main thing with Jacks is we have to remind him to be gentle with his paws (he boxes). We will give them a couple minutes and as soon as one or the other is starting to look tired or frazzled, we step in and tell them to break it up.

The key though is you are paying attention and monitoring the playfighting.
How do you know they're not playing while you're out? Do you separate them?

I've wondered about roughhousing myself. There are two boxers at the dog park who are great friends of Tucker's. They do the roughest play I've ever seen. It sounds terrible but it has never escalated. But I have wondered on occasion if I should be allowing Tucker to participate. And at home, with Bella, they do a lot of bitey face. But it's always Golden style play and while fast and furious never seems too rough.
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Old 12-02-2012, 10:32 PM
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How do you know they're not playing while you're out? Do you separate them?
From one dog to the next (our first golden taught the next golden puppy, taught the next golden puppy, etc) when we leave the house the dogs go to their assigned spots and sleep.

One funny memory I have with Danny and Sammy was when we snuck back in the house a few minutes after we left, we found the dogs had gone their different ways. One was sleeping under a desk, and the other had crawled into the bottom of our pantry to sleep (that was puppy Danny).

With Jacks and Bertie, I will shut them both in my room for brief periods of time (up to 2 hours - like when we go to church or that period of time between when I leave for work and the rest of the house wakes up), and Jacks will go to sleep and Bertie will copy him. When I come back in the room, Jacks is usually on my bed and Bertie's under it.

If that imprinting process wasn't there, then I would definitely seperate the dogs when I'm not home.

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I've wondered about roughhousing myself. There are two boxers at the dog park who are great friends of Tucker's. They do the roughest play I've ever seen. It sounds terrible but it has never escalated. But I have wondered on occasion if I should be allowing Tucker to participate. And at home, with Bella, they do a lot of bitey face. But it's always Golden style play and while fast and furious never seems too rough.
I think what you posted in another thread is very true as far as different breeds having different play styles. With goldens there is a lot of wrestling, bitey face, leg chewing.... <- Jacks will actually have Bertie's whole head in his mouth Which if I were a new owner probably would REALLY freak me out. Same thing if an unknown dog were doing that to mine. <- Why I would never take my dog to a dog park, ever.
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Old 12-02-2012, 10:39 PM
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I let mine play until they start rearing up on back legs and bear hugging in their wrestling. At that point I break it up because I don't want to deal with unnecessary surgery.
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Old 12-02-2012, 10:41 PM
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i only have chloe but when we visit my parents they have three dogs (a lab, a lab/border collie and a jack russell pug) and their rules are:

1. NO rough housing inside. They have a large backyard and the dogs can run and play as much as they want in the yard. The doors to the backayrd are glass and there is always someone watching/listening to make sure everyone is keeping it friendly.

2. NO bullying. If it looks like the play is becoming onesided or too rough it will be interupted. Bullying has never been a problem with these dogs but it is still a rule.

3. SETTLE DOWN means settle down. Once we bring them in there is no fussing or playing. All four dogs know and understand the rules because there is never any flexibility on them.

4. NO TOYS in the house. There are tons of balls and toys in the backyard but nothing is allowed in the house.

Now when I puppy sit their 1 year old lab on the weekend or whenever they need me to, I allow playtime outside or in the basement and there are always toys scattered everywhere in my house.

I think as long as your are consistant it will be fine
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Old 12-02-2012, 10:43 PM
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Now that y'all mention different breeds style of play I notice a difference in other breed play. Yukon is very much so mouth and grabs legs and does a lot of the wrestling and laying on the floor to get Mika to play with him down there. He wants to be laying on the floor wrestling. He'll lay on top of her and play. It's pretty cute! lol but she (Blue Heeler) likes to run and chase and jump around like playing keep away and that is so distinctive of the herding dog breeds to me!

I also, would not be big on a dog park just because how do you know that all the pups are healthy and vaccinated and friendly?? You don't and I would be too worried to have fun. Plus I don't know any dog parks in my area. Never been to one.
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Old 12-02-2012, 11:14 PM
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Now that y'all mention different breeds style of play I notice a difference in other breed play. Yukon is very much so mouth and grabs legs and does a lot of the wrestling and laying on the floor to get Mika to play with him down there. He wants to be laying on the floor wrestling. He'll lay on top of her and play. It's pretty cute! lol but she (Blue Heeler) likes to run and chase and jump around like playing keep away and that is so distinctive of the herding dog breeds to me!

I also, would not be big on a dog park just because how do you know that all the pups are healthy and vaccinated and friendly?? You don't and I would be too worried to have fun. Plus I don't know any dog parks in my area. Never been to one.
If you're ever of a mind to try a dog park, poke around on here for threads on the topic beforehand. There are many different feelings on the topic. I do take mine because it's their exercise outlet (I have trouble walking too far these days) but I've become very savvy about the pitfalls and hyper-observant. I do think the right park at the right time of day is a good thing.
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