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Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Seattle, WA
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Is my puppy behaving appropriately?
I'm wondering if my puppy is behaving appropriately at the dog park, and thought I'd post here to get opinions. The LAST thing I want is to be the dog parent that has the dog at the park that doesn't really play well with others.
Bodhi is 18 weeks old and has for some time played in quite a "bitey" way with others at the park. He will choose 1 or more dogs his size or bigger (never smaller for some reason, which I'm glad for! Lately he will even wrestle about and play bite dogs 100+ pounds-he has a 130 pound leonberger friend he thinks he can take, haha) and just bites at their faces, neck, ears and legs. He also wrestles with said dogs and will often rear up on two legs with a bitey face and just go at it with them. He has never made a dog cry out in pain, so while he gets ahold of them, it is with a soft mouth, and he lets go pretty promptly. This is also always with a dog that will play the same way right back-if a dog isn't interested in this type of play, Bodhi moves on quickly. It all seems like normal puppy play...I think.
What concerns me is he ONLY plays like this. He ignores balls, and will only chase to do the bitey wrestle thing again. This behavior is also really only at the park-the dogs we meet on the street he will engage with by smelling and just jumping about.
Is this just puppy play that he'll grow out of? Nothing seems aggressive about it. We also give him "timeouts" if we think it's getting too intense or if he's getting knocked around by a dog that isn't gentle enough. In that case we try to redirect to a dog that is more suitable, or we leave the park.
What has really prompted me to post this is that he bared his teeth and snarled at a Samoyed today that had him pinned at the park. This particular dog does not play appropriately in my opinion and ALWAYS goes after my puppy, who is smaller and slower than he is. The Samoyed bites too hard, and the owner is totally unapologetic and has no real control over him. I always leave the park when the Samoyed and owner come in, and this happened right as they came in-the other dog zeroed in on Bodhi and pinned him in a second as I was running over to leash him.
So...opinions? Normal puppy play or something to nip in the bud?
Last edited by Anne Y.; 05-17-2017 at 04:51 PM.