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Discussion Starter #1
Last night Penny was at the barn with me and DD's Aussie mix came out. It was their first meeting since Penny's surgery. I was pleased to see how Sascha acted...like she had really missed her best friend. Normally Sascha is all about The Ball but she was sniffing Penny and generally acting like OMG, I'm so glad to see you.

Penny is shy about dogs but is comfortable around Sascha and perfectly content to let S have the ball, chase the ball, etc. She does come right to me if I pet S so there has to be equal petting.

Penny made 2 play bows. Sascha came nose-to-nose; they both froze with Pen turning her nose a bit to the side but keeping an eye on S. Then S kind of barked/snapped and dd and I both said "Hey hey, play nice". The both went on about their business; followed us to the pasture while we put hay out, etc. seemingly to not pay much attention to each other which is how they usually are. We chalked it up to S being over excited. She plays the same way with DD if she gets too wound up. S is the biggest cuddle bug I've ever seen. We don't think she was well socialized and doesn't seem to know how to play with dogs. Just with people.

Question: Is that momentary bit of 'tension' part of an intense play pattern? They never make physical contact. Sascha runs after the ball, Penny watches and sometimes runs around with S but never runs after the ball. It's sort of like they play AT each other.

I was just wondering if I should be worried or not.
 

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I don''t think it would be anything to worrry about. It sounds as if they might have been re-esablishing their relationship to see if there had been any change. Maybe Sascha thought that Penny would play with her now as she indicated that she might by the play bows, but when Penny averted her head Sascha thought "ah well I just thought she might" and the bark/snap was just a bit of frustration or her way of making a a cheeky attempt to get Penny to chase her.
 

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Okay, that makes sense and is in keeping with all the other dynamics of their relationship. I love the word 'cheeky'! It's a perfect description.
 

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My dogs play with each other like this almost every time they play. They do "the stare" at each other until one of them breaks and then the play is on. To me, that sounds like what Penny and Sasha were doing. It was just that Sasha broke first.
 

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Tracer, Rumor & Cady
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very closely describes what I see here nearly every day too. Liberty's 'tell' is that, just before she breaks the tip of her tail wags....Tracer's clue to know GAME ON and the chase begins!!! Liberty LOVES to be chased...so she nearly ALWAYS is the one to break first....
 
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I think it was normal play. Vendetta, BaWaaJige and my sons dog River play like this every day. If someone was standing outside listening they might think a dog was being killed it gets so loud and rough but it is all play and as soon as I say " Knock it off" it is over.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I am so happy to hear so many positive replies. Sascha is Penny's first friend, the first dog she has ever trusted enough to play with. Last summer, she actually started to put a paw on Sascha's back. Before that she'd never touched another dog.

Sascha was turned in by a busy mom of two toddlers; she was about 2 years old when DD rescued her. She was cowering and shaking so badly in her kennel at the KILL shelter that we felt no one would want her so we adopted her on the spot. I don't think she has had any doggie friends ever. And her housemate at DD was always picking real fights with her. So she has not had a positive socializing experience.

It's so sweet to see them be friends, even if Penny doesn't 'get' the whole ball chasing thing. It's been 2 years and I think they are finally warming up to each other in a bff sort of way. Penny still has to have limited exposure with Sascha...too much running and jumping. After Jan 19, she should get to all clear from her ortho vet.
 
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