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Kodasmomma
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Hey,

So I mentioned a little while back that my sister and I were concerned about how our dogs play together. Koda is 45 lbs (almost 6 months) and her german shepherd is 96 lbs (1.5 years). He is clearly the bigger dog lol. Normally he is the submissive one when he goes to dog parks and such but Koda, knowing her place, is the submissive one when they are together. He then takes advantage and when she rolls to her back he tends to pin her down with his mouth on her neck. He doesn't hurt her and she could care less cuz she gets up and goes to give him kisses again but then she rolls over again..it is over and over. My sister calls her dog off every time and he listens fine. We are constantly watching them and would never let them out of our sight.

We are planning to get them together again tomorrow night to work on this. We want them to play and not feel the need to choose submissive or dominant the whole time.

Are there any suggestions on how we can teach them not to do that and to just play or do we need to let this happen and keep calling him off of her until she is big enough to stand her ground??

Any advice/suggestions/tips are greatly appreciated!!!
 

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It sounds as if what is happening is perfectly normal play between a pup and an older dog. A male and female will usually play fine together and I wouldn't worry about which one seems dominant and which seems submissive. As long as they are both enjoying the contact and it doesn't become too rough, so neither is overwhelmed and frightened by the other, then I would let them play. She will learn a lot from him and as they she gets older you may well find that she takes the lead in play and he will more than likely let her win. :)
 

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Kye & Coops Mom
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I agree, this is normal play between a pup and older dog. You will be surprised when sometimes she might take the lead as she matures. Just as aerolor said, just monitor and let them play, but break up if it gets too rough. Think it is normal for goldens to roll over and submit in play with an adult dog. My 6 mo old golden plays with my 4 lb, 5 yr old male yorkie and she is always at ground level and rolls over while he mauls her. Really funny, cause with one swipe she could flatten him, but she is very submissive and mainly plays laying on her back.
 

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This is totally normal, and it's a really healthy sign that a pup is willing to "roll over" (literally and metaphorically) for the older dog. Don't worry about labeling it submissive or dominant. What you really need to care about is calm and confident. If she's confident enough to play roll over and over, that's the sign of a confident, social dog.

As she gets older, you may find that they trade roles in the fight a bit more, but that's not particularly important.

Certainly monitor them, and certainly separate them if they get too intense about their playing, but don't worry about one dog being submissive more often than the other.
 

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Tracer, Rumor & Cady
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are both intact?
 

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I agree that at long as Koda doesn't seem distressed by the play and it's not too rough, it's probably OK. We brought Ozzy to a new smallish dog park yesterday to check it out. He had fun and the owners all seemed pretty responsible. I noticed that though he approaches most dogs very confidentially with his head and tail up he tends to take the more "submissive" role when playing. He likes to be chased but doesn't really chase other dogs and he is usually the one on the ground when they wrestle. However, right as we were leaving two huge dogs came and and Ozzy's tail instantly went in-between his legs and he was very submissive with them. Uncomfortablly so. He was trying to get away from them and ran up to me and jumped on me like he was saying "get me out of here." SO, we left. For me that showed me that in some cases he can happily play and do the submissive thing but other times he seems almost scared. I'm assuming he was sensing something different in those dogs and it's my job to watch for those signs.

So, I guess that's what you have to ask yourself. Does it seem like Koda is happy or is she spending his whole time on her back looking scared? Maybe she's fine for awhile but then gets tired of it? If it no longer seems fun for her then it's time to break it up. I'm not really sure what you do to change the situation though...

By the way, my previous Golden was VERY submissive with German Shepards. I don't know what it was but the minute one walked up to her she was instantly on her back. She was a pretty timid dog in general though.
 

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Kodasmomma
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Discussion Starter #8
She seems very happy! :) She gets so excited to see him. Usually they play for a bit the right way and then she starts rolling over. But she doesn't seem stressed out at all or wanting stop. She gets up and goes after him again so she isn't trying to get away.

What dog park did you go to? We are looking for ones to try out...
 

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We went to Mitchell Park in Brookfield off Capitol. We went right about 5:30 when it was a lot of people just getting off work. It's a large open field and then some short walking trails. We live pretty close to there so it wasn't as much of a hassle for us to get to than some of the big Milwaukee County ones. It was a good experience and we wanted to do something different than our usual walk. I'm still on the fence about dog parks but we will go again. My daughter loved it.
 

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Kodasmomma
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Discussion Starter #10
Awesome. Another lady in our advanced puppy class goes there as well and said she likes it a lot. We might have to try that out this weekend and see what she thinks!
 

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Kodasmomma
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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks everyone. I am happy to report they had a blast together. Not as much dominance issues as previously..and she even started trying to get on top of him this time which was new but apparently to be expected.

Here is a picture of them after lots and lots of play time:
Rogan and Koda.jpg
 
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