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& Murphy's Mom too!
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Discussion Starter #1
I hope this is the right section to put this post but I need some help/advice.

When Murphy and Libby play, Murphy dominates the play (usually). They are about the same size but whenever Murphy wants to play, and while they are playing, he goes after the backs of her back legs and yanks. Libby never cries so I don't think he's hurting her. However he ALWAYS grabs her ears and tugs. And I mean hard. We try to stop it but it happens whenever they play, which is often since they are both young and very active.

Again, Libby never makes a sound and she wrestles right back but I don't know if she's telling him when she's had enough. Last week we noticed the inside of Libby's ear was badly beat up with bite marks, and again, she never makes it seem like its hurting her. They are never alone together unsupervised so I know they aren't getting into it when we aren't paying attention.

We put some ointment on all the sores and they are getting better but I feel horrible that this is even happening. Is this normal when dogs play rough together? I don't want someone to think I'm abusing my animals :(.

About a month or so ago, she also have a mark/scab on here muzzle. That is finally healing and the hair is starting to grow back.

They both initiate the play, he is just more aggressive and she doesn't seem hurt by it but I'm just worried she's not telling him when she's had enough. We got her at 6 weeks (big mistake that we didn't realize until after the fact since she was our first dog) and I'm so worried that she didn't get the socialization or play time to be able to say "no".

Sorry that this was so long. I will try to get a picture of the marks on the inside of the ear. They seem to really enjoy playing with eachother and do it often. I just hope he's not hurting her.
 

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Marcy
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8,914 Posts
I'll wait to see the picture of the marks but mine seem to let the other know when enough is enough. We have dog beds all over and usually the sign to quit is if one of them retreats to a dog bed, there is never any playing there. I thought Finn had taken some hair off Abby's muzzle but found out later from the vet it was her allergies.

I have limited inside play a bit this winter, they still get long walks and outside play but I had to replace two lamps early on when they seemed to want to do pro wrestling with no regard to the inside. They are much better now, taking away tug toys helped alot.

Good luck, don't feel bad if you just want to teach them "enough" to stop it altogether, I did.
 

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Now Caue's Dad Too!
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37,489 Posts
That sounds like the type of play that goes on in my house. They seem to have their own means of communicating when they have had enough. As long as the damage is minimal I would not worry.
 

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& Murphy's Mom too!
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869 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the responses. I'll have to have my husband help me take a picture tonight or tomorrow morning. They do play pretty rough inside but our yard is muddy and filled with fun things for the dogs (Murphy) to find. We moved in here at the end of July and DH is constantly throwing things over the fence, so for now, they don't get to play much outside.

They are young too so I don't know if that has anything to do with it. Murphy will be 1 in May and Libby will be 2 in May.
 

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Registered
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43,252 Posts
Bama does that same thing to Shelby when they are playing. And then when he gets distracted by the tennis ball she chases him and pulls his tail and always gets his hair.
 

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Joy of my heart
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529 Posts
Grabbing hold of the leg sounds like what Goldie does to Aspen when they're playing outside. In the wild, that is how dogs would bring down their prey. Even though they're just playing, the act of grabbing onto the leg to take them down is purely instinctual. Between the two of them, that is also an act of heirarchy, as Goldie is reinforcing the notion that she is the Alpha.

When Goldie grabs her leg, Aspen stops right there until Goldie lets go because Aspen knows that if she kept running or tried to get away, it would hurt her leg (smart girl). But we're always watching them too when they're outside, so when we see this, we just tell Goldie to leave Aspen's leg alone & she does.
 

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Missing Selka So Much
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When my boys get too wild , I use the loud "ACK!"sound and they stop or I just say "Knock it off" usually because they are so noisy!

I think it is perfectly fine for you to limit how rough it gets. If he's grabbing/biting her ears, back of the legs, do the "ACK!".
 
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