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Play fighting or threat of fighting?

Discussion in 'Obedience' started by Terri norris, Apr 18, 2018.

  1. Terri norris

    Terri norris Registered Users

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    Hi I am not sure if this is the right place to post this query but here goes ... Nellie is a typical friendly lab and now she rarely if ever jumps up at people off lead is becoming more of a pleasure to walk over the fields. I live in an area where it’s quite a doggie community.She now knows doggie language and plays nicely with like minded dogs.However there is one dog, it looks like corgi husky mix and I really don’t like the way they play.It always looks as if they are on the edge of fighting.There is a lot of throat growling, rolling and pinning one another down. They are both females and similar size .I wonder and worry whether they are vying to be alpha.The owner seems unperturbed and never intervenes which makes it difficult for me to get Nellie under control .I end up having to walk away and then she eventually returns. Any advice or views would be appreciated.
     
  2. Beanwood

    Beanwood Moderator Forum Supporter

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    Hi, well there are a few things to think about here. First, you have a young (8-month lab) they are super friendly, and, sometimes can get themselves into trouble because of their very sociable attitude to life, particularly as an adolescent. In the context of your post, it might be a good idea to work on Nellie ignoring other dogs on walks, I say this because not all dogs are friendly, and training Nellie to ignore/recall from other dogs and stay close to you, is a good thing and will stand you in good stead for the future.

    I do agree, in that fact that this dogs play seems a bit too boisterous, and from what you say, has the potential to escalate. Of course, some dogs interactions can be a little over zealous, however in this instance, I would simply pop your dog on a lead when you see this dog in future. I have a strict rule, and ONLY let my dogs play with other dogs they know or I am happy with their meet and greet, and this includes the dog owner too! :)

    Well no, the " Alpha" concept is a bit old hat now, the latest research has now debunked this theory.

    https://www.thelabradorsite.com/dog-dominance/

    Regarding the other dogs owner, well it is her responsibility to ensure her dog is under control, if this is not happening, simply remove your dog from this environment, by popping your dog on a lead and walking away.
     
  3. Terri norris

    Terri norris Registered Users

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    Yes that’s exactly what I do but I just wondered if there was an explanation for this behaviour.ie the throaty growling which the other dog does and why they only do this with each other. I know dogs pin each other down but this is continuous rolling,pinning down and growling. They are only like this with each other .With other dogs the play seems pretty normal chase and play.
     
  4. Beanwood

    Beanwood Moderator Forum Supporter

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    Well it could just be very aroused playing, mine do this, BUT I know absolutely it's playing, and I know my dogs. I still would be uncomfortable with this, especially with an unknown dog, and a particularly indifferent owner.
     
  5. Snowshoe

    Snowshoe Registered Users

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    Dogs often do play very roughly. Sometimes human children do too. It can go over the top and become a fight though in my experience serious injury is unusual. I watch both dogs, if both dogs keep going back for more I let them have at it. If a dog has the opportunity to leave and does not then I think, well, it's still play. Still, when the pitch get loud and high and I think it's enough I move on. My worry would be more that a dog the size of a Lab could hurt a Corgi, though I know Corgies are pretty sturdily built little dogs.

    We did stop walking with one neighbour and his Lab. His Lab's idea of a good time was body slamming my timid girl. Once snow was deep and Jet could no longer evade him easily she hid behind me, no more walks with him. I don't think he was mean, just too rough.
     
  6. Jojo83

    Jojo83 Registered Users

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    Hi @Terri norris without seeing the 'play' between the two dogs it's just not possible for anyone to say whether it is ok or not. From what you say it sounds as if both girls are growly and pin each other down which can be fine if they are taking turns and there is consent as @Snowshoe says. Easy way to check is by calling your girl away and then allowing her to go play again. If she is happy with the play she will re-engage, if not she won't. If you're not happy with the play prevent the interaction.
     
  7. Terri norris

    Terri norris Registered Users

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    Thanks folks it’s mostly just re enforcing what I think. They do run to each other to play and it is evenly matched but I must say it does make me uncomfortable. I do feel it could easily escalate into fighting so I will carry on avoiding,which I do most of the time . I know Nellie can be OTT and it’s no fun for smaller more timid dogs but I am very aware and slip her on a lead if I feel she is bein a nuisance. This owner seems pretty oblivious and also her son takes the dog out in the mornings and he is only about 11 or 12.I just wondered if the throaty growl and rolling over and over was a trait that corgis or husky’s have ,and that might explain it.Thanks for the input.All in all I am pretty satisfied with Nellies progress .She is nine months and a month ago,I was pulling my hair out.Her recall went to pot and she wanted to chase and investigate everything.However it all seems to be coming together at the moment....fingers crossed
     
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  8. JulieT

    JulieT Registered Users

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    I disagree with the 'if the dog re-engages it's ok' advice - both of my dogs can play very robustly, yet good play can escalate into play I don't like from time to time. Both of my extremely robust, very well socialised and hugely sociable dogs need to be stopped on occasion - I can stop them, and I do.

    I don't think my dogs have better judgment than I do about what is good for them. They know what is most exciting, but I'm in charge when it comes to what I think encourages or discourages good behaviour. If I don't like the look of it, we move on.
     
  9. Terri norris

    Terri norris Registered Users

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    That’s pretty much how I feel.like kids getting over exited it can easily end in tears. If they are standing,running in play then a young dog can run back to owner or just back off.When they are pinned down then it can surely run into problems. The inexplicable thing is that neither dog plays like this with other dogs. That’s why I think it’s a kind of challange between them
     
  10. Boogie

    Boogie Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    I agree.

    Mine only ever do it to each other, never other dogs - and only outside, not indoors. I have an ‘enough’ cue which I use if this happens. They then go back on leads until they have calmed down.

    :)
     
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  11. lovemylabmom

    lovemylabmom Registered Users

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    I also have an 8month old (soon to be 9months) and was wondering if it was a stage in his development. Had an experience with romping over to a dog at a fence who growled, snarled and spit at him.....re started to do the same in kind and since then he is a bit more apt to act unsure even with dogs he already knows. Prior to this it was always always tail wagging, and sniffing and playing.
     

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