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Thread: When is play too rough?

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    Default When is play too rough?

    Today is one of those days I feel like a clueless dog owner...as Truman ages (and becomes more mobile), his play with Linus has become different and Linus seems a lot more intolerant of him. Sometimes he wants to be left alone but, at other times, they seem to be playing but Linus is a lot rougher and growling more and doesn't appear to be friendly, almost snapping at Truman.

    My question is how can you tell if they're just playing or there's a real problem? This has just started in the past week and it's starting to be a bit troubling since it seems like Linus doesn't really like Truman at all but Truman doesn't seem to be picking up on it if there really is an aggression issue. I just can't tell and this was never a big problems with Bentley and Linus.

    (They are both males - Linus is 4, Truman is almost 14 wks)

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    Bentley (5.24.04 - 6.26.10) & Linus (1.10.06 - 7.31.13)

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    Default Re: When is play too rough?

    I know this probably doesn't help but I would say just use your best judgement. It needs to be broken up when it's not playing, if it's truly aggressive or if it appears someone is being hurt it needs to stop. I think it is a hard thing for me to put in words without being there and seeing the behavior. Even with growling there is playful growling and there is aggressive/angry growling. I can imagine it will be a difficult adjustment for Linus. I think it will take sometime but after a while it will all fall into place. They say sometimes there is a power struggle with 2 males but being that you brought Truman into your home as a pup it should be fine. I think as Truman starts maturing and getting the clues from Linus they will be BFFs before you know it.

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    Default Re: When is play too rough?

    Anytime playtime gets too rough I break it up. You will be able to tell when it escalates from growling and playing to aggression. The reason it should be broken up is because they may be fighting over being pack leader, and you want to ensure them that YOU are in fact, the pack leader.

    We brought Mandy in right after Molly had Yuna and Tidus, and she was over a year old. Needless to say, I have to keep them separated. But Mandy gets along great with everyone else, and Molly gets along great with everyone else. So it is a shift and juggle all day here, but occasionally- the ones who do get along will get into fights. I always step in to break it up, and let them know its not tolerated. Same as I would with my kids. No fighting

    Now if I could only get Mandy and Molly to even be in the same vicinity, then I will officially become an expert. But so far- I suck! I fear they will never get along....

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    Default Re: When is play too rough?

    I agree - I guess I really knew that things were getting too rough but couldn't figure out why the sudden change. I think it's a combination of him getting a little older and Linus being unhappy with his allergies but I am going to keep an eye on things and go from there. Good point on establishing myself as the leader of the pack...I need to remember that I rule!

    "I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me they are the role model for being alive."
    Bentley (5.24.04 - 6.26.10) & Linus (1.10.06 - 7.31.13)

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    Default Re: When is play too rough?

    When you guys figure it out, let me know. I just took some video of Orion and Vegas fighting over a blanket. A BLANKET. Orion had it first, Vegas started tugging on it. They power struggled for about 30 seconds, then Orion dropped the blanket and started biting Vegas............shhheeesh. No wonder all their toys are in time out!

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    Default Re: When is play too rough?

    Yes the allergies may have a lot to do with the problem. Figure if Linus isnt feeling good he may not be in the mood to play and that may be what he is sayingin his growl. Not so much an angry growl but a heads up warning type? Not near the same but Cutty does this growl at Mugsy a lot when Mugsy does different things that Cutty doesnt want and yet Mugsy has never acted like it phases him one bit. You would think if Cutty is growling at him he would step back a bit or stop what he is doing but he doesnt at all and I almost take some of his growling more like talk or something? Like Mugsy will clean Cuttys face and almost all the time he does Cutty growls at him. BUT he continues and obviously Cutty doesnt mind so I dont know what that means. So odd. I say keep close to them so that line doesnt get crossed, you will know if it is a bad warning. Hopefully once he is feeling better the tension will lighten up. Keep us posted!

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    Default Re: When is play too rough?

    Quote Originally Posted by cali~jenn View Post
    Yes the allergies may have a lot to do with the problem. Figure if Linus isnt feeling good he may not be in the mood to play and that may be what he is sayingin his growl. Not so much an angry growl but a heads up warning type? Not near the same but Cutty does this growl at Mugsy a lot when Mugsy does different things that Cutty doesnt want and yet Mugsy has never acted like it phases him one bit. You would think if Cutty is growling at him he would step back a bit or stop what he is doing but he doesnt at all and I almost take some of his growling more like talk or something? Like Mugsy will clean Cuttys face and almost all the time he does Cutty growls at him. BUT he continues and obviously Cutty doesnt mind so I dont know what that means. So odd. I say keep close to them so that line doesnt get crossed, you will know if it is a bad warning. Hopefully once he is feeling better the tension will lighten up. Keep us posted!
    I think I've told you this before but it's so weird how they do that. Dave's parents lab Lucy will get really low to the ground and gently clean their senior dachshund Molly's ear. The whole time Molly will growl but she doesn't move away or do anything to stop it! It is so funny to watch!

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    Default Re: When is play too rough?

    I dont know much about the dynamics of your home but behavior is my passion in dogs.
    I just lost my 12 yr old frenchy (he kept everyone in tow and no nonsense!)and now my two girls age 11 & 7 are acting like two spoiled diva's. But the old saying that only one of each sex is true. you will have issues from time to time, and keeping them to a quiet dull roar is going to be a challenge at times.
    But if the one who is the aggressor lifts his front legs off the floor, --he is serious--- when it is at that point STOP all play . I use a water spray bottle, they hate it in the face! and when a dog bites a leg/or flank ,it is a kill bite. ears are not!!! and often the play escalates to a mad mood.especially if one wont stop bugging the other one. they must know that you and the family (all) are leaders of your pack!
    say the word stop,and spray, then say good stop.and reward with a treat,(I use childrens circus cookies,I know whats in them, a small amount of sugar,flour,and vanilla, I do not know whats in dog biscuits.) soon they will react to the word stop, because they know a treat may follow every other time or so .
    I am not afraid to use a gruff tone either,and say bad. and take the aggressor out of the room for a two to 5 min time out. being banished from the pack is the worst punishment of all to my guys. I just get behind the dog and walk them out by stepping into their space and pushing them out. it creates a control of the space and reinforces who is boss. if you can take videos of this behavior ,I would love to see the body language. you can email me direct at bullysmum@gmail.com

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    Default Re: When is play too rough?

    it sounds like the bully is trying to get higher on the pecking order, the dachshund is simply telling them -that it feels good but do not forget who's boss!! especially if the bully is younger, it is groveling as a pup will do , sometimes it just means they like the older one. I had a frenchy who would snap and bite ears and then say I am sorry by licking it to piece. and I am thinking you silly fool they are afraid of you now. but he would always do that and my one bully would growl too, I feel he was saying , you better be careful. but thanks!!!

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