How to get a dog to play less roughly?

Aimee SomermeierAimee Somermeier Posts: 936Member
edited 10 April, 2011 in Behavior & Training
I have a question. Abner plays fairly rough. I really don't care, and he has dog friends that play with him and they love it. He's not scary/aggressive, just rough 'n tumble. He's totally jazzed when dogs are throwin' him down and chompin' on him. But sometimes owners don't like it. Here's an example! Yesterday I went to the dog park and this basset/boxer mix showed up. Now, she had a bunch of energy to let out too. She was literally hurling herself through the air to smack a dane in the face. So her and Abner got to running around, then wrestling. So they were really getting down to business! All kinds of bite-y face and rolls. It was all very bouncy, mind you, and they were just totally loving each other. I was happy, because I needed Abner to get a bit tired so... great!! But then the owners started getting all "UHH YEAH. I don't think this is okay." "I'm not sure about him with her." "Yeah, he's too rough. Definitely too rough. That's WAY too much." So I dislodged Abner and kind of pulled him back. Whatever. But of course their dog was still like "YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS." and bounded right back for him. So she gets on him while I'm holding him and they kind of start playing while I'm holding him. Again, "YEAH. This just doesn't seem okay to me. I don't think they should play like this." and all that. I was holding my dog, so... Anyhow, they got their dog again but any time we'd release them they'd play again, because they got on so well. They kept objecting so I ended up just having to leave. Is there a way to keep my dog in the park with people like this? I don't care if he plays roughly generally, but maybe if there was a way in times like these so I wouldn't have to leave? And just keeping him away from her wasn't the problem, since he would be walking off and she would zoom back like "WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE" I just hate having to leave for things like that, when obviously nothing is even wrong.


  • edited 4 April, 2011
    Cooper plays like that, he is also very vocal when he plays, lots of growling. Him and Harlow play like that all day long, so when he goes to the dogpark he picks out a dog that likes to play rough also. I usually tell the owner at the beginning how he plays and sounds. I have pulled him away from a dog before that the owner was getting nervous even though her dog, was loving it! I walked Coop to the other side of the park because her dog kept trying to start the play session over again. Unfortunately the dog kept following us and wanting to play. I finally told the owner, look, your dog is following mine all over the park to play. If you don\'t want him playing with Cooper, I\'m sorry but I am not gonna be the one that goes out the gate - it\'s your choice. She understood what I was saying and allowed them to play again, within arms reach if it got too rough. If your dog is not hurting the other dog, no yelping or crying out during play, I see no reason why your dog should have to leave. Some dogs play rough, some don\'t :?
  • JENNIFER BERGERONJENNIFER BERGERON Rockford, IllinoisPosts: 2,125Member
    edited 5 April, 2011
    Agree with Cooper, some dogs just play rough. My Lia is one of them. She is also VERYYYYYY vocal, to the point where she almost sounds vicious. But the louder she is, the more fun she is having. She doesn\'t play with very many dogs, only a few certain ones, and I just explain to the owner of that dog that she sounds crazy when she plays, but she is just having fun. Most people understand, I\'ve only had one couple that was downright rude about it. They\'re very snooty people to begin with, they have a Port. Water Dog puppy. Well the first time Lia met their puppy she wanted to play with him, and she was playing loud. I could just tell from the look on the people\'s faces what they were thinking, so out of courtesy I pulled Lia off of the puppy and distracted her until she left him alone. And everything was fine, actually the puppy still wanted to play with Lia after that so we went to the wooded section of the park to walk the trails. Well the next time we saw this dog at the park we had already been there when they showed up. I was sitting at a picnic table and the owner walked straight up to me and the first thing he said was \"I hope your dog isn\'t going to be aggressive today.\" ...... I didn\'t say a single word, not a word, just glared at him until he felt uncomfortable and walked away. I would have loved to see the look on my face at that moment. :)) Lia didn\'t even pay any attention to his puppy that day, and he has been nothing but nice to me since. I\'m good at \"evil looks\". :))! Lia has the jaws of an alligator, if she was being aggressive there would be blood and an injured dog, trust me. :-O
  • Mike JacobsenMike Jacobsen Posts: 53Member
    edited 10 April, 2011
    This may be quite naive of me but may I suggest that there are some "breed issues" going on here. Dogs will be dogs even when well trained. There are very good reasons why intelligent people wanting to invite a dog into their family spend sometimes hundreds of hours researching breeds. So, may I suggest knowing your dog, your dog's breed characteristics, and then familiarize yourself with the breed characteristics of the dogs you are having trouble with. And then be wary, if possible have a chat with the owner of the troublesome dog about "breed characteristics" based on real information. And what one can do about that. This "depersonalizes" the situation. I know from some experience, direct experience, albeit somewhat limited, that Basset Hounds can be a bit inclined toward "launching behaviors." Cute in a way, very well intended, but also very problematic for some. Example, approach the owner with "Oh, I see that your EOIURYOTOS (insert agressive dog breed into thread) is being very EOIURYOTOS today. How do you handle that? I've always been curious about EOIURYOTOS and how people handle their aggressiveness. My dog EOIUOPND, for example, can be very shy or submissive or whatever. We do ........ to try to manage that"
  • Jess DavisJess Davis Posts: 833Member
    edited 10 April, 2011
    When Cohen begins to play too rough I'll recall her from the play group, reward, let the other dog approach again and re-initiate. I think the key here is taking the initiative to call off the "aggressor" from time to time to indicate that you have control over your dog despite how rough he plays. Plus the breather sometimes goes a long way to cooling the dogs down a bit.
  • edited 10 April, 2011
    Guest, there is a very big difference between a dog playing roughly and a dog being agressive. No one is talking about a DA pup here. Play styles differ and it doesn't really depend on the breed. I have had 4 dals, all had totally different play styles, none were agressive at all. My current dals play with several boxers daily at the dogpark, all of the boxers have different styles of play. While there is alot of mouthing, tackling, growling going on in my male dals play, there is NEVER any yelping, noticable fear, or drawing of blood from any pup he is playing with.
  • Bonnie MaruggBonnie Marugg HoustonPosts: 799Member
    edited 10 April, 2011
    Guest - Please do us a favor and define aggressive dog breed.
  • Shanna PauliShanna Pauli British ColumbiaPosts: 896Member
    edited 10 April, 2011
    Lol I know what your talking about OP my JRT sounds like she is killing my other dog. Its just play but the noises she makes she sounds like a grizzly bear or something. I have had many people try to tell me she is aggressive and going to kill my other dog. I laugh and explain the situation and the noise. With my JRT her play growls and grumbles are a far cry from her mad growls. Charlie doesnt play with many dogs unless she knows them REALLY well. But once she knows them she will play with them for hours and its always the same with the noises... I have taken to becoming friends with the dogs Charlie likes, and not really bothering with the others. This goes the other way too though, Morgan used to roll over for other dogs. She will act intimidated , so often the other owner wwould come over and appologize and take the dog till I said that its okay and she NEEDS to be socialized more. I think it comes down to the other owners not reading thier dog correctly. I remove Charlie from the dog park for 5 or so mins if shes getting to rambunctious with another dog. But other then that I leave it unless the owner is odd then I leave (if they were there first) or I explain that shes just playing and isnt hurting. That there dog is not scared and that my dogs arent done at the park yet. We know almost everyone that goes now though.
  • Lacey KingstonLacey Kingston Posts: 7,527Member
    edited 10 April, 2011
    Well, the boys play REALLY rough, lots of mouthiness. If you saw my other thread you'll know that we did have a bit of blood, but just little nicks. Now if it starts getting rougher than I'd like I clap my hands and call their names and they stop and cool down for a minute. Works really well, but you have to time it right to before they are too into it to listen.
  • Mike JacobsenMike Jacobsen Posts: 53Member
    edited 10 April, 2011
    It seems that it is getting down to knowing your own dog and communication. Communication with your own dog and with other dog owners.
Sign In or Register to comment.

Welcome to the new Dogster Community!

Introduce the community to your pet with our Pet Profiles and discover how to use the new community with our Getting Started pages!

Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!