Dog Playing Too Rough

Discussion in 'General Dog Training' started by Lexy88, Jul 12, 2012.

  1. Lexy88 Well-Known Member

    Argh I am so frustrated with Blade at the moment.

    Ok so I got him as a 10mth old and as far as I gathered, his first owner didnt socialise him as he was too big and bulshy for her and she was too scared to take him out because she couldnt control him.

    Now hes not 'attacking' other dogs, but he will chase nervous ones that run. And he plays rough with 'new' dogs that want to play but the longer the game goes on, the rougher it gets. He body slams, squashes dogs, holds them down. He is starting to bite down on scruffs and pull them to the ground and hold them down. Hes also a real bully to younger dogs. Dogs that are confident and not interested at all in him, literally ignoring him, he does nothing to them - he will go up and sniff them, then walk off. He doesnt rush or run up to dogs, he creeps like a cat, lies down, creeps a little further, then when theyre real close, he jumps up and stands over them.

    I can call him away and walk away with him, but it means that he just doesnt get to play with other dogs anymore because he is being a jerk. It is not fair on anyone else at the dog park.

    Is there any way of training them to play nicely, or are we just going to have to stay away from 'new' dogs? (he gets on great with Mums three dogs and my brothers dog). He turns 3 in November.

    Just editing as I had a thought: he doesnt smash other dogs over when he is carrying a tennis ball or stick, he wants them to chase him - he thinks its hilarious that he can outrun everyone. Hmm. Maybe I need to carry a toy with me. I have been reluctant in the past as I feel that bringing 'personal' stuff to a dog park could start fights... Maybe it is worth a try?
    tigerlily46514 likes this.

  2. Adrianna & Calvin Experienced Member

    Hi Lexy

    How do the 'victim' dogs behave after they've been roughhousing? do they continue to solicit play, or do they bark him off or avoid him (go under a bench, etc.)?
    SD&B and tigerlily46514 like this.
  3. Lexy88 Well-Known Member

    Some continue trying to play, and in this case I often just leave them be for 5 or so minutes to have a play then leave before he gets too rough (like scruff grabbing and pulling them down). The ones who are always rolling over, running or trying to hide, I call Blade away and we leave. Or else he will just keep smashing them. Hes also very vocal when 'playing' - very growly.
  4. Mr-Remington Experienced Member

    I'm having the same problem with my 3 month old puppy, as you Lexy88.
  5. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    BUMMER TO HEAR your 10 month old dog is having some social problems.
    If you can afford it, get to a positive-only trainer who has actual, real life experience with dogs with behavioral issues. not that we know your dog has an actual issue, but, a trainer with that experience will be more likely to help you.

    Not all trainers know the first thing about helping out a dog who may have some type of issue coming on,
    so DO ASK. The trainer might have a wall of trophies for agility, but, not be able to help *this* situation, this is almost a specialty area. Hopefully, the trainer will be able to provide some playmate dogs, supervise the interactions, and teach you if/when you need to intervene.

    //"I can call him away and walk away with him, "// <---THIS is marvelous,:D
    and until you get some type of evaluation of your dog's behavior, which *might* be perfectly normal, probably just only your dog is needing some practice and socialization,
    i think calling your dog over, having him calm down again, for a few minutes,
    is great first step for now.

    Have your dog just sit, calm down, beside you, til he is calmer.

    I also think,
    with alllllllllll my heart,
    that any dog who might need a lil help on anything,
    that another GRRRRRRRRRRREAT first step,
    is teaching the dog tricks.

    any trick, doesn't matter which one.
    Just pick a trick, and begin teaching your dog a trick.
    for real.
    this helps.
    it is the PROCESS, not the trick itself, which helps.

    this helps your dog develop some focus,
    develop better ability to follow your cues,
    helps your dog develop some self control, and impulse control,
    provides your dog with an outlet, and mental stimulation,
    helps satisfy a dog's urge to figure things out/calms a dog by satisfying the dog,
    helps you learn how to motivate and teach your dog things,
    increases the bond between you and dog,
    just endless list of ways
    that teaching a dog tricks can help a dog.

    GOOD LUCK, and stand by for better ideas, and do keep us posted.
    MaryK, SD&B and Dogster like this.
  6. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    dogs CAN LEARN by watching other dogs, too,
    yet another plus to calling your dog over to you, to let him calm down a bit, and rest, he can watch HOW dogs play with each other.
    then, when he is calmer, maybe let him try to play again,
    and keep calling him out of the game when he messes up.

    worth a try.
    Dogster likes this.
  7. Adrianna & Calvin Experienced Member

    Hi Lexy

    Based on this and your reply -- that the other dogs start to hide and avoid him, he seems like he's being a bully. If the other dogs were still soliciting play, that's different -- the other dog is always the best judge, and so long as it's one on one play, I'd let them go. My dog has a particular pit bull friend with whom he plays really rough -- they basically drag each other around by their faces till they're exhausted, then they lie down and chew on each other till they're really exhausted :)

    This is a classic herding dog stalk -- you can see examples on youtube probably. Other dogs don't appreciate this, as you have probably noticed, as no one appreciates being treated as a prey animal. Still, there are very dog-friendly dogs who stalk, including mine, though I think it's generally socially inappropriate because of the other dog's discomfort. That said, my dog has been at the dog park and stalked dogs who stalk back, and then they run up and body slam each other and play like gangbusters. In the context of your dog's other behavior, however, I'd interrupt him if it starts it up because he may be getting too aroused.

    He is at the age of social maturity, and this is an age at which many dogs go from being 'dog social' to merely 'tolerant' or 'selective' and that's ok. It is highly abnormal, in the long timeline of domestic dogs' existence, for them to be required to meet novel dogs on a routine basis and get along with them. Dogs are happiest around familiar people/dogs and surroundings, and it is us primates who want them to be social all the time.

    I do not think having to meet and behave well off leash around new dogs all the time is a requirement for a good quality of life for a dog. Part of your boy's behavior can be from social anxiety, and he's getting wound up because he's now a mature adult required to meet new dogs, and that's a strain on him. That's ok, it's actually rather normal. My late dog didn't care about the dog park, no matter how many times I dragged him there and told him to have fun. He'd greet some other dogs, pee on stuff, and stand around and wait for me to be done :)

    I vote to ix-nay the dog park, sounds like it has more tension than pleasure for him now that he's all grown up.
  8. Lexy88 Well-Known Member

    Tigerlily - he is almost 3 yrs now and we have been doing tricks regularly for as long as Ive had him :)

    Adrianna & Calvin - I am familiar with the pastural breed stalk, having grown up with parents who bred farm and hunting dogs, and having done vet nursing and competed in agility and obedience. I can call Blade off his stalk, often other dogs stalk back and then do what your dogs do, bodyslam and play and chase and get along. 95% of them see him and are just like 'pfft whatever' until he gets up to them, and then it's either play or bully. VERY rarely do they seem 'nervous' about him stalking up to them.

    Like I said in my original post, if the other dog continues to try and play with him, I leave them be and then can call him away later. And if I suspect the other dog is going to be nervous or small or too 'fragile' to play, I wont let them.

    I guess we are just going to have to pick walks where we dont meet new dogs, or just walk with dogs that are familiar. I suppose its a 'human need' to want our dogs to meet and socialise and play. Blade loves his people so I guess he will just be happy in our company!! :)
    tigerlily46514 and Mr-Remington like this.
  9. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    //" Tigerlily - he is almost 3 yrs now and we have been doing tricks regularly for as long as Ive had him :)"//

    oh duh! It's YOU, Lexy88, sorrrrry,:notworthy: i didn't even look at the icon, now i leave to go crawl off under a rugn.....:rolleyes:

    //"VERY rarely do they seem 'nervous' about him stalking up to them."//

    ^this seems like a very great sign, imo.
    Lexy88 likes this.
  10. Lexy88 Well-Known Member

    LOL Tigerlily :D
    tigerlily46514 likes this.
  11. Evie Experienced Member

    Personally I don't see why you don't take a toy to the dog park if he likes being chased with ball/stick/toy in mouth (Evie's personal favourite). Dog parks where I go to are full of tennis balls that have been left behind or 'misplaced' and people often bring soccer balls, frisbees etc, but be aware that your toy may get 'stolen' by other dogs, chewed and destroyed. Don't expect it to come home in once piece or even at all for that matter.

    I'd consider trying that first especially if he's not being aggressive as it still lets him socialise and play, but obviously if he became protective over it (which some dogs do) then I wouldn't be doing it again.
    Mr-Remington likes this.
  12. Lexy88 Well-Known Member

    Quite aware that it could get stolen by other dogs -as that is what he does on a regular basis and he regularly destroys tennis balls at home so it's not like I am particularly worried about something so cheap going AWOL. But have had people talk about fights starting over toys that are bought from home. Was just wondering that myself, as with his 'roughness' getting worse, it could mean that situations involving toys could esculate quicker than normal. Just weighing up all the options. I looked up ball clips today (like what the tennis pros wear!) so I can just clip a ball to my waist band and not have to carry it, so I am considering that option...
    Evie likes this.
  13. MaryK Honored Member

    Saw tennis balls mentioned. Please take off the rough outer covering BEFORE letting your dog play with them. Just learned quite recently, from my vet, that the OUTER COVERING of tennis balls is VERY bad for a dog's teeth. It's abrasive and wears down the teeth, causing problems later in life.

    Not quite an answer to the problem I know, everyone has answered so well but just had to put in a warning about tennis balls.
  14. Lexy88 Well-Known Member

    Sooo heres an update:

    Got a tennis ball clip (like the pro's lol), only $9 and took the tennis ball along. No worries! He was SO worried about everyone stealing his ball that he only gave them a quick sniff before taking off. Only thing is that he gets very foamy around the mouth after sucking on a tennis ball for 40min, makes him look crazy :LOL:
    So that was a success :)
  15. sara Moderator

    I missed this thread, the first time around, but dont have much to say on the matter. except to say, if you want a tougher toy than a tennis ball, check these out Chuck it Ultra Ball They're virtually indestructable! Oliver's had his for going on 3 years now... hasn't wrecked it yet!
  16. Dogster Honored Member

    I LOVE those!!! Their whole line of balls is GREAT!!!:D
    jackienmutts likes this.
  17. jackienmutts Honored Member

    Lexy, glad to hear that Blade is doing better - that's funny about his foamy mouth, I think we all know what that looks like!!:ROFLMAO: Aaack!! :eek::LOL::ROFLMAO:

    Sara, hadn''t seen the Chuck-It Ultra's before, must check them out for a friend. My dogs are pretty soft with tennis balls (oddly - not so with other toys, once they decide a toy is 'done' it's shredded beyond recognition) but she has a Golden who rips up tennis balls faster than you can spin around twice. One game of ball, and poof, it's shredded:confused:. Must show her these, as she can't leave balls around, ever. Tennis balls are all over the place here. :D
    Dogster likes this.
  18. MaryK Honored Member

    Must get one. Ra Kismet is fine, he NEVER chews a ball but Zeus - he's so far managed to dissect every single type of ball on the market. He LOL takes a 'scientific view' of balls, wants to know what makes them bounce:eek:usng his teeth:eek:. If this ball can withstand Zeus' attentions, then it'll withstand an atomic blast:D
    Dogster likes this.

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