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erfunhouse 01-26-2014 02:53 PM

Hints/tips for Books or websites?
Anyone have any websites or books that talk about dog play? Specifically german shepherds or other "heavy hitter" dogs?

I must admit, I'm no longer worried about Kia not feeling comfortable and settled in the house, I need to Hey comfortable with their playing.

It seems add if the books I've read on dog body language point to everything and Kia do as aggressive and warnings of impending attacks. :(

Metro 10/2005-5/2013
Sabo 3/2013-now
Kia 1/2014- now

Mary Beth 01-26-2014 05:37 PM

Turid Rugaas - her book "Calming Signals". Here is a link to a video
Cesar Millian has an article:

erfunhouse 01-26-2014 09:12 PM

But does it explain what play is good play? I've seen her videos and can recognize when they are stressed and trying to calm themselves or others, but I'm looking for something specifically aimed at play.

Metro 10/2005-5/2013
Sabo 3/2013-now
Kia 1/2014- now

Liesje 01-26-2014 09:18 PM

I think play is really going to depend on the dogs doing the playing. I've never had a dog or a foster that could play with any/all other dogs. Even Coke, very outgoing, social, not as prey driven, never possessive with toys, etc has found a few dogs he just doesn't get along with. I just watch and see whether the dogs are having fun. Right now I have a young pit mix that was pulled from a shelter on her euth date (she was deemed unadoptable b/c of her mouthiness/bully temperament with people and dogs). She gets along famously with my 13 week old puppy. They play REALLY rough, very vocal, LOTS of biting....but they both enjoy it and it's not one-sided, they take turns being the "bully". Both dogs don't get away with playing like this with Coke. He's more of a play-bow-and-chase kind of dog, doesn't like loud dogs or lots of teeth/play-biting. Nikon likes to play with stuff, like tugging with another dog or standing guard over a toy while the other dog darts in and out trying to get it (this is definitely a game for him, looks a lot different that a dog truly resource guarding and for him, the toy only has value as long as another dog wants to interact). Anyway, I think being able to gauge play really just takes time. You have to learn your dog's style and be able to evaluate other dogs. There are still times where I am unsure of how my dogs will act with another dog and often just have to give it a try. None of my dogs are dog-aggressive to the point of outright attacking a dog for no good reason. If things are too one-sided or may escalate, we just know those dogs probably won't have much fun together and try a different combination. I let my dogs play with dogs we know (owners I know) and not more than 2-4 dogs at one. I don't do dog parks!

Mary Beth 01-26-2014 09:40 PM


Originally Posted by erfunhouse (Post 4911178)
But does it explain what play is good play? I've seen her videos and can recognize when they are stressed and trying to calm themselves or others, but I'm looking for something specifically aimed at play.

Metro 10/2005-5/2013
Sabo 3/2013-now
Kia 1/2014- now

The second link to the Cesar Millian article may answer some of your questions

If possible, maybe you could post a video of your dogs playing, and others may be able to tell you.

Blanketback 01-27-2014 12:28 PM

I love this video so much! This is the kind of match I look for, when looking for a playmate for my pup. Perfect GSD good times!

That's a fun one too, and see how bitey they are? This is where I'd freak about the collars, since it's so easy to have them caught in their teeth. They're still having a good time, although I'd be careful not to let them get too carried away.

I don't like this one. You can tell the GSD doesn't want the rottie pestering - see the tiny lip curl when they're coming out of the house - and the lunge when the rottie does the butt sniff. I also don't like that the title has "playing" in it, because this looks like a case where the GSD owner says their dog 'just snapped for no reason' when the signs were already there.

I hate this video, but it's a great illustration of the common misunderstanding : "Look, he's happy, he's wagging his tail!" Ugh, why are the owners just standing there? I'd be giving a nice bellow, and walking away, not filming it.

I picked those videos randomly, so there's probably better ones out there. I also watched them without sound, just to concentrate on the body language. I hope this helps you judge what you're seeing with your pups :) Books don't help nearly as much as actually seeing the dogs interact, IMO.

erfunhouse 01-27-2014 02:56 PM

Thank you so much!!!!!!!!!

Metro 10/2005-5/2013
Sabo 3/2013-now
Kia 1/2014- now

Blanketback 01-27-2014 03:03 PM

You're very welcome!

My first GSD and his packmate used to play sooooo rough together - it scared most people, lol. I mean really truly, if you didn't know them, it looked (and sounded) just awful! They'd charge each other from great distances, and bounce off each others' chests, and it looked like they were tearing each others' throats out. They were so fun to watch...I miss that. That's why I said I was jealous of you, lol. My pup here would love another GSD to romp with 24/7. DH would kill me :)

erfunhouse 01-27-2014 04:14 PM

Their play looks very much like the first and second video! To newbies like me though, it's terrifying to watch and hear!!!

Sabo is very easy to read, Kia not so much. Today Sabo was RACING around our little yard and she was standing like a lion ready to pounce. I had to let it play it to see what it was, and it was total "prey/hunter" play like in the first video.

She holds still a lot and he charges in and out, so I was really worried she wasn't into it because of that.

Hubby is thrilled we got Kia. They tandem dig :/ but when we plant some more grass that's better suited to dogs we are going to create a dog area for them specifically.

Metro 10/2005-5/2013
Sabo 3/2013-now
Kia 1/2014- now

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