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Old 01-13-2014, 05:08 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Too rough? (trying to find a puppy)

I've had dogs in the pass. Some were big some were small. Now that I am planning on getting a GSD, I know that there will be times where myself and the dog get into some wrestling matches. Of course I won't be slamming or doing anything to cause pain to my future dog. But I just wanted to know, is wrestling with your dog ok? Does it help with you two bonding in anyway? Thanks in advance!
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Old 01-13-2014, 05:15 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I wouldn't encourage this. Your dog may try to play rough with others, the the other people may not see it as endearing and cute as you do.

GSD puppies are little landsharks that LOVE to play with their mouth (which are full of sharp teeth - OUCH!). For this reason, pups are redirected to tug toys so they learn to bring you a toy when they want to play. My GSD keep bringing me toys and sticks and pushing them into my hands so I'll grab on and play tug with him. He does the same thing to other people - so no worries that he'll decide that jumping on someone, or grabbing their arm to wrestle is okay.

So if you want to play rough and wrestle with your dog, always do it WITH a toy, like a ball on a string, a heavy rope, or a tugging toy.
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Old 01-13-2014, 05:46 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I wouldn't encourage this. Your dog may try to play rough with others, the the other people may not see it as endearing and cute as you do.

GSD puppies are little landsharks that LOVE to play with their mouth (which are full of sharp teeth - OUCH!). For this reason, pups are redirected to tug toys so they learn to bring you a toy when they want to play. My GSD keep bringing me toys and sticks and pushing them into my hands so I'll grab on and play tug with him. He does the same thing to other people - so no worries that he'll decide that jumping on someone, or grabbing their arm to wrestle is okay.

So if you want to play rough and wrestle with your dog, always do it WITH a toy, like a ball on a string, a heavy rope, or a tugging toy.
Agree with this!

I will admit I do wrestle some with my adult dog, but I didn't start allowing it until he was safely out of puppyhood and teenagerdom (around 3 for him) and his obedience was excellent.
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Old 01-13-2014, 06:32 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Airman1stclass View Post
I've had dogs in the pass. Some were big some were small. Now that I am planning on getting a GSD, I know that there will be times where myself and the dog get into some wrestling matches. Of course I won't be slamming or doing anything to cause pain to my future dog. But I just wanted to know, is wrestling with your dog ok? Does it help with you two bonding in anyway? Thanks in advance!
I agree with Castlemaid.

Another thing to consider is not all GSD's are equal in temperment behavior and threshold. Like my boy, he is 98 lbs. now. Low threshold, and very rough player. I have tried to wrestle with him when he was younger and found out real quick then, this is not a dog that you want to do this with when he's 100 lbs. He is relentless, rough and the harder you go the harder he goes. That....... is a prescription for some stitches or worse. It's a situation I don't want to put my dog into. It's not his fault, it's not a downside. It's just how he's wired.
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Old 01-13-2014, 06:35 PM   #5 (permalink)
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There are lots of way to have controlled tug play with your dog and dogsports such a schutzhund or IPO where the dog biting is in a controlled fashion. I agree with the others. It is great and very rewarding for the dog but the dog always needs to know you are in charge of the game.
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Old 01-13-2014, 06:43 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I don't do the wrestling thing with Lisl either. She gets very excited very quickly.

She has a fast reaction time and her teeth are very sharp.
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Old 01-13-2014, 06:57 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Wouldn't start something you cannot finish.. I'm serious. You don't want to encourage because dog will win, if not with toy, some unsuspecting soul.

Not fair to allow behavior that's ok with you, but punishable with others.

"Unteachin" is much more difficult.
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Old 01-13-2014, 07:09 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Airman1stclass View Post
I've had dogs in the pass. Some were big some were small. Now that I am planning on getting a GSD, I know that there will be times where myself and the dog get into some wrestling matches. Of course I won't be slamming or doing anything to cause pain to my future dog. But I just wanted to know, is wrestling with your dog ok? Does it help with you two bonding in anyway? Thanks in advance!

Heck yeah it helps....

There is a bit of a learning curve of course because a GSD is well equipped with the tools to make wrestling not so much fun for the human but in a short time the dog learns based on your guidance.

Almost on a daily basis, I simply say to my pooch..."ya wanna wrestle?" and she knows it game time. Yes, I've had a drop of blood or two at times but most always only because it was an accident...if the dog wanted to seriously clamp down, it would be a trip to the ER not just a scratch or two.

I never do too much of the pinning stuff while we are wrestling, usually it's just mild forearm shivers, open hand cuffs to the head and body and a sleeper hold of sorts, I have yet to try a superplex off the top rope yet...don't reckon I will..the paw slapping and mouthing by the pooch is their general defense accompanied by lots of dekes. In the beginning, when it would escalate a bit too much, I knew when to stop...like I said a GSD has the tools to make play wrestling not seem so playful....granted the dog is playing but it's too much for me. Once your pooch figures out the game and that humans have flesh with pain receptors under their clothing they get pretty crafty at just grabbing loose pant legs or sleeves.

In the winter when I have plenty of layers on, we do pseudo-schutzhund as I call it. When we are outside and I tell her game on and it's go time, she'll latch on to my forearm at times with a bit more force than usual but nothing painful. I think GSD's are so damned smart that they can easily distinguish between bite forces in a fairly short time. Oh, if she does knock me over during pseudo-shutzhund game time, I just curl up in a ball and play dead until she paws me hard enough to get me to move. I then command her to drag me to safety....but she's still working on that. We always and I mean always end our sessions with a warm handshake and a friendly demeanor.

Also, if my furry gal ever and I mean EVER tries to wrestle with anyone else ( who didn't want to) I get very jealous and curtail it immediately hence it is not an issue. However, if someone instigates a wrestling session with my pooch, I most certainly do not hold my dog back....she's smart enough now at 1 1/2 years to know how to play with humans.

Good luck and enjoy,

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Old 01-13-2014, 07:10 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Agree with this!

I will admit I do wrestle some with my adult dog, but I didn't start allowing it until he was safely out of puppyhood and teenagerdom (around 3 for him) and his obedience was excellent.
I should clarify that while I do occasionally wrestle with Echo, he is not in the least bit excitable, it is with a toy, and I am very much in control the whole time. It really depends on your dog, but definitely not advisable with a young one.
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Old 01-13-2014, 07:52 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I just now am starting to play wrestle with my girl, she's 1.5 years old. I discouraged it until she got a good grasp on "leave it" and "stop." She also grew up with very small children from day 1 so she understands the need to be gentle with the little ones and she refuses to play rough with them even in the same room, as soon as my two year old walks in she lays down or leaves the room. But I wouldn't do it with a dog that wasn't raised with children or didn't understand "leave it" strictly, just because I'd be scared she or he would be too rough with other people. I was worried about that with our new adoption, but he refuses to bite me harder than a nibble, no matter how much I goad him on. I actually just got done with a rough session with both of mine and I've got welts all over my arms from my girl, but as soon as I told them to stop, leave it, they backed off and we all came inside calmly. I think that's half the fun of having big dogs, but I wouldn't encourage it from an early age. Tug was the roughest we got until recently.
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