are some dogs just not meant to be friends with other dogs? - German Shepherd Dog Forums

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Old 12-20-2011, 08:48 PM   #1 (permalink)
cta
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Default are some dogs just not meant to be friends with other dogs?

so my dog has been having playdates on and off for the past several months with a neighborhood dog. it's unclear as to exactly what type of dog she is, as she was a rescue. she's about 60 lbs. sometimes they play very nicely, but other times not so much. chobahn is, what i believe, a dominant dog. i'm unsure if he is crossing the line sometimes, if he's not that dog friendly afterall, or if we have in some way failed him. this dog will sometimes lay down when chobahn is trying to play with her and he will proceed to try and play but he becomes very vocal and growly and will bite on her neck. she just lays there and he won't let her up. he will back off if i yell "hey" very loudly, but i'm just wondering if his vocalizations are being confused with aggression or that's just how he plays. to me it seems that the play is one-sided...mostly that he wants to play with her and she's too busy sometimes digging or eating grass. when we used to take him to the dog park, he played with a doberman and they did all the body slamming, biting and growly type play. i guess i'm just wondering if it's the type of play he chooses to engage in that's the problem (like he's not reading social cues/this dog doesn't always want to play this way) or if he himself is the problem. also, i feel the need to separate them because i think the dog's owner gets a little scared when he starts making noise. lord knows i'm not perfect and neither is he. he needs to learn "leave it" a lot better when he's focused in on something, but i'm just curious about the situation. so after all this babbling...what do people think?
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Old 12-20-2011, 08:59 PM   #2 (permalink)
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this dog will sometimes lay down when chobahn is trying to play with her and he will proceed to try and play but he becomes very vocal and growly and will bite on her neck. she just lays there and he won't let her up.
I've never had a GSD that *didn't* do that. It seems to be their style, and it does look scary to some people. Many GSDs are vocal when they play, growling and barking and carrying on. I once had a GSDx that made the most terrifying sounds when she was playing, but she never was truly aggressive.

I'm sure if the other dog wanted to get up, she could. If she isn't getting hurt, upset, stressed, or angry, I wouldn't worry about it. If it starts to escalate into one dog getting mad and the other one not backing off, I'd intervene.
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Old 12-20-2011, 09:02 PM   #3 (permalink)
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My dog is slow to make friends with other dogs but once they are friends, watch out! They play rough and loud and growly. There is one dog that is much smaller than Abby and Abby pins her by the throat repeatedly. Then lets her up and they chase each other and .... over and over a hundred times. The other dog is fine with it. They even take turns being the chaser and the 'chasee'. Another 'friend' of hers is a golden doodle a little bigger than her. She pins him too, so I guess she is dominant but, once again, he gets up and takes turn chasing with her.
Dogs have great bite control and they can get very loud and look like they are killing each other. Don't worry about it until you see one of them in distress, then act accordingly.
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Old 12-20-2011, 09:08 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I've had our next door neighbor call me before to see what was going on when Kaos and Sherman are out playing, or he will look out to see if I am out there. Kaos is a GSD and Sherman is a mastiff/GSD x and it sounds and looks really scary I imagine for someone who doesn't "know" them. There are times though....you can see the mood change. Kaos is quite a bit older and when he is done, he is done. Sherman is about 95% effective at picking up his cues, sometimes though I will just call out "enough" to diffuse the situation.
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Old 12-20-2011, 09:14 PM   #5 (permalink)
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thank you for your opinions. freestep i tend to agree with you, that it's their style of play, which i have explained to my neighbor many times. kind of like a "don't worry, he's just loud" kind of thing. because he is just that. loud and growly. the other dog never whines, but that's probably because we always pull him off of her because i'm afraid the owner of the other dog feels like he's playing too rough. i guess maybe they aren't a good match for play. she tends to lay down in the grass to bait him and tonight she was just dropping down to the ground as soon as he approached so he would just charge to her. prob should've mentioned that he always tries to hop on top of her and do the "doggy dance" as my mom calls it. he tries to dominate her physically, but she totally dominates him mentally.
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Old 12-20-2011, 09:32 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Not all humans get along, so why do people assume that all dogs should automatically get along?

GSDs and some other breeds have very physical, loud playstyle. Some dogs appreciate this, others do not. Dogs that do not appreciate this style of play sometimes will snap out of fear and then the game quickly turns serious.
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Old 12-20-2011, 09:35 PM   #7 (permalink)
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yeah i see this all the time with old shep and other sheps but remember people with other breeds get so offended when they see a shepherd growl and pin their dog down by the neck they will flip so get ready lol cause they think your dog is hurting theirs at first

shepherds are really wierd like that, should be other breeds that make good good play matches for shepherds ?


i found i am more relaxed with letting males play with play strange dogs from my experience they might get rough make a lot of noise and bug other dogs but they dont seem to take it to that next bloodshed level, female sheps scare me sometimes because they can be soo sweet when playing with puppys and small dogs one second then they can turn into cuju the next very extreme.
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Old 12-20-2011, 09:35 PM   #8 (permalink)
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i know that some dogs do not get along...i don't think he needs to be "friends" with every dog. i guess my question was more about if he was crossing a line or if he was just playing like a shepherd. sorry...should've been more clear in the original post. but i feel better hearing other people's experiences.
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Old 12-20-2011, 09:54 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Funny that you posted this. I have a dog daycare and usually at at least half of my dogs every day are GSDs. I guess we have become known as the place to take a GSD for daycare. Anyway, one of our clients comes in tonight to pick up his dog, and it's the end of the day and I am vacuuming and disinfecting crates, etc. Usually when I get to this point in the day I allow my "regulars" to hang out and play while I clean, (the mischievous ones are crated until picked up ). Anyway his GSD female is happily and noisily wrestling with a Golden Retriever mix. He commented that dogs that play regularly with GSDs just get used to the loud GSD play or they hate it and play with someone else. All the GSDs in our daycare play with very growly sounds, but you can tell it's all in fun (especially if you listen to it ALL DAY LONG). The thing about the down on the ground, neck biting play is that it needs to be reciprocal or there will eventually be a fight. If one dog is always "on top" and never allows the positions to switch, the "underdog" will try to reverse the play and will generally get snappy and it may lead to a squabble. Of course everyone always blames the underdog because if you just look at just those few moments it does look like that is the dog who is "starting" it where what is really happening is that the other dog is not playing fair. Kind of like when you were a kid and played school, you wanted to take turns being teacher, and if one kid ALWAYS insists on being the teacher and never the student then the game is no fun and ends. If your dog is not allowing the game to switch, then you need to break up the play prior to that moment and redirect the play.
I hate to say it but if he learned some of his early play cues from a doberman, this may be part of the miscommunication. I have found that dobes tend to lack confidence for this type of play and are notorious for always trying to be top dog in this style of play. We have 1 or 2 here that are good reciprocal players, but I have found in general they are among the worst to get freaked when it is their turn to be underdog. The dobes do excel at chase, however .
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Old 12-20-2011, 10:02 PM   #10 (permalink)
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thank you for that bocron, it was very insightful. funny thing is that when he played with the doberman they were playing equally. each taking turns reversing roles and whatnot. the play date dog does not reciprocate his type of play, so i guess it's good we are breaking them up because chobahn just keeps going and the other dog doesn't do anything. guess they just aren't a good fit for each other.
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