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G&Arabella 01-31-2014 07:50 PM

Rough Play
Everyone is telling me that because I play so rough with my 6 month old pup that she is going to become super aggressive. I try to end their argument by demonstrating how we play. Since she was about 3 months we have played rough, I let her bite and mouth on my hands, ( she does not bite hard enough to draw blood, she just leaves a small impression) and I spin her and roll her over and get all worked up until she growls and gives me that happy little excited puppy bark. (Much different from the bark she gives when my brother comes around, a deep warning growl.) When I want her to stop I have it to where i put a finger to my lips and tell her shhh. She then stops and proceeds to lick me or follow any command I give. No matter how worked up she gets, she always stops. She knows she that I am the only one that will play or allow her to play like that but yet everyone still freaks out and tells me she is going to get super aggressive and harm someone. Any thoughts?

coulter 01-31-2014 08:33 PM

Just my opinion. I've played rough with my 1.5 yr old since I got her. We like to wrestle and throw each other around. I love it and so does she. She also knows when I say stop that means stop. Never has she ever been aggressive or anything like that. And she will only play rough with me. She is very gentle with others especially kids and babies. So I think as long as she does know that she only plays like this when you initiate it and stops when you say. I see no harm in it and don't think that this would lead to any aggression.

Chip18 01-31-2014 08:34 PM

It sounds fine to me? As long as the dogs under control. I use a more verbal command for more control at a distance if ever needed, it sounds like a good way to learn bite inhibition, so less likely to injure someone but what do I know? :)

MichaelE 01-31-2014 08:40 PM

I don't play rough with Lisl. She gets very excited very easily and sharp teeth are no fun.

We burn off energy playing fetch and working on basic agility.

coulter 01-31-2014 08:42 PM

Yeah I agree with the excitement and sharp teeth. There's definitely some pain involved but I love it none the less!

MichaelE 01-31-2014 08:49 PM

About the roughest I get with her is when she rolls on her back and tries to grab my hand. Her bite inhibition is excellent and she has never hurt me or drawn blood, but she is low threshold and highly excitable like I said, so I keep it pretty low key.

She tries grabing my hands too when I pull her into my lap on her back to rub her belly or cuddle her. She relaxes for that.

vprasad 02-01-2014 03:58 PM

I rough play with my boy too but recently I came to regret it. His front teeth nicked my palm, it was an accident and totally not his or my fault but the result was: I wasn't able to move my hand for over a week. Went to the doctor thinking that my finger bone(s) might have been cracked but thank god they weren't.

e.rigby 02-01-2014 04:20 PM

I don't see how rough play, in and of itself, is going to cause your puppy to grow up aggressive. However, you really need to place rules (if you haven't already) on your games because you are teaching your puppy that putting its mouth on you is acceptable behavior. You might also have to worry about that behavior crossing over to your puppy (eventually dog) doing that to other people. In which case, you might have a problem. Again, that doesn't mean your dog is going to be 'aggressive' but most people are not going to appreciate having a full grown GSD put its mouth on them in any fashion!

I play rough with my boy all the time, however, he is not allowed to use his mouth with me when we play. Everyone's opinion is going to differ, but I think it's completely inappropriate behavior!

OriginalWacky 02-02-2014 05:25 AM

I've raised more than one puppy, and rough play is not going to CAUSE aggression, so long as it's appropriate. If your dog will stop when you ask, and doesn't cause any harm to you, and is enjoying it, then have a blast.

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