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A girl and her dog 03-06-2014 03:48 PM

Stalking and pouncing, Nonny might be a cat.
He's been doing this stalking thing with my other dog. It seems my other dog is baiting him and it's kind of a game. He'll grab up a toy, then go stand at a distance, and Nonny will fix on him, stand still, then slowly move towards him gradually speeding up then he pounces. He'll also pounce from the couch or the recliner! I first noticed this pouncing to be just when he wants a toy that the other has; he would pounce on top of the other and take the toy.

I'm pretty sure he's just playing, and obviously I have to watch out for roughhousing as my other dog is a Chi and could get hurt. I don't think it's a dangerous behavior, but I could be wrong. Again, outside of accidentally hurting the little dog.

I do stop them and intervene when the play is too rough or I think the little one may be about to be hurt. For instance, Nonny likes to drag the little dog around by his tail sometimes and sort of wrestle that way; the little one takes it in stride and plays back. I do have to intervene on this tail pulling thing b/c little guy could get hurt. I let it go until they start rolling around and Nonny still hasn't let go of the other's tail.

So, should I worry more than I am or just keep doing what I'm doing in keeping a close eye and refereeing?

Harry and Lola 03-06-2014 03:59 PM

As long as both are enjoying themselves and neither are fearful then leave them to play.

If you see one of them getting too rough and the other is getting scared or angry then you can step in and distract them with a toy to focus on.

Harry stalks and pounces on Lola all the time, with or without toys, it is good healthy play for them and when things get out of hand (which happens) I grap and toy and get them to focus on it.

Harry also waits for Lola to lay down, grabs a toy and encourages her to grab the other end then pulls and drags her all over the wooden floorboards - they love it.

You don't say what breed your other dog is, if a small breed then you are right in ensuring your GSD is aware of their size difference and to respect accordingly - this is something you should teach now and continue to reinforce as GSD gets older.

A girl and her dog 03-06-2014 04:31 PM

My other dog is a Chi-mix; about 10lbs. I watch him closely for signs of pain or displeasure. Last week there were a few yelps and I just had to give a sharp "HEY! AH AH!" and they stopped. This week, no yelps but I'm still watching them. I try to allow them as much as either can handle. Nonny will benefit far more from a genuine yelp from the Chi than he will from me fussing. I know they need that interaction to set boundaries.

So if the stalking is just play, I won't worry about it too much. It does seem that George (the Chi) is in on the game and knows he's enticing Nonny to come play. And the tail thing- we all laugh at that. I know it's a little mean to laugh about the little dog who thinks he's the boss of everything and constantly jockeying for top spot to get dragged around by his tail; but it's funny. The little guy's attitude makes it even funnier.

I have noticed that they both pin each other. It's not one sided, even though Nonny already outweighs George. He still lets George pin him and 'win' about half the time.

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