playing too rough?? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-09-2012, 04:34 PM Thread Starter
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playing too rough??

Hi Everyone,

I have a 5 month old GSD who I've been working with. I have another thread about his leash aggression which we are fixing. We found a great trainer who is helping greatly with that. On the other hand he was in daycare and I noticed recently he is starting to play really rough. I took him out of daycare thinking he might be learning this from other dogs and the trainer says he looks like he's a little insecure and tries to put up a front at first. On easter he was playing with a border collie who fairly plays rough back with him but I noticed he's starting to bite her back when chasing her and the first 10 minutes of play he was really rough and growling and I had to intervene and make him calm down. We also have a rottweiler next door who he goes crazy when he sees her. Hackles up barking and running at the fence and she doesn't even bark back him or anything. Does anyone have any tips I can try to use. I want to be able to get him to calm down when playing rough and would love for him to be able to be outside without him freaking out when he sees the rottweiler. Luckily my neighbors are really nice and don't seem to mind him and laugh at him but it sure bothers me.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-09-2012, 04:43 PM
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Are the other dogs he is playing with similar ages or are they adults? Puppies will play rough and bite and growl. They will correct each other if it gets to be too much though, or if one is biting too hard ... It's how they learn bite inhibition.

If he's playing with adults, though, you need to be more careful. Some adult dogs have limited patience for puppy play/puppy energy and they can get a bit nasty if the pup doesn't pick up on the hints to back off.

For the most part, you can usually let puppies be puppies with each other and they will sort things out on their own. They learn alot by playing with other puppies about what is acceptable and what is not when playing and interacting with other dogs.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-09-2012, 04:47 PM
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While I haven't raised my girl from a pup so I don't know what she was like at 5 months, the biting over the back and being vocal sounds very, very familiar With her at least she is just playing albeit very roughly and loudly. She only plays like this for the first 10 or so minutes until she gets a little more settled in. Also, hackles don't only mean aggression... they come up anytime the dog get aroused and can also mean excitement, fear, insecurity, etc. I would talk to your trainer about this issue as well. Charging other dogs, even out of fear, is not something you want to allow or encourage. I think you're doing the right thing by intervening when he gets too amped up. Puppies can be like little kids sometimes and need to take a timeout to get their head back on straight when playing or they can escalate the play to a level that isn't really play anymore. Or the other dog will get fed up.


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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-09-2012, 04:54 PM Thread Starter
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The other puppy is 4 months old and I have noticed sometimes she will correct him when he gets rough. At daycare I don't know how he acts. When I pick him up they tell me he usually ignores the older dogs and will play with the other pups who are under a year and the little dogs. I'm not comfortable yet with having him around older dogs till he clams down a little. My trainer told me he has a great temperment (which made me feel great to hear).
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-09-2012, 05:02 PM Thread Starter
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He's usually only vocal the first 10 minutes of play. I just want to make sure I'm doing the right thing. I've also noticed his hackles go up when people come in the house and he's super excited and just wants attention so that makes sense what you said about his hackles coming up with excitement. We just met his trainer this past weekend. He's worked with hundreds of GSD'S and has done police training so he wanted me to bring him in first and evaluate him. We don't start class till May so I was looking for ways to help him till then. This is my first GSD so this is all new to me. I have a chihuahua also so this is very new and want to make sure he's acting okay. I have been told GSD's can play very rough but I want to make sure it's not aggressive.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-09-2012, 08:00 PM
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I have 3 dogs, a 7 year old female, 2 year old male, and 7 month female(GSD). They are all bigger so they can handle the rough play. When the older female has had enough she lets the little one know, in the beginning the puppy would keep going, but she is learning that is not the thing to do. If she does keep going, my older dog will go somewhere that the little one can't.

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