Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
I think play is really going to depend on the dogs doing the playing. I've never had a dog or a foster that could play with any/all other dogs. Even Coke, very outgoing, social, not as prey driven, never possessive with toys, etc has found a few dogs he just doesn't get along with. I just watch and see whether the dogs are having fun. Right now I have a young pit mix that was pulled from a shelter on her euth date (she was deemed unadoptable b/c of her mouthiness/bully temperament with people and dogs). She gets along famously with my 13 week old puppy. They play REALLY rough, very vocal, LOTS of biting....but they both enjoy it and it's not one-sided, they take turns being the "bully". Both dogs don't get away with playing like this with Coke. He's more of a play-bow-and-chase kind of dog, doesn't like loud dogs or lots of teeth/play-biting. Nikon likes to play with stuff, like tugging with another dog or standing guard over a toy while the other dog darts in and out trying to get it (this is definitely a game for him, looks a lot different that a dog truly resource guarding and for him, the toy only has value as long as another dog wants to interact). Anyway, I think being able to gauge play really just takes time. You have to learn your dog's style and be able to evaluate other dogs. There are still times where I am unsure of how my dogs will act with another dog and often just have to give it a try. None of my dogs are dog-aggressive to the point of outright attacking a dog for no good reason. If things are too one-sided or may escalate, we just know those dogs probably won't have much fun together and try a different combination. I let my dogs play with dogs we know (owners I know) and not more than 2-4 dogs at one. I don't do dog parks!