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Hello how is everyone today,

My name is James and I have a five-month-old German Shepherd Dog. This certain behavior has been happening since he was 4 months. He seems to obsessively chase down specific dogs get behind them and mouth their neck and force them onto their back, makes tiny little growling noises and then he starts mouthing there neck and face and occasionally he closes his mouth and makes it seem like he is biting but he isn't. I know he isn't because the dog that is being pinned down is still trying to play and don't get me wrong. I don't believe that this is aggressive behavior because he does this with certain dogs and then he lets them do it to him for a few seconds and then he gets back up and does it again. But there are certain moments where I have to pull him off of these specific dogs. The funny thing though is that the dog that was being pinned down always immediately gets back up and tries to play with him again.

In all honesty, I wouldn't pull my dog off because I have found that if I just let him do it for a few minutes and let him get it out of his system he gets bored and stops and chews on a stick or comes over to me so we can play fetch. But I am concerned because I believe that he is just playing but my concern is with other owners who think he's trying to kill their dog.

By "specific dogs" I mean smaller dogs or the same size as him. But it's only a select few because there are some dogs that match the "specific dog" description but he does fine with them but every now and then when there's a dog that is either 1.) Super submissive or 2.) wants to play with him. He runs to them and gets behind them and pins them down and mouths them and makes tiny little growling noises.

Id say my question is should I be concerned? Is this behavior aggressive? and how can I redirect him to a better thing to do instead of wrestling with other dogs?


Also, another thing he does is put his hackles up when he first enters the dog park. but after he's done checking things out they go down and he plays. Even when he has his hackles up he still plays too. I read online somewhere that raised hackles don't just mean aggression and they can be linked to various different things.
 
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