German Shepherds Forum banner

1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
36 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So... we take Cooper (15 months) to the dog park. It is actually a pretty good one. He loves to play with other dogs of all sizes. Depending on the dog, he plays differently. I am used to rescuing older dogs so am not familiar so much with younger dogs.

What does a positive play experience look like? Cooper doesn't snarl at all and he seems to know when to back off if a dog isn't interested. He plays with all breeds, but Dobermans, Boxers, and Pitt Bulls seem to play in a similar way.

I ask because dog owners seem freaked out when Cooper wants to play.:(
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27,249 Posts
My dogs usually have a ball stuffed in their mouth so they can't bite each other. They herd each other, growl and run/chase. If they didn't carry a ball, I'd be hearing barking, growling, they'd be biting and get a bit more ramped up resulting in a fight between the females. The vocalizations are intense.

Balls are important for them to keep the peace, but in dog parks they are probably what causes a fight!
GSD's are natural instinctive herders....do you see Cooper circling or trying to keep some dogs away from others?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,152 Posts
my 6 month jumps back and forth and barks at a dog it they wont play. Its all play and not aggression but as she grows I can understand other dog owners thinking shes trying to eat their dog. When the play acually starts shes more likely to be the chasee vs the chaser. And alot of dogs hump her into submission but ive decides to be a bit more forward with the owners of those dogs now and basically tell them that if they allow their dog to hump mine then its gonna turn ugly when my dog decides enough is enough.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
36 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
My dogs usually have a ball stuffed in their mouth so they can't bite each other. They herd each other, growl and run/chase. If they didn't carry a ball, I'd be hearing barking, growling, they'd be biting and get a bit more ramped up resulting in a fight between the females. The vocalizations are intense.

Balls are important for them to keep the peace, but in dog parks they are probably what causes a fight!
GSD's are natural instinctive herders....do you see Cooper circling or trying to keep some dogs away from others?
Cooper definitely has the herding instinct. There was another GSD playing rough and going up to my youngest daughter. Cooper was circling us the entire time. I have seen him do this with dogs too. One time there was a dog growling and being rough with another dog. He began trying to get that dog away.

When Cooper plays it looks like most dogs except he is bigger and people are scared of him. He doesn't growl much (only if he has his ball in his mouth) and rarely barks. He chases and likes being chased. He wrestles as well. He does a hip check and he has some great get away moves. LOL The only thing that makes me nervous is mouthing necks. That happens to him a lot, too, so I know he isn't the only one doing it. Is that normal?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,892 Posts
Yes. When Fiona plays she pulls her lips back to show her teeth. That scares people, because they think she is going to bite. But she doesn't. Fiona also will bark at a dog and poke it with her nose in an attempt to get him to play chase. She doesn't understand why it does not work on each and every dog.


Sent from Petguide.com Free App
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
187 Posts
I can also see a difference when my dogs are playing with other dogs.
My GSDs play a completely different "game" (with eachother and with other GSDs) than e.g. my GSD with a black lab from a friend of mine.
My GSDs tend to "fight" more while playing while its's mostly a "chase game" with the lab.

My GSDs a few weeks back: fighting first, chasing last... :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
36 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
I can also see a difference when my dogs are playing with other dogs.
My GSDs play a completely different "game" (with eachother and with other GSDs) than e.g. my GSD with a black lab from a friend of mine.
My GSDs tend to "fight" more while playing while its's mostly a "chase game" with the lab.
So cute! Thank you for the video... I feel much better as I see they were "mouthing/biting" the neck. I love the self-handicap that was given when playing with the pup. I think I worry because of the people at dog parks. They aren't aware of dog behaviour and how they play. I do find that Cooper plays differently with certain dogs. And, perhaps is picking up some play techniques that I am not fond of. Just like kids!!! I get lots of glares from people... GSDs are not popular in my area as most people have designer purse dogs. The park we go to does have lots of big dogs and Cooper has the most fun with Boxers and Dobermans. He likes to play chase with little dogs so I keep an eye on him... he does do the self-handicapping then.

So, it sounds like chase, growl, bark, nip, bit, mouth, head butt, tackle... is normal dog play? And, to watch for signs when it isn't... such as a stiff body?

This board is the best! Thank you all so much and please keep sharing how your GSDs play! I am starting to feel like an outcast at the dog park and we might be rescuing a female GSD tomorrow which means once we train her and if we go to a dog park... the glares will be even more. :(
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,657 Posts
Stella has been playing with my son's English Mastiff puppy. She is almost 2 yrs old and the pup is 14 weeks. She was extremely tolerant of all his nipping and biting but lately seems to be tolerating less of that. My son is worried about his pup getting hurt by Stella. We have so far kept Stella on a leash when playing and lately we have kept the puppy on leash too. He just seems to want to bite/nip at Stella constantly!
I was glad to read that it is normal for her to be showing her teeth while playing....it looks pretty scary!
Maybe it would be better to let Stella off leash? And just how rough should Stella or the pup be allowed to get????
They both seem to really like each other but Stella is still bigger. (at the moment..lol)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
387 Posts
I think anything short of humping/nipping/snarling/biting is normal, but the defenition changes from person to person. Some people freak if a dog gets within 10 feet of their dog. I like to let them wrestle if there is no being mean.

At the same time we took our 5 month old pup to my fiances sisters house and they have an 8 year old lab. Every time I took the dog in the house he bit her nose causing her to bleed. The owner just kept saying "They are just being dogs" .. um no maybe once but once the dog has drawn blood three times it is being a bully not a dog.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
110 Posts
BoTaBe-that video was a riot! I like how your pup kept taking short cuts to get close to your older dog while they were playing chase lol....Tranquility-I think that GSDs still have some bad stigma and people are instinctively scared when a dog with big teeth snarls and growls at their dog because the GSD as you know has gotten bad press from a few bad apples in the breed. I wonder how they would like a 135 pound Alaskan Malamute doing the same thing haha :).....my Malamutes play rough like that and everyone freaks out on me as well, your not alone haha :). Even though my Mals give everyone they know a hug and a kiss after they are done playing...figures lol
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
942 Posts
When we would take Metro to the dog park he loved the husky the best. Those dogs would play tag and Metro could NEVER catch them...which worked for me. I tend to be a helicopter mom, so if it looked like Metro was being aggressive I'd grab him back to make sure.

This undoubably back fired on me and caused Metro insane stress. It wasn't until way later that I learned this was all my fault and Metro became dog weary...if they were on a leash he became dog aggressive, unleashed in his house or unleashed in family backyard he was fine...mom came around and he was aggressive. I worried that he was aggressive, or would accidentally hurt someone and my vibes ruined his play time.

These videos do help ease my fear with Sabo...I have to know how GSDs play so I can relax! Thank goodness the area we are moving to is HEAVY with cops, so there are a LOT of GSD and perhaps I wont get the stink eye.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,657 Posts
We decided to let Stella and puppy off leash since Capone is getting quite large. It is actually better this way....Stella LOVES to play catch me.... Stella still sometimes looks scary with her teeth, but I can see she is not hurting the puppy....she is playing. I guess there's nothing like another dog to teach a puppy bite inhibition!
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top