Jump to content
BC Boards

Recommended Posts

Hello,

 

I adopted an 8 month old BC rescue about a month ago (Louis). He likes to play rough with other dogs. He isn't aggressive but prefers playing with smaller dogs than him and I get worried at times. He's never bitten another dog but he does put his teeth on them in ways I find inappropriate like one time around another dog's eye. Quite scary. The other dog was absolutely fine.

 

Louis respects the space of dogs who don't want to play but he tends to work himself up into a frenzy when other dogs do want to play with him. In the past few days, he has started baring his teeth. Another dog owner told me this was a BC thing like the nipping thing and I have seen BCs baring their teeth when herding cattle but Louis doesn't nip at heels and I'm wondering how does one know the difference between appropriate and inappropriate baring of teeth.

 

I am going to a trainer this evening but he probably doesn't know BCs as well as some of you. I would like different perspectives. I've only had one dog before Louis and she refused to play with other dogs (she was older and never socialised with dogs it seems). Other owners seem to find me overly cautious but this isn't a dog I know well yet and I'm not very knowledgeable about appropriate dog play.

 

Louis shows no sign of aggression toward people.

 

Please feel free to address any issue I've raised and thank you for your input.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Agatha, Search down a few topics, and you'll see a Jekyl/Hyde title. If you read that, there are several responses to just the kind of thing you're asking.

 

Some of the signs of appropriate play are: Both dogs are returning to the game, neither one is wanting out. The dogs are taking turns being the chaser and the chasee. Body language is loose and goofy, for want of a better word. Growling, hmmm. Growling is often part of play, but it's hard to describe how it changes tone when it's not.

 

Signs that it's time to step in, and remove the over excited dog: Body language is stiff, tail is held still or wagging slowly. One dog is sitting or crouching constantly, sharp yips of pain rather than growly, intermittent stuff, one dog is hyper focused on the other.

 

Hope this is helpful.

 

Ruth

Link to post
Share on other sites

It really depends on the dogs in question and their play styles. Riley frequently shows his teeth when playing and he's very, very physical. I usually try to pair him with other male dogs in his age range with similar play styles. His favorite companions seem to be bully breeds and greyhounds (I think he likes that he can't out run them!), but will take any dog that will wrestle. I don't see this type of behaviour as a breed specific thing like that other person said to you, but an individual play style. There is usually a lot of growling, showing of teeth, neck biting, leg biting, pining each other on the ground and chasing. It all looks quite nasty, but it really isn't.

 

Ruth is right, the body language seems to remain pretty loose during these times. Paying close attention to their body language will give you a good clue as to whether the play is appropriate or not or being enjoyed by both parties. If the other dog continues to walk away or turn its back then there is a good chance he doesn't want to play. That would be your time to step in and calm Louis down and redirect him to other things like you or a toy.

 

Doing some research on canine communication and body language would likely help you a great deal also.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...

Thanks for the comments. I've been trying to find medium-size males to play with Louis and that has been working out well.

 

So, we had a private session with a trainer and Louis apparently just thinks he's still a two-month old puppy which is why he plays the way he does. There's nothing wrong about the way he plays so that's good news.

 

I'm a bit upset about all his health problems though. I know he came from a puppy mill that was shut down by the authorities but I really wished the organisations who took him in had taken better care of him and better care in assessing him. In eight weeks, Louis has already cost me 2k in vet bills. I hate to think what would have happened to him had he been adopted by a family of modest means.

 

Although he is toilet trained, we are trying to crate train him. Not being very smart, the first time we put him in there, we shut the door for about forty seconds. He was freaking out! When I opened the door, this thirty pound puppy jump into my arms and nestled his nose into the small of my neck. He's sooo sweet.

 

We got crate training info now and he is responding well.

 

Thanks again!

Link to post
Share on other sites

My Border Collie and Lurcher were best buddies. Neither one ever left a mark on the other - and the Lurcher only lost her temper with the young Border Collie once. She contented herself with growling very loudly and stalking away. "No shots fired."

 

I agree with what was said it the two posts above. It can sometimes be hard to tell when play fighting or wrestling is getting out of hand.

 

Looking at these pictures, you might imagine that mayhem was in progress. For them, it was all part of the fun. But there were times, especially in the early days, when I got a little nervous.

 

 

post-10533-1285973369_thumb.jpgpost-10533-1285973393_thumb.jpg

 

but they really were best buds.

 

post-10533-1285973415_thumb.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

/\ /\ That's generally what most of Riley's play sessions look like!

 

Thanks for the comments. I've been trying to find medium-size males to play with Louis and that has been working out well.

 

So, we had a private session with a trainer and Louis apparently just thinks he's still a two-month old puppy which is why he plays the way he does. There's nothing wrong about the way he plays so that's good news.

 

I'm a bit upset about all his health problems though. I know he came from a puppy mill that was shut down by the authorities but I really wished the organisations who took him in had taken better care of him and better care in assessing him. In eight weeks, Louis has already cost me 2k in vet bills. I hate to think what would have happened to him had he been adopted by a family of modest means.

 

Although he is toilet trained, we are trying to crate train him. Not being very smart, the first time we put him in there, we shut the door for about forty seconds. He was freaking out! When I opened the door, this thirty pound puppy jump into my arms and nestled his nose into the small of my neck. He's sooo sweet.

 

We got crate training info now and he is responding well.

 

Thanks again!

 

I'm glad you're finding dogs for him to play with... similar age/play styles etc. I'm also glad you found out he's 'normal' :rolleyes: I've seen quite a few dogs display puppy behaviours at an age you wouldn't imagine if they've been in situations where they didn't really get a chance to be a puppy. Delayed development? Who knows. Is that possible?

 

I would recommend Patricia McConnell's books for crate training... there is one, I just can't think of the name of it... and it's not on my bookshelf for some reason. Anyway, her booklets are fairly cheap and full of good info!

 

Good luck!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's a video of TAME play for my two dogs.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9g-vVeTWUVI

 

They do completely bare their teeth when they play. Beag did it, too. Sinead will play rough with just about any dog she meets her size or bigger. Mick RARELY plays with any dog but her. Mostly because he only believes in playing with other dogs inside. Outside is for "work," and god help the dog that gets in his way.

 

They will often sound like they are killing each other, but I can actually tell when it escalates from loud play to them snarking at each other. A "hey" or a "knock it off" and they'll quit it, though.

Link to post
Share on other sites

geonni banner: Dear me, those photos are scary. I'm glad your dogs are getting along. Thank you for the input. It's good to know I'm not alone.

 

Ms.DaisyDuke: Thanks! My dog trainer has a Patricia McConnell book. I'll ask if I can borrow it. The arrested development thing, yes, it a bit embarrassing. He really prefer playing with puppies who are far too small for him! By the same token, he's getting more and more interested in playing with dogs his age and size.

 

njnovice: Louis has good recall unless he's following a scent or playing with another dog. A "hey" doesn't quite do it in the great outdoors. I liked the vid. You have pretty dogs. Thanks for sharing!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Agatha,

 

If you can look at the video of the two dogs again, watch for these things:

The dogs are taking turns rushing each other, not 1 for 1, but still, they're alternating being the 'aggressor'.

Both dogs' faces are loose and mobile - the eyes, ears and lips are flopping around, being held erect, then softly laid back,their necks are bobbing up and down.

They're respecting each other's backing off. When one backs off, the other dog lets it, doesn't pursue until the backing off dog moves back into play a bit.

 

Those are just a few things I noticed, someone with more experience would be able to point out more subtle stuff.

 

When Buzz and Sami were young and full of themselves, they would wrestle by the hour, and when I finally got tired of the commotion and made them stop, their necks would be wet from each others' saliva. Buzz and Shonie used to wrestle in her big plastic crate so hard that the crate would bounce around and move along the floor.

 

The more you can observe other dogs playing, the more you'll know when to step in and when to let the dogs enjoy themselves. We've got another young dog again, and it is a real joy to us to see Gibbs growl, 'attack' his BFF, a young sheltie named Merlin, and watch them chase each other around the yard like hooligans.

 

Sounds like you're on the right path with Louis!

 

Ruth

Link to post
Share on other sites
njnovice: Louis has good recall unless he's following a scent or playing with another dog. A "hey" doesn't quite do it in the great outdoors. I liked the vid. You have pretty dogs. Thanks for sharing!

 

Thank you.

 

Mick has a fairly crappy recall. Sinead has an excellent one. The "hey" is more when their play gets out of hand. I can tell when their growls go from play to being serious. They'll break it up with a sharp "hey!".

 

Like I said, earlier, that's pretty tame for them. I also only had Sinead for a week at that point, and they were still kind of feeling each other out a bit. Usually after a play session, their necks will be fairly wet (like urge to herd's dogs) and it's actually not that uncommon for them to have put a few tooth holes in each other.

 

They're a pretty good match up. Both of them are 3 years old and they're roughly about the same size. Sinead has about 15lbs of muscle and fat on Mick. Working on getting that down to just 10lbs of muscle over him. LOL. He actually won't play tug with her anymore, because she's too strong for him and he's a sore loser.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...