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Is rough play ok?

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by BubsyBear, May 29, 2010.


  1. BubsyBear

    BubsyBear PetForums Member

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    I've read contrasting information on this so I'd love some opinions :)
    When we first rescued Tribble she was VERY "boisterous" (nicest way I can put it!) which was why she had been brought back to the rescue centre after having been rehomed once before.
    She seemed to think all good attention involved rough play, she would jump up, nip, wrestle and bark. We've tried to teach her that a gentle scratch or belly rub is just as good :)
    I've got this behaviour under control now, but every now and then I let her have a bit of rough and tumble because she enjoys it so much. I also let her mouth my hands gently. However I stop the play immediately if she mouths too hard, bites at clothes, makes loud noises or generally gets too excited.
    Is this ever ok? I can't see the harm in it as I feel in control but I don't want to be encouraging bad behaviour. I'm always the one to start and stop the play, I never encourage her to just come up and start mouthing.
    Thanks
    Bubs
     
  2. sketch

    sketch PetForums VIP

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    Personally, and this is just how I deal with this is, I dont rough house mine,, they are too big for one lol, and secondly, Dalton is high prey and defense drive, so its not a good idea and i spend my time playing calming games really, maybe a little bit if tugga, he would like it too much, Kane is very placid and dopey, he would take it too far and not no when to stop, Libby is too nervy and would have a heart attack and do a runner bless her, and Rayden is only 12 weeks so too little plus I dont want him mouthing me ha ha.
    I aslo worry incase they try this behaviour with my old dear or my neigbours children etc, as they are now, they will happily interact with people and dogs, with no hassles, they enjoy a stroke from people and then we go on our way
    Hope that makes sense
    xx
     
  3. lucysnewmum

    lucysnewmum PetForums Senior

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    if Tribble is likely to go to another home from the rescue then i think you need to err on the side of caution and not encourage rough play. you may be experienced enough to stop and start it but her new owners may not! most dogs like a game of rough and tumble but i think in this case it should be dog on dog not dog on human! JMHO.
    :)
     
  4. Mum2Heidi

    Mum2Heidi PetForums VIP

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    It's v difficult when it's something they enjoy but I must admit alarm bells always ring for me too.

    My pup is a terrier and I didnt want to encourage anything I couldnt handle at a later date. OH used to play rougher than I and often I asked him to calm it, concerned for my 3yr old grand daughter when she plays. (supervised of course). Heidi used to go to OH to play and it was obvious how much she enjoyed it but I remained on the fence.

    I had basically discouraged anything that may get out of hand and stopped PDQ anything that did.

    Until there was a topic here on tugging games. That changed everything for me. It was something I was sure would lead to out of control. Nipping, chewing everything in sight, hanging on to our clothes etc. I was wrong. We started off v gingerly with a couple of socks tied together and immediately effected "leave" before letting it get over enthusiastic. It has been a wonderful tool and given us so much more control. She can now get over excited and stop. The game doesnt get out of hand because she is looking for the stop command. We tug and shake for a while, stop and start again. It's great fun (for me too) and is all the rough play she needs. Even tho I used socks, she has never looked to tug any of our clothes.

    Sorry, waffled on a bit there :lol:
     
  5. lucysnewmum

    lucysnewmum PetForums Senior

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    Waffle away - Mum2Heidi - some of the best advice comes from people who experience the same scenario and all the stories help each other figure out what to do next!:thumbup:
     
  6. hawksport

    hawksport Banned

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    I play rough with mine but, it's by my invitation only, it ends with a down stay to calm down when I say and it's never with anyone but me.
     
  7. CarolineH

    CarolineH PetForums VIP

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    If an owner wants a puppy who mouths hands, jumps up, bites at clothes etc then I say hell yeah! Go ahead but don't come crying to me! :thumbup:

    In other words, don't be so daft as to teach pup bad habits before you have taught him all the good ones! :rolleyes:

    But if an owner has already done all the basic training and can control their dog with just a few words then safe rough play can be indulged in as long as the owner is fair and consistent. ;) Personally, I don't bother and I can't say that any of my dogs have missed out just because no-one plays rough with them.
     
  8. lizzyboo

    lizzyboo PetForums VIP

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    this is what i do with radley.... we stop and start and if on the rare occasion he does get carried away, the toy goes on a shelf and i walk away, when he is calm, i come back and praise him for being calm.
     
  9. katiefranke

    katiefranke PetForums VIP

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    yep this is what I do. rough play = always with a toy. being a border collie, maggie can be prone to getting a bit nippy if over-excited so I am always conscious of this.

    like sketch I spend most of the time playing calming games and I dont like using my hands etc for rough play - but the tuggy game above is excellent for having a bit of rough play fun but in a controlled way and actually works a treat with teaching a swift transition from mega-excited to calm.
     
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