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Thread: Playing with other dogs

  1. #1
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    Default Playing with other dogs

    Last night my friend brought her 1 year old standard poodle to my house to introduce her to Pip. We introduced them outside, then brought them into the back garden.

    Pip was very enthusiastic and a bit too full on for the poodle (Laylah) so we kept her on a lead so she wouldn't annoy her - Laylah was not very interested at first, even growling a little at Pip, when she got in her face. I don't mind this, Pip was being rude, Laylah was just telling her off - there was no aggression in it.

    After about a half an hour, Pip calmed down and stopped trying to jump all over Laylah, then Laylah decided she wanted to play - Pip was thrilled at first, but then when she realised how much bigger Laylah is, she wasn't so sure - they started to chase one another, Pip got scared, so we calmed Laylah down. Then they started to play again, Pip started whimpering, as if she had been stepped on, but Laylah was no where near her. She did this several times - crying out just because she was scared.

    How do I deal with this? Laylahs owner visits often and I though it would be fun for Pip because she doesn't get to play with other dogs. I know there is a size difference, but Laylah is used to being around little dogs, and while still a puppy, she is fairly laid back.

    Her one issue is that she is a little food aggressive toward dogs, so I don't wanna use treats around her.

    Our next plan is to bring them walking together. I will keep Pip on a long line, so if she gets freaked she can't scarper. Any other ideas?

  2. #2
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    I think in this case, because you know the other dog, maybe I would use a little bit of tough love and stop interfering as much. I think that way she will learn that Layla is no threat to her and they will work out a way of communicating and playing together.

  3. #3
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    Young pups teach each other how to play nicely. To ensure your dog plays nicely with all dogs it is best to introduce them to all size dogs so they get used to the size (and therefore play) differences. As long as Laylah isn't injuring Pip I wouldn't worry too much. If Laylah is too boisterous then she will need to learn to play nicer with Pip but this will come from experience. Let them play and supervise at all times.

    I would use treats around the dogs while they are young and teach them that you say who gets what food. If Pip tries to steal food or fight over food this is a perfect opportunity to step in and correct the unwanted behaviour before she gets bigger and possibly more food possessive.

    As an easy game I tend to have the dogs around, say one of their names and give them a treat. I don't allow the other dogs to take THAT treat. They can only take the treat if I say their name. I will also not say a name/give a treat to any dog that is pushing in or jumping up for a treat. They learn that they must wait calmly until it's their turn.

    I also play a no snatching game with dogs/pups. I hold a treat in a closed fist up to the dog. If they lick, bite, paw at the hand to get the treat I don't open my hand. The second they stop paying attention/ leave the hand alone I say yes and open my hand to give them the treat. They slowly learn that pawing and licking (trying to steal) the treat doesn't work and that they must sit nicely to get anything. This then helps with the other game as they are less likely to fight each other to get the treat out of the hand because it NEVER gets them a treat if they try.

    **I forgot to say that you extend the time the dog must sit nicely before you say yes and open your hand. This is what helps teach them to sit nicely and patiently for an extended time.**

    How old are the pups now?
    Last edited by The Pawfectionist; 08-01-2012 at 10:19 AM.

  4. #4
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    It is my friends dog, the poodle that is food aggressive not pip.
    Laylah, the standard poodle is a year old. Pip is 16 wewks

  5. #5
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    I found Dex a bit the same to start with, because he's so tiny he was a bit overwhelmed by pretty much any other dog because they're all bigger than he is, though since I started taking him to the dog park and first checking with the other owners if their dogs are ok with little ones, I'd just let him deal with it and not interfere too much(aside from giving him a break frequently) and he's gotten sooo much better, he still gets a bit worried and runs to try and hide under things occasionally but a lot less than he used to and he'll actually approach other dogs now and no more crying

  6. #6
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    Thanks guys - that is what I thought I should do, but I was afraid I might traumatise Pip and cause more problems later.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Beloz View Post
    I think in this case, because you know the other dog, maybe I would use a little bit of tough love and stop interfering as much. I think that way she will learn that Layla is no threat to her and they will work out a way of communicating and playing together.
    I agree with this, most normal dogs will sort out their own fun without human involvement. As long as you supervise to make sure nobody is getting bullied or hurt, I would largely leave them to it. Puppies can be a lot like children in some ways - if they learn that when they squeal the other dog gets in trouble, they will squeal all the time.

    The most important thing is that both dogs should feel like they can rely on their owners if they feel uncomfortable or threatened. You should always allow your dog to return to you for protection, form a protective invisible bubble around yourself that only you and your dog are allowed into. If another dog tries to enter your bubble while your dog is seeking protection, push it away. Once the dogs feel like you are securely in control of the situation they will play happily.

  8. #8

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    This sounds a lot like people. Always good to see that they get on better as time goes by. Works with dogs and people too.

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