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Is this aggression of playful flighting?

Discussion in 'Training & Behavior' started by HakuTheDoberman, Aug 12, 2019.

  1. hey guys so recently my dog has gotten a bit more confidence with other dogs, and has been playing. For the most part he usually just runs around with the dogs ect.

    We have this puppy ( small around the size of a Doberman around 6 weeks old age ) that walks around our neighbourhood and we have been getting them to play with each other quite frequently. I guess you could say it was his first dog friend. He’s always really good with her and gentle.

    Fast forward to now. We saw them on our walk for the First time in over a week. They played in the field as usual but then Haku (my dog) kept biting her neck and holding onto it. She would not yelp or anything but I was watching closely and I could tell she was uncomfortable /starting to not be able to breathe normally. She is small and his mouth can fit over her whole neck so if she was bigger (eventually she will be a medium sized dog ) it wouldn’t seem as rough. But he then also help growling and snorting.

    It Dosent help that his dog she is always laying on the ground belly up and can’t play up right lol

    This is where I’m unsure. Cause The growling wasn’t a super low pitched one like he does if a stranger is putting him on edge but he was just doing it so much with this one play session/ added with the neck biting and holding on. I just couldn’t tell.

    He wouldn’t bite and didint bark just growling and neck biting.

    Why do you guys think? Sorry for the rant

  2. LifeofRubie

    LifeofRubie Active Member

    Rubie will often grab Moo's neck skin :facepalm: when she starts doing that, I'll intercept play (usually via spray bottle). Moo is so tolerant that he nevers tells her it's too much. Not sure if that means it's normal but I do stop play when I start to see it.

    Dobes are notoriously loud players, too, so that is definitely not unusual even though it sounds terrifying.
  3. My2Girls

    My2Girls Notable member

    I don’t allow it. My 2 will run along next to each other and do a nip to the neck but never hold on to it. It also not a good thing for your neighbor’s dog confidence. I’m surprised they didn’t say anything.

    I should add that my 2 head wrestle where they do bite the neck but they’re usually laying down doing that and it’s a different type of play.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  4. I’ve broken it up every time. They don’t personally stop it cause she isint yelping so they think it’s ok as long as it’s not physically hurting her. But I personally don’t like the way he won’t let go on his own.

    His lays down and when Haku bites he half lays down.

    It’s the first time he’s behaved like that. He’s usually scared and submissive so I’m not sure how to read it.

  5. Ya him and his siblings are always going crazy at each other mouths open snorting and growling and running around and also biting necks but seeing him do it on a smaller dog who’s whole neck he can fit into his mouth kinda makes me uncomfortable loool.
  6. My2Girls

    My2Girls Notable member

    Yeah I wouldn’t allow it. It’s too easy to cause an accident and that’s the last thing you need.

    How old is he now?
  7. Oh Little Oji

    Oh Little Oji Formerly Tad Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    Not totally disagreeing with what have been said, but I personally would not automatically disallow this type of play. It depends on the other dog. Some dogs can hang with even Oji's working-Doberman killer play. He has a real propensity for going up on hind legs and slap fighting using his club-paws. He will stand up there long enough to ensure he lands on top.

    A few years ago, a guy was over flipping the house next door. He usually brought along his female (what was it now?) Catahoula and Pit cross. It turned out that I brought Oji over and let the dogs play in that back yard. She was a most epic playmate and could totally hang, though she was maybe 5 inches shorter and 15-20 pounds lighter (Oji is only about 70 lbs., but pound-for-pound quite strong.)

    In the case of Haku's friend, it sounds like she is a submissive dog and is still a puppy and is smaller. I would limit the intensity of the play. Encasing her neck in his mouth looks a lot more severe to humans than it is to dogs. If it were not all in play, the other dog would be freaking out and yiping and flailing to escape. Still, it's rough play and the size difference and the puppyhood would have me keeping it in check.

    Of course, even if Oji has a worthy kill-play partner, I am right on top of it ready to jump in. Things can transition from play to fight.

  8. Yeah I’ve also read you shouldn’t automatically break apart the play. So I do let it happen a bit mostly with his siblings and a bit with the smaller dog. I break it apart with this smaller dog only when I see her having problems breathing cause of his bitting lol I feel like she’s not the type of dog to help and let know it’s hurting.

    I’ll keep a really close eye on him he didn’t seem to have evil intent and meaning any real harm But I’ve never raised a dog/puppy so still unsure of some behaviour :( aha
    • Like Like x 1
  9. For the most part it’s okay, just play fighting and no real harm done with his siblings. Never any yelping or crying.
    But with this smaller dog an eye on cause it’s very submissive and lets him get away with being a turd lol

    He’s 5 months
  10. LifeofRubie

    LifeofRubie Active Member

    perhaps a video would help!

    Rubie plays rough and Moose is used to is and, like I said, is very tolerant of her play style. Even if it looks like it's getting a little rough, they'll break away for a second and then he'll play bow to initiate more play. Rubie LOVES to chase and Moo likes to be chased. Usually she tumbles him which my husband is not a fan of but Moo always goes back for more. She does show teeth and this is actually relatively quiet up until a little after the 1 minutes mark but then the terrifying sounds start. She does go after his neck a couple of times but she knows I'm standing right there and had probably corrected her prior to recording this session.

    To non-Dobe owners (read: our neighbors), this probably looks and sounds quite aggressive. Part of the problem is that Moose will not correct Rubie so she doesn't really have 'limits' with him which is why we need to step in but it is still play. Also, worth noting that at the end of the video, Rubie is being chased by Moose. Her switching roles during play is good and a sign that they're both having fun and abiding by the dog rules of play.
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Appreciation Appreciation x 1
  11. Kaiser2016

    Kaiser2016 Active Member

    Love that video! Rubie is so assertive and confident: Total Doberman body language. No wonder it can look scary to others. Ya, switching roles seems to be key in keeping it in balance.

    Am I right in that the louder play growls at the end were coming from Moose? Seems almost too deep for a female but maybe that’s part of Doberman style too haha.
  12. LifeofRubie

    LifeofRubie Active Member

    haha that is definitely Rubie! Moo sounds like weed whacker, Rubie sounds like a diesel truck.

    Rubie has one play style; Moo luckily adapts his to the dog he's playing with BUT the growling and Dober butt swing are two tricks he's learned from Rubie that he utilizes in all play :woot2:
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    • Funny Funny x 1
  13. Gelcoater

    Gelcoater Expert ThreadCrapper $ Premium Subscriber $ Hot Topics Subscriber

    You read my mind my mind, LoR!
    I wouldn’t really comment one way or the other without seeing it for myself.
    Dobermans play rough.
    Dobermans will pay rough with other breeds.
    They are also very vocal about it.
    At times they play with a little mohawk up, but still playing.
    Some breeds are fine with it, others seem to not when they meet a Doberman.
    I’ve tended to let them get to know each other and monitor the other dogs reactions.
    If they play back it’s fine, if they recoil, flinch, or otherwise look uncomfortable or verbalize such, it’s tome to time down the Doberman a little.
    Fortunately the Doberman seems to be able to tone their play to the level needed.

    I’ve had people over in the past who saw my two playing and showed some concern.
    Why are they fighting? :eek:

    With one snap of a finger they stop, freeze, and look at me like “What’s Up? Squirrel?”
    Then go back to playing.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  14. Gelcoater

    Gelcoater Expert ThreadCrapper $ Premium Subscriber $ Hot Topics Subscriber

    • Agree Agree x 2

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