(Closed) Dogs playing too roughly! Please help!

posted 8 years ago in Pets
Post # 3
148 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

My dog and my parents dog do the same thing! I wish i knew what to do. I’m sorry I am no help. Hopefully others have some good suggestions 🙂

Post # 4
1051 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2011

Exercise, exercise, exercise! Both Huskies and GSDs are HIGH energy dogs and need a whole lot more than one walk a day. We have a GSD puppy as well, and in addition to walks, a backyard to run around in with our sheltie for hours, agility on the weekends to give her a “job”,  hikes etc. we also taught her how to walk on the treadmill. She’s also had numerous obedience classes and pretty much daily training. All that, and our GSD is considered really mellow and laid back.

In response to their playing, puppies can play rough. There’s a big difference between playing and fighting though, playing can sound really rough and howly but real fighting happens really really quickly and once you see it you can tell the difference.  With two high energy workng dogs, it sounds like your Cousin needs to devote a whole lot more time and energy to their training and exercise. Where I live there’s a local obedience club that has low cost classes with fantastic instructors. Obedience will help with a lot of their issues, and training can give them a job to do. Aside from that, they need serious walks, hikes or some sort of exercise.

Post # 5
295 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: February 2012

Yep exercise exercise… We have a malamute x and a GSD x and they will fight if not exercised enough. Both very loving gentle affectionate dogs…but also high energy. 

Post # 6
1026 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

Definitly agree with exercise.  Both of these dog breeds should be getting walked or jogged 3 or more miles a day. That will help with the excessive crazy energy.  The second thing to do is assign jobs.  Both breeds are very intelligent and do better with boundries and jobs in the home.  

For example, they should be taught that someone coming to the front door means they should go sit on a dog bed and wait to be invited over to greet the new person. Same idea if they are out in the yard.  They should have a “spot” that they know to go to and lay down when outside. Then when they are calm they can be invited to play a game of fetch or chase or whatever.  WHen they get to rough, back to separate spots to lay down.

From your post it sounds like they are allowed to rule the household, if their owner takes charge things should calm down.

Post # 8
773 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

There is a show called “End of my leash”, you might be able to find it on youtube. But the guy (I think his name is Brad) and he actually discourages treadmills  because its just mindless exersize. The dogs need that human interaction along with the exersize, and to know that your cousin is the pack leader.

With the jumping up part and in the face, you just have to interupt it. One thing I saw Brad do on an episode was straight up push his arms out to stop the dog from jumping. It looked alittle harsh, but the behaviour needs to be interupted. And if your cousin hasnt established him/herself as the pack leader, one of them will try and take over. I grew up with a German Shepard, and my Fiance had a Huskey growing up, and they are VERY smart dogs. You have to keep ontop of them or else they will do their own thing and totally ignore any commands you give them.

Its to bad that they work long hours, because these are dogs that need a lot of attention and exersize.

Post # 9
1026 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

So this might help you- There are two kinds of exercise for dogs.  The first is simple physical exercise- running, walking swimming until they are tired. For large active breeds like shepherds and husky, they will ALWAYS outlast you.  Its physically impossible for you to run long enough to tire them out. These are breeds that are designed to cover miles and miles every day and still be able to work when they get where they are going.  

The second kind of exercise is the more important kind.  This is the “thinking exercise”.  Things like navigating agility courses, herding animals, solving puzzles (things like boxes with treats hidden and having to sniff out the correct box and figure out how to open it).  Any “trick” training- fetch, open doors, close doors, turn on a light, dance, shake etc.  

Heres what happens with these- the dog has to really focus and think to get their reward, whether its a treat or a favorite toy.  Its way more tiring to them then a couple mile run.  With our shepherd- a half hour of training is more tiring then any run we can take her on.  We still try to walk/run her everyday, but we never see the results from running that we see after training.  

For someone with a limited schedule I would focus on the training and mental stimulation in the time they do have, rather then mindless running.  They will probably see a lot better results this way.  

Post # 10
3636 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

I definitely think that the jumping behaviour needs to be addressed. Currently the husky thinks it’s ok to be very high energy and the girl is feeding off of that. It needs to be established that being in people’s space all the time is NOT ok. Perhaps some obedience school would help? Jumping up is again, NOT ok. With adults it seems alright but big dogs with little kids and jumping can be dangerous. 

Combined with more exercise I think that this could really help. Plus obedience school is fun for the dogs too. 

Post # 11
111 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

I’ve encountered some people who have a problem with this type of play, from puppies or older dogs, but what I try to get across is that this is how they play.  I know that some dogs cannot tolerate my little guy’s play style, and I manage that, often he manages it on his own by ignoring the dog that doesn’t want to play. 

Many dogs nip/bite at the scruff, legs, and other areas during play.  But most dogs have excellent bite inhibition and no injury ever results, making “rough” play perfectly safe.  Energy often has little to do with it with my guy, and many I know with “rough” dogs.  That’s how they play.

Anyway, I’m just bringing this up because people often take this kind of play out of context and assume it needs to be “fixed.”  There’s nothing wrong with it, it’s in the dog.  No one is hurt, and if you try to train it out of them, you will have a very difficult time and you will be trying to remove a behaviour that is, for all intents and purposes, part of the dog’s existence.  Some kids like to play video games, and some like to wrestle.  Some dogs like to fetch, some like to wrestle, and wrestle HARD.  But of all the play behaviour I have observed in dogs, rough play is safest, and I am least concerned about it.  It looks bad, but there is no resource guarding over toys, just wrestling.

What you are seeing when the GSD gets bitten on the back is a social correction.  The pup is learning.  Kai is telling the pup that it has crossed boundaries, and it is a perfectly fine way to put the pup in line.  It’s like an adult telling a child, “no.”  Indeed, this is an excellent way to learn bite inhibition and is critical to raising a dog who understands boundaries!  This is common, natural, and I have never seen it result in injury.  More often than not, dogs regulate each other’s behaviour much better than people can.  If, however, something does escalate, the best thing to do is remove the dogs from one another and never punish them for getting in a skiff (punishment can cause the dog to become fearful [and sometimes, as a result, lash out] and/or to repress the valuable warning signs they give [and cause unpredictable behaviour]).

When it comes to her invading space, which is a puppy thing, the easiest way to stop that behaviour is to only give her attention when she is not jumping/shoving her head in places/whatever, so she learns that those behaviours are fruitless.  Ignore her, and ask your guests to do so, and if that does not work a time-out may be appropriate (sit-stay for 30 seconds often works).  Reward her randomly for good behaviour when guests are around!  And remember that the most important thing is not to teach her that rude behaviours get attention (even a guest getting upset and waving their arms may be exciting to a puppy).  A good grasp of the “off” command would also be a boon.  Another option that works well with dogs that love people and tend to get in the face is to inform guests to either ignore her right away if they do not want to give the dog attention every time they come over (then the dog learns it is pointless to pester this person), or to take 5 minutes or so to give her some love right when they come in, which can get the need for attention out of the system (this works for my guy a good deal).

For further reading, I suggest researching Dr. Ian Dunbar online – his techniques are based in behavioural science and humane (positive) treatment. 

When training a dog, one of the most important things to remember (for me, at least) is that a dog is a dog! 🙂

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