Sally has a lovely way of adapting her play to the other dog. Bitey face, chase games, mutual stick chewing, parallel racing whatever makes the other dog happy makes her happy.
I am very careful about who Sally gets to play with – if the other dog is rough I call Sally out of the melee and play with her myself. A rough dog is not aware of its strength generally and may be so over the top (thinking of Sampson here) that it’s ability to think and respond to settling cues may be minimal. When I was worried about Hank and Gus I ALWAYS had toys and food on me and would put short tag lines on both dogs so I could reach in and catch either one without fear of an unintended grab. (Watch out for other dogs dragging the tag line around though). I use very light weight lines on dogs a lot actually, I completely understand the vision of a perfect recall and that a line can develop a reliance on management over training but around here management is a reality -not a failure!
Rough playing dogs can hurt other dogs with body slams and hard grabs but it’s even more likely they can scare other dogs into not playing, not just with them but with all dogs. It makes me sad when Sam gets loopy and starts making it obvious he has lost control of his ability to play with Sally – I sometimes call him to me and get him focused on me other times I call Sally to me and engage her. Identifying the triggers that put Sam’s play over the top has been an important part of getting my timing correct so that positive methods work effectively. For him getting overtired, getting wet and heading back to the truck can all do it. Timing is, as with so many other elements of dog wisdom so critical.
Once it’s done uploading I’ll post a very cute clip of Sally and Wyn playing .. nice of them to give me such excellent footage for this topic!
I love watching dogs play! Their dynamics are fascinating.