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 Playing with smaller dogs

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techigirl78
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Female Join date : 2013-06-26
Location : Wisconsin

PostSubject: Playing with smaller dogs   Tue Jul 23, 2013 9:42 am

Loki went to his first puppy school class last night. He seemed to to pretty good, just some whines here and there, but he was doing all the tasks we practiced.

As we got him when he was a little older at 13-14 weeks, he is about 17-18 weeks old and 36 lbs. He was much bigger then all the other puppies who were younger or similar age but smaller.

He made friends with one fiesty little terrier mix who could handle his rougher play. When the terrier yelped, Loki backed off right away and waited for the terrier to come back for some more fun. Right now, he only plays with bigger dogs so this was kind of new and he is not allowed to play with my cats who are smaller.

However, a number of the other puppies didn't seem to take well to him. Is there a way to help him to learn to play nicely with smaller dogs then himself without getting the smaller dogs or puppies hurt? He kind of sniffs and then acts like it is on - let's play! When he was seperated from the smaller pups, he would cry and whine.

Later this week, he'll be going to doggy daycare, will daycare help him too? I am thinking he will be put with bigger dogs given his play style, so not sure if it will help with his manners to smaller dogs then him.
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Huskyluv
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Female Join date : 2009-06-23
Location : Huntsville, AL

PostSubject: Re: Playing with smaller dogs   Tue Jul 23, 2013 9:56 am

Dogs learn their limits best from other dogs, so letting him play with smaller dogs and letting those smaller dogs tell him what is too much will teach him far faster and better than any other way IMO. But I can totally understand that other owners may not want their dog to be your guinea pig. Since I live with small dogs I let mine yelp or tell my sibe off when he's too rough. Of course I always supervise and would never put my smaller dogs in danger, but letting them be has always been the best teacher. For other peoples' small dogs I keep my sibe on leash and if the other owners are uncomfortable with the situation or the smaller dog just can't send the right message then we back off. It is good though that yours will take a cue and back off when another dog yelps. My sibe does the same and then waits for the other dog to re-initiate play.

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wpskier222
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Female Join date : 2013-02-11
Location : NYC

PostSubject: Re: Playing with smaller dogs   Tue Jul 23, 2013 10:13 am

Dizzy was terrible with small dogs, plays WAY too rough, and wouldn't take no for an answer. He went to daycare two full days and a half day last week, and then yesterday. I've seen a big difference in a couple ways. His approach is much better. He does this thing where, when he sees a dog, he just hits the deck and lays down. Once the dog gets close he pops up and used to jump all over them. He still does the lay down thing a lot of the time, but now, when he stands up, he sniffs politely for a few seconds before he tries to initiate play, and sometimes will even wait for the other dog to do so. Also, with little dogs, now he will stay laying down and let them check him out. He also backs off now when he gets corrected. He still loses his head gives into his impulses sometimes, he's still a puppy after all, but daycare has helped a lot! Also something that has helped a lot is something similar to a time out. If he won't back off or can't control himself, I just squat down and hold him in my lap for a few minutes until he calms down. Or if he gets another dog down and won't let it up he gets a little time out. He will just lay down on top of the other dog, its really silly. Just tell your daycare that you would like for him to learn how to play gently with small dogs, and that his play style is rough, so you would prefer if he isn't put in with dogs that will encourage that or make him escalate. Ours has been very helpful and accommodating with us in that way. Most small dogs will correct him, but some don't and he would just steamroll them, so I have to always watch him with little dogs!
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techigirl78
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Female Join date : 2013-06-26
Location : Wisconsin

PostSubject: Re: Playing with smaller dogs   Tue Jul 23, 2013 10:33 am

Sounds like daycare should help him some, I'll let them know he needs help with his manners and see if they can put him with a good set of dogs. I think at times my female dog puts up with too much from him. Then, on the other hand, my male puts up with almost none of his games. So the more dogs that correct him, I think the better off he will be.

I'll try taking him to the dog park this weekend too to see if I can find smaller dogs for him to play with supervised. I agree with my older dogs were younger and my parents had a terrier mix it made it easy for them to learn quickly. I just don't know too many little dogs anymore.
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wpskier222
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Female Join date : 2013-02-11
Location : NYC

PostSubject: Re: Playing with smaller dogs   Tue Jul 23, 2013 11:09 am

Your female will stop putting up with him after a while. Most dogs will let a puppy do almost anything, but as he matures, they will stop letting him get away with that crap. I'd be careful taking him to the dog park at his age. Some dogs don't know how to correct will and end up going too far or could hurt him. I took Dizzy a few times and had to pull a couple big dogs off him on a couple of occasions. You might be okay, just make sure to scope out the scene before you take him in. I would actually recommend daycare before you take him to the dog park, but that's just what worked for me. Also, our dog park kind of sucks on the weekends. It is totally packed and a lot of the dogs don't get any exercise all week so they are insane. Smile Hopefully yours is a little better.
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techigirl78
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Female Join date : 2013-06-26
Location : Wisconsin

PostSubject: Re: Playing with smaller dogs   Tue Jul 23, 2013 3:01 pm

Yeah she puts her feet down at times so I think they are good, but always supervised. He knows how he can act during fetch as that is my girls favorite game. Now he just runs back and forth.

I will go doggy daycare route for awhile and maybe try dog park once his manners are better. Thanks for tips!
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