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Old 03-06-2010, 10:17 PM   #1
N0obKnitter
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OT: dog experts around?
I have a 10 year old GSD/Siberian Husky male (neutered.) He enjoys the company of other dogs blah blah.

My upstairs neighbours (landlords) recently got a 6 month old mixed breed female that was just spayed. Sweet dog.

Anyway, my dog and their dog enjoy romping in the back yard, despite the near 10 year difference in their ages and the fact my dog is twice the size of theirs.

My dog is pretty polite with other dogs, he enjoys playing with them etc. Today, he and Sadie enjoyed tug of war with a toy but later, he began to hump her, then roll her on the ground etc. She was also chasing him, biting at him etc. I noticed before she bites at him quite a lot which he doesn't seem to mind.

Today, she made no sounds, he growled a little but it seemed to me to be "play growling" not the more ominous kind. Sadie never tried to run away from him/cower/yelp etc so I figured, let them do what they were doing as long as neither of them looked like it hurt or was "too much."

Upstairs neighbour was kind of freaked out by it (I think this is her first dog) and told me her dog was biting at the neck of a dog at a park today (underneath the neck) I think her dog is being playful, not aggressive/trying to fight.

I think my dog and her dog are trying to work out who has the higher status...what do you think?

history on my dog: no dog fights ever, never showed the slightest inclination to bite a person, has never killed an animal either. He's the kind of dog that likes to lay around and sometimes go out and play.
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Old 03-06-2010, 10:44 PM   #2
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Humping is your dog's way of trying to establish dominance with your neighbor's dog. If the neighbor's dog submits to him, then he will soon stop humping her. If not, it may continue, he may let it go and submit to her, or it may escalate.

Your dog growling was his way of telling the other dog to back off without it escalating. As long as she listens, this isn't a problem.

The biting that your neighbor's dog is doing is her way of getting attention from either your dog or a dog at the park. She is being playful, but it may be annoying to some other dogs. An older dog will correct a younger dog appropriately (slight growl), but an unsocialized dog may be too harsh (snapping) and a fight could break out.

As long as the younger dog is learning how to behave around the older ones, this behavior isn't so concerning. Supervise playtime and if it looks like your dog is getting tired of the little one or has "had enough," end it and play again another day. Keep playtime a positive experience and you shouldn't have any problems. Always supervise, because something could go wrong in less than a second.
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Old 03-06-2010, 10:54 PM   #3
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It's a show of dominance, nothing more. Right now my son's beagle puppy (7 weeks old) is doing this with my daughter's 5 year old mixed breed terrier. An older dog will do this to a younger dog as if to tell them "OK, pup, you've crossed a line". There is really nothing more to it than that.

Young dogs will bite and nip in a bid for attention. It's perfectly normal and we are going through this here now. /sigh I know it will pass, but getting the kids to understand it has shown me that no matter how grown up they think they are, they really don't get being a kid.

The pup is pushing the boundaries, your dog is defining them.
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Old 03-06-2010, 10:57 PM   #4
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Yes. The shelter they got her from wanted them to bring my dog to meet her to make sure they would get along since they would live on the same property. They apparently got along fine and my dog was apparently politely instructing her on how to behave (not the first time I've heard of him doing this with dogs.)

My dog is still in good shape for a dog his age and can tear around like a 1 year old dog, I'm slightly concerned about their size difference putting the 6 month old in some slight danger when they rough house but she seems to instigate tearing around/play fighting etc.

I think what you said is wise, watch them, if it gets out of hand break up the play for that day which is what happened today, though both dogs were companionably drinking from the same bucket right after.

My dog actually whines to go out and play with her now, once, she came to my door and was patiently waiting for him to come out and play with her. Quite absurdly cute really, especially the tug of war game they played today.

Sigh. i <3 my dog so much, he's been my buddy for 8 years (was in the SPCA previous to me adopting him.) His advancing age sometimes makes me fret but I've lost a dog before so I know it is inevitable.
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Old 03-06-2010, 11:49 PM   #5
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Old 03-07-2010, 01:36 AM   #6
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Awww I love beagles
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Old 03-07-2010, 11:42 AM   #7
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You are exactly correct, the humping, tug of war and play biting is all about who's top dog in a friendly type of way. I have 5 dogs and my smallest, most demure female humps the older, much larger female dog. Both are best friends, it's just a playful sibling rivalry/pack type of thing. I usually see the younger dog doing these things to the older dog, or the dog which was in the home first.

Even the play biting, is, like with a kid, the dog seeing HOW far he can go to establish her higher pack placement.

You DO need to make sure they don't hurt each other in playfighting so it's good that you're concerned about that. It might not happen, but it's best to make sure and referee, because like little kids, they don't always know their own strength.
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Old 03-07-2010, 01:15 PM   #8
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They were playing again a few minutes ago, Sadie kind of harasses my dog, which he doesn't generally mind, they 'air boxed' a couple of times but then it was my dog humping the heck out of Sadie (it appeared to me before she was trying to hump his head, but she's too short ) then I split them up when a couple of growls came from them and my dog did a frustrated-sounding growl-bark.

There is still no violence involved of course, they just seem to get riled up.
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