Poodle Forum banner

1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
28 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I want to start out by thanking all of you for the education you've given me about poodle behavior and health. I love reading the posts and am grateful that I found this wonderful group of people.
Charlie is 18 months and his "cousin," a spaniel is about the same age, and weighs 40 lbs to Charlie's 22. When they get together to play in the yard or in the house (2-3 times a week), Charlie is always the aggressor: Gunnar lets him chew on his ears, he'll roll on his back while Charlie stands over him, and they do a lot of wrestling, tails-up type of play. When they're first together they race around the yard, and Charlie growls the whole time as he tries to bite at Gunnar. After 5-10 minutes of racing around they become companions, checking out the smells and strolling around until they get their second wind and start it all over again.
Charlie is a calm sweet, obedient dog with people, and only play growls with people during tug of war. He allows me to take away any prize he's guarding without any aggression. But I've never owned a dog who wants to be the alpha with other dogs.
My question is, is this normal behavior? My daughter just got a 2nd dog, a puppy and she has a 16-year-old 12-lb Chihuahua mix. Charlie knows to leave the old girl alone because she won't put up with it, but will I have to discipline him if he wants to play rough? The puppy is a golden retriever, right now 12 lbs but will someday be much bigger. My daughter is thinking of coming home for Christmas and I want to be prepared!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
13,060 Posts
Does Gunnar come back for more? It sounds like different play style preferences, rather than aggression or "alpha"ism. If Charlie is polite to the chi-mix, and respects Gunnar's signals if he indicates he has had enough, I would not worry too much. Puppy and young dog play can appear rough to humans, with lots of play growling and biting and barging, but as long as they each respect the boundaries the other dog sets, and it doesn't descend into bullying, it is still just play.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,222 Posts
Misha sometimes acts that way with other younger dogs, especially males. Not all of them, but sometimes some dogs just seem to have a wimpy energy that makes him super excited to "show them who's boss" in a bullying way. I associate the growling with over excitement. When Misha does it excessively to puppies I separate him and remove him because I don't want him to make a habit of it. He will typically cease the behavior after the puppy grows a bit and is less wimpy. Some mild growling during play initiation doesn't worry me too much as it just means he's excited, but if it's accompanied by bullying I try to discourage it.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
23,868 Posts
Lots of dog play can seem aggressive, but if both dogs actively keep it going then there isn't much to be concerned about. One important thing to watch for is if one dog wants to stop and the other dog isn't understanding thatplay time is over for the dog that is trying to walk away.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
7,870 Posts
Peggy loves to climb all over her bigger friend (who used to be her smaller friend!), a Briard. She bites her ears, growls, and generally just looks and sounds like a monster. But that's just their play dynamic. If Peggy stops, the Briard says, "More! More!" And when another dog joins the fun, Peggy adapts.

I think that's the key: Does Charlie recognize social cues and adapt his play style? It sounds like he absolutely does.

If he does get overexcited around the Golden puppy, he doesn't need to be disciplined. Just separate them for a breather (a few seconds is usually enough) and then release. If the play again escalates beyond the puppy's comfort level (keep a close eye on that!), separate them and give them something else to do.

What you don't want to do is build Charlie's frustration around the puppy, or make him think that the puppy's prescence means he's about to be punished in some way.
 

·
Registered
Benjamin Franlkin - Senior Tpoo, Apple Butter - mpoo puppy
Joined
·
105 Posts
Have you ever done a consent test? If you pull Charlie away and hold him back by the collar for a little bit, does Gunnar approach Charlie for more play, or does Gunnar use that opportunity to escape? If Gunnar comes back up to Charlie, they're good to go! If Gunnar walks away, then Charlie needs a time out to calm down.

There is no harm in doing consent tests repeatedly throughout the day if you are concerned that Gunnar isn't having fun. Sometimes Gunnar might like it, and sometimes he might not. A consent test will help you learn how Gunnar is feeling and show you when you need to have Charlie tone it down a bit. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
You guys are sooo wise!! Thanks for the info! And yes, I do separate the dogs and Gunnar comes back and throws a big-ole-paw on Charle's back asking for more. If they're free and Charlie walks away Gunnar usually follows and initiates more. Thank you all. I thought Charlie was okay, but all my previous dogs (labs and labradoodle) would let you do anything to them without a peep! Not sure if my link will work but here's a bit of them playing in a heated garage.
I feel very reassured, and will watch carefully if Charlie gets to meet Fred at Christmas.
Stay safe, y'all, and Merry Christmas!

PS I will say the funniest thing Charlie does by far is trying to sit on Gunnar's head! And when he and my husband wrestle on the floor, Charlie will back up to Roger's face and try to do the same!!


 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top