Wednesday, November 11, 2009

When play turns rough

Have you ever watched dogs play and wondered if it's getting too rough? When does it turn from play to fighting? Well it can happen in the blink of an eye. What starts out as innocent play can quicly escalate into fighting.

Dogs need playtime with other dogs but we need to be aware of problematic behavior to avoid injury. Watch for an even give and take in play. If one dog seems to be getting ganged up on then break up the play session until things settle down. Not all dogs are good playmates or are well suited with certain dogs. It's important to pick playmates for your dog that have a solid socialzation history and good play skills. Have regular breaks in play to allow the dogs to take a break and settle down. ALWAYS supervise dog play, never leave a group of dogs alone to play.

If any of the dogs has a history of resource guarding do not allow toys or food in the play area. Limit your group to 4 or 5 dogs to keep things manageable and safe. To prevent collar grabbing/strangling remove collars from all dogs before allowing them to play. By following some of these simple suggestings you can provide a safe and fun play environment for your dog.

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