DOGS PLAYING TOGETHER

By Monday, March 13, 2017 21 No tags Permalink

Mail excites me! This week I wanted to share an email we received asking advice about dogs playing together.

Hi Cathy –

I have a three year old female Goldendoodle named Macey. I want to get another one, and wondered how you trained your two Boys to play so well together. They seem to share everything. What training tips can you give me? Stephanie Sinclair

Hi Stephanie –

I wish I could take credit for the relationship Harley and Jaxson have, but honestly I can’t.  They seemed to have found their own way, all on their own…

DOGS PLAYING TOGETHER

They had a rocky start in the beginning – Harley was 6 years old, (recently without Leo) when I bring home a super fired up 9 week old Jaxson #onepissedoffdoodle

DOGS PLAYING TOGETHER

Having an infant pup enamored with him seemed to agitate Harley. When I talked to Doodle Doc about it, she assured me Harley’s behavior was normal, and I should –

STAY OUT OF IT –

When it came to them finding their way – that was the best advice I ever received. Allow Harley to teach Jaxson about life in a multi-dog household.

It wasn’t easy – Harley was relentless in the beginning – growling, snarling and snapping at Jaxson. I was always close, observing and ready to step in “if” it got out of hand. But #thanktheDoodle it never escalated into anything serious. Turns out he was only teaching Jaxson the hierarchy of multi-dog household life.

Gradually, as Jaxson understood, Harley became less of a teacher and more of a sibling…

DOGS PLAYING TOGETHER

Before I knew it they were running around…

DOGS PLAYING TOGETHER

The wrestling started shortly thereafter…

DOGS PLAYING TOGETHER

And it still goes on today…

DOGS PLAYING TOGETHER

ABOUT DOG PLAY –

When you live in a multi-dog household, you must learn how to read the language of dogs interacting with one another.

Dog-to-dog play is a series of active and repetitive behaviors that have different meanings when performed in other contexts, but helps dog develop important life skills and experiences that promote good physical and mental health. Source: Victoria Stilwell

As Jaxson grew older and taller, I noticed they started playing more and even sharing toys…

Most dogs play safely with each other by relying on a series of signals to communicate peaceful intentions. Signals like play bows.

Sniffing, sneezing, yawning, itching and licking occur to communicate that any future action is still just play.

KNOW THE RULES –

When both dogs understand how play works, they learn how to maintain a low level of arousal and accept both winning and losing the game. Understanding how dogs play ensures that play remains a fun and healthy activity for everyone.

Keep in mind, some dogs are “more” willing to share with one another. #knowyourbreeds Golden Retrievers and Poodles are two of many breeds that live well with others.

MY BEST ADVICE? –

  • Introduce your new dog to Macey before bringing her home.
  • Know what to expect when they meet each other for the first time.
  • Prevent dominance shifts that can throw  “you” beneath the dogs in the pack.
  • Work towards letting them spend time alone together.
  • Know the the signs of aggression.
  • Give balanced attention, but reinforce the hierarchy.
  • Have fun with your multiple Doodle household 🙂

Stephanie – You know your Macey better than anyone, watch her with the puppy. Play together with the both of them – tug play, ball too, etc. Understand the signals, and look to your vet for advice. Before long, your Dood’s will be hanging out all the time, even when they sleep…

DOGS PLAYING TOGETHER

As with any behavior, prevention is always better than a cure. If you are concerned about the behaviors your dog is demonstrating it is always best to seek professional assistance.

Nothing will work unless you do❤️ Maya Angelou

21 Comments
  • Monika & Sam
    March 13, 2017

    We are big fans of the ‘let me sort it out on their own’ way of thinking. Luckily it’s worked out whenever we’ve had multiples but I always watch to make sure rough-housing doesn’t get carried away. No point letting things get carried away.

    • Cathy Bennett
      April 5, 2017

      So far I haven’t had to intervene. They just play until their both exhausted.

  • Sand Spring Chesapeakes
    March 13, 2017

    Great advice!! I’m glad your boys get along so well.

    • Cathy Bennett
      April 5, 2017

      A serious concern at first. Harley and Leo were fabulous together and I was slightly frightened thinking that this couldn’t happen twice. But we were blessed and it did. I feel extremely fortunate that Harley and Jaxson are so compatible.

  • Caren Gittleman
    March 13, 2017

    OMG OMG!!! Did you fix your scroll bar on the side? I hadn’t visited in ages because I couldn’t scroll before! YAY!! Now it works!

    • Cathy Bennett
      April 5, 2017

      I am so happy you are back Caren! I just thought you were busy LOL
      Next time you have any kind of difficulty please let me know. Hugs to Dakota!

  • Tiffany Bennett-Cuartero
    March 13, 2017

    Great advice.

    • Cathy Bennett
      April 5, 2017

      Thanks Tiffany!

  • Two French Bulldogs
    March 13, 2017

    They look like two kids playing. A slow introduction works wonders
    Lily & Edward

    • Cathy Bennett
      April 5, 2017

      They act like two kids most of the time. I agree totally. I also recommend an introduction outside of the home too!

    • Cathy Bennett
      April 5, 2017

      I totally agree!

  • Emma
    March 13, 2017

    It really depends on the dogs too. I really prefer to be more on my own, but my sisters are always together. Katie and I were always together. Maybe the third wheel thing played a role in my desire to not hang out much with my younger sisters. Some dogs really do love other dogs, and some don’t. You have to know your dog.

    • Cathy Bennett
      April 5, 2017

      Knowing your dog is key. I also think it’s important to respect when a dog prefers his space too.

  • Lindsay
    March 14, 2017

    OMD, baby Jax is just so adorable <3

    Give your boys kisses from the boys and I, Cathy. xox

    • Cathy Bennett
      April 5, 2017

      Baby Jax was also a menace! LOL
      I certainly will – you do likewise my friend XOXO

  • Jan K
    March 14, 2017

    I remember how watchful we had to be when we brought Luke home. I didn’t worry about Sheba, who loved everyone, but Cricket and Kobi were my concerns. We did just as you did, and everything worked out fine! It warmed my heart especially when Kobi accepted him, since he was so much older. Seeing him and Cricket playing together was the best thing in the world!
    I really miss watching him play with Sheba now though – they had so much fun together.

    • Cathy Bennett
      April 5, 2017

      At first I had concerns that there was too much of an age difference between the two (6 years) but I’m learning – Harley is really a kid at heart.

  • Callie, Shadow, and Ducky's Mom
    March 15, 2017

    When it was just Callie and Shadow, it was almost too easy. They were only 6 months apart, age-wise, but Callie took on the surrogate mama role right from the start. I never had to worry about them…Callie was protective of her sister, but also let her have anything she wanted. When Ducky came along, I had to watch her around Shadow. Callie did her best to teach and discipline Ducky – and Ducky adored her – but When it came to Shadow, Ducky did not like sharing anything, especially Callie, toys, and me. After Callie got her angel wings, Ducky’s attitude improved a lot, but she still has her moments. I don’t have to watch her as closely any more; but when we leave the house, Ducky has to be in her crate. And I know Shadow still misses snuggling with Callie. I hate having to leave her home alone.

    • Cathy Bennett
      April 5, 2017

      I know what you mean. Life changed so drastically when Leo died. Harley was so hard on Jaxson in the very beginning but quickly warmed up to him and now they are back to being inseparable. I love it! It’s so hard on EVERYONE when a furry family member crosses the rainbow bridge.

  • Jen
    March 15, 2017

    Such great advice Cathy. Sherman and Leroy have never been best buddies and there was a time when they didn’t get along at all, now they tolerate each other and I really think they would miss each other.

    • Cathy Bennett
      April 5, 2017

      Jen, they would DEFINITELY miss each other. I believe their degree of tolerance is also their way of loving each other too.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *