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I apologize in advance for the long post but I wanted to explain the best that I could and I will take any insight. We adopted a pointer/pit mix 6 months ago. He is neutered and is now a yr. old. We have him in obedience and flyball. He is very muscular and energetic and weighs about 40 pounds. He gets regular walks and is overall a wonderful dog. He is able to get along with most dogs in a social setting but loves to play.
About 2.5 weeks ago we adopted another pointer mix she is smaller at around 30 pounds and i would say is not mixed with pit. She is a lot smaller build overall. She has also started obedience. She is very playful and loving and they seemed to hit it off well. They really get along quite well for the most part. They do not fight over food or treats. She gives up toys and tug contests and lets him out the door first. He seems to obviously be the dominant which I have read to play to. I give them both attention but him always first and first food and best bed. I also make sure I make them wait for me to get out the door first and sit for their food and these types of things. So... without going into every detail, here is my problem...
They are playing way too rough. They have good days where they will tug over sticks and run and chase each other, switching the chaser and chasee however, they also have not so good days. If she has a toy she will give it up to him but then she will chase him and latch on to his cheeck or ear until he drops the toy. He will then chase her down and pin her. I have never heard any crying or had any cuts or injuries but it looks terrible. So... lately when i let them out now he will just chase her down and pin her down. I will break it up and everything is okay but I hate this and am not sure what to do. I can let them out seperately but they really do enjoy each others company and I want them to be able to go outside together. They don't act like this in the house. In the house they will play gently tug and even wrestle very gently occasionally mouthing each other. It seems outside now is his territory and he is dominating it. She can run into the wooded part or quit running and he will leave her alone but she will usually come right back for more and jump at him in a playful way and he will pin her down again. Is there something I am doing totally wrong or not doing? I will try anything. I read everything I can about transitioning them smoothly and like I said they really do quite well even outside most of the time but I'm not sure what to do.

Also one other note. She loves to stalk him or stare him down which I found strange. I read that pointers like to do this but it seems like a threatening behavior. I think she is just playing because then she will just run and pounce at him and they will play or sometimes he gets freaked out and runs from her. Is this something I should stop? Is she challenging the dominant role? Thank you in advance.
 

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Some dogs play rough. It's scary to look at, but if the dogs aren't actually hurting on another- no blood, no squealing, no signs of pain or actual fighting- it's not a problem. I admit, it's tough for me to watch Kabota play with a husky like a husky, but that's how he's happiest. That's not to say I don't watch like a hawk or wouldn't step in if I thought there was a problem, but I'm not sure you can change base play style, nor is there any particular reason to as long as both dogs are fine with it.
 

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sounds to me that when they go outside they just have more room to get "rowdy" and really wrestle harder....if there is no crying or injuries from/to either, i'd just let them continue to play (w/ you out there supervising, of course)......her "stalking" him is just her way of getting a good game on--he's not running away b/c he's "freaked", he's running away for the chase...

sounds to me like they get on famously and are having a grand time
 

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I agree with amaryllis and tirluc, they sound like the are rough-housing. If no one is getting upset or hurt, I wouldn't intervene.

Just last night my husband and I were watching Sasha and Moe play. I imagine the neighbors would think that we had a dog fight going on in the backyard, but they were having a great time wrestling and playing. It sounded rough - lots of barking, growly noises, but they were having a great time.
 

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I agree with all the others that they are just having some rough play. I have two small guys, but they can really get into it. If one does cross the line, the other will yelp and they will both stop and back away. If that hasn't happened, and they keep coming back for more, I would say all is well. You will truly know without question if it ever gets to state that is too rough.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you all so much. I actually went home at lunch today and let them out back to play and just let them go at it and wrestle. They went on for about 2 minutes and then laid down and chewed on some sticks. I just get a bit worried with her being smaller.

So I am curious what you all think about leaving them out in the backyard during the day with access to indoors together. I don't think they are ready yet, but do you think I should ever consider it with these two or not so much? I just hate them being crated all day but if that's how it needs to be for their safety that's how it will be. Jet was always outside with an option to come in before which I loved because he just runs outside all day when I am home playing and jumping around in the wooded area.
 

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I think if you walk them briskly together for about 45 min before you leave, they would probably be fine. If they've never drawn blood, and you give them enough walking to tire them a little (and they bond on walks...thinking of themselves as "family"), they would probably be fine together. Padlock any gates when unattended. I wouldn't trust a utility worker at the wrong address, kids, etc not opening a gate when you aren't there. Check fencing daily for holes dug under/security, and after strong winds.
 

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If you are not needing to go to the vet to stitch them up, they're likely just playing hard. My three get going and it sounds really bad too, I was on the phone with the vet's office the one day and Storee bashed Kilt into the wall with a loud THUD and the gal asked what that was and I said 'wait.... oh no, they don't need to come in there today, that was just a puppy head hitting the wall'. They do get going crazy at times but there's no harm done to anyone.

The staring and stalking sounds like a pointer being a pointer, again not a big deal, the other dog will adapt. Or learn. Storee is a golden but will actually 'herd' the other two from time to time, the border collies also wag their whole rear end like Storee does....
 

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Watch for Playbow behaviors, where the butt is up and the front legs are down, and possibly spread apart. Normally, you see pictures of dogs doing this stationary, but if you watch two excited dogs, you may see one of them turn using a playbow gesture... it is very quick.... and these are all good signs... and in general, I believe your dogs are playing... However, I disagree with everyone else (this is rare) on two issues:
1. Don't leave the dogs outside to play unsupervised ... because
2. Sometimes a Pit can get overexcited and chomp down on another dog, and draw blood. This is not aggression, just too much excitement. Labs and Pits can do this with no issue. A little blood among friends isn't a big deal. But it is not clear how your two dogs might interact if things get too rough, when they get older.
3. I am not there, and I have no problem letting dogs tussle as roughly as they want, because I can go break it up, if one of them complains. It is not unusual to have one dog shriek, I break it up, then the victim goes back to pester the "aggressor" to keep playing.
4. So, I recommend that type of philosophy and monitoring.
 
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