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Is my dog trying to be dominate or just trying to be playful?

1168 Views 3 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  Abbylynn
This may be a bit of a dumb question but here goes. My 1-year old beagle/lab mix quite regularly will be playing with his toys by himself, and then decide to bring the toys over to our 9-year old lab/beagle.

Rather than engage in sharing the toys, or calmly chewing on them next to her he will prop the toy up on top of her and sort of lean into her like she's a pillow or something. My 9-year old (Gia) is very good-natured and puts up with this for awhile.

I thought it was funny first, but then I got it in my head that maybe he's just trying to bully her around. If that's the case I'd prefer to make sure he knows that Gia is the alpha-dog in the house and he needs to respect that.

What do you think? Just a goof-ball trying to get her to play or is there more to it?
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IMHO he is just trying to strike up a game of play. :) My dogs throw things at each other to get each other to play or chase one another .... if they want to try and be dominant over one another they show it by being snippy! Then I put an end to their play time by redirecting them to something else.
I appreciate your feedback on the matter. As he has a tendency toward deep, agressive growling when he plays I tend to get a little paranoid that it might translate to forms of 'real' agression. And our older dog is just so good-natured I don't think she has it in her to really stare him down and tell him who the mama bear of the house is... even if she's double his size!
Yes .... the double the size! Eddee is 11.6 pounds and Abbylynn is 65 pounds. They play together and it looks to be very rough with the deep growling and all. Abbylynn will not put Eddee in his place as Eddee can become very serious and get a bit nippy! This is when I step in and stop the play because Abbylynn ... bless her big self ... will not correct Eddee. She is such a gentle soul.

If you ever feel there is a correction that should be made .... go with your gut feeling and stop the play time. Big dogs and little dogs do not fare well when a real dog fight breaks out .... the little ones lose. :(
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