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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone, this is my first time posting here.

[Background]
So I have a 1.5 year old male Samoyed who is neutered. He has had bad luck with meeting other dogs in the past. Many times while the dogs are sniffing each other, the other dogs will start growling or barking at Albert. He hasn't done anything to provoke the situation and when he meets new dogs he is always on leash because he does get overly excited. One thing is Albert has never been is aggressive with other dogs, even when they began barking or growling at him.

[Problem]
Just this past weekend we went to a doggy party for a friend of ours dog who we barely see just because we live so far away. Their dog is a 2 year old female Golden, spayed. Albert gets along OK with her, again his problem is just that plays pretty roughly and gets overly excited and "in your face." He was surprisingly more calm this time than the last time they met so I was feeling happy about the situation. That is until another dog came over for the party. It was a ~2 year old male Australian Shepard, intact. They had met before and I didn't expect an issue until they mentioned that there could be aggression on Albert's side because the other dog was intact and it could cause "ball envy." I didn't believe it until the two of them were sniffing each other and suddenly the other dog began bearing a bit of his teeth then it happened so quick but it appeared like Albert barked and the other dog lashed out.

Albert appeared to show his teeth after the dog did that but we pulled them away and they calmed down. We let them all run around again and Albert, being the way he is, was jumping around and following the other dogs but when he got too close to the other dog, there was another burst of fighting. I had to pull Albert aside and hold onto him while the other dogs ran around playing. I was at the point of tears by then and wanted to leave because all he wanted to do was run around and play. Now Albert is 'talkative' and using barking to talk so at one point while I held him, he barked towards the dogs so the other dog bore his teeth and charged towards him. We ended up having to have the female play with each dog separately but I was so upset (not mad, just sad that my boy was like the hated kid at a party).

They kept saying Albert had "ball envy" and was instigating. But after the first time it happened I started watching him closely and noticed that Albert was acting playful. When he wants to play with you, or another dog, he will bark in the direction of the stimulus. Albert also likes to follow other dogs and paw at them to play. The other dog might have seen this as aggression and Albert responded when the other bore his teeth. He is also pretty mischievous...he loves to rile you up if it means you run around with him and when the other dog would charge him Albert would run around and bark, not try to bite, but play. To me...it looked like play but I don't think any of the owners have seen that type of play and misinterpreted it.

[Conclusion]
After the experience, I won't be taking him back to those friends anytime soon, if ever. But I also plan to take him for an evaluation at a doggy daycare we'd like to take him to, to see if he is in fact showing aggression or just trying to play. I don't know, maybe I'm crazy. He is by no means perfect and he can be a pain in the ass a lot of the time, but all he wants in life is to play lol

[Question]
- Does it sound like just a bad way to play, or aggression?
- Are their any other Samoyed owners out there who have had the same problem? I ask specifically about Samoyeds because they are USUALLY non-aggressive but I have heard that sometimes they will cause aggression in other dogs because of their appearance. (raised, white hair; perked up ears; up-turned tail)
- Tips / advice?

I'm sorry this is long and I don't want to make it any longer so please let me know if anyone requires clarification or extra information! Thank you.
 

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I will say I don't think it sounds like Albert was being aggressive towards the other dog because he was intact, and that was just the other owner's reasoning for their dog's behavior.

I think it sounds more like the other dog maybe not "liking" Albert's play style. It could be that dog has had more limited dog-dog contact, and never played with a dog that plays like Albert does. It could be that dog just does not like Albert's play style. Labs, both males and females, tend to HATE Quill (I have never met one that wanted to play with him and more often they will growl and snap at him). My best guess is that its because his style is not typical of lab style play, and they find it obnoxious.

Quill barks and growls and is just overall a very vocal player with a lot of teeth and noise and rambunctiousness (it sounds like he and Albert might be good friends ha!). He's also extremely receptive to other dog's body language, and also a big wimp when any other dog makes any sign of aggression. This makes his vocal play a little easier on others because when other dogs find it annoying (and they do, trust me!) they growl and he knocks it off. Some dogs play really well with Quill, other dogs tend to ignore him or he ignores them because of this.

I honestly doubt it was aggression on Albert's part. Does Albert have dog friends you know he plays well with off leash? If I were you, I'd just avoid playing with dogs you know don't seem to like Albert and his play style.

I'm no expert, so maybe someone else can offer better insight or will disagree with me. But coming from someone with a vocal, excited play-style of a dog, I've seen many dogs act like you're describing the aussie did because they hated Quill's play-style. The only difference is Quill chickens out and runs away, where it sounds like Albert may stand his ground when other dogs tell him to knock it off.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Marvel, your boy is absolutely beautiful! I thought he was a GSD but I looked up the Wyoming Mountain Dog and it's interesting that the Facebook says it's a "Spitz-type breed." Not 100% sure if it means it's been breed with Spitz then, but Samoyeds are in fact a Spitz breed - maybe this type of play is in their nature and other dogs don't get it? I've been trying to find other Samoyeds in my area who do meet ups hoping that maybe being with his own breed may help him finally get the play he wants. No luck yet...

He is currently used to playing with female labs and a pug (who are owned by my fiance's parents) every month or so when we go home. They don't like to play like his does but they are patient, perhaps too patient to the point that he never learned to play properly. I feel like our boys would have a blast though and we'd probably freak out because they'd be so crazy haha
 

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Thank you! He is. He's a GSD x Malamute x Elkhound mixture. He just got more of the GSD looks, but 100% got the voice of the Malamute. Such a talkative dog! Quill tends to click best with Spitz types, GSD, and high energy breeds (like higher energy hunting dogs -- some of the dogs he's played best with were a Wirehaired Griffon and a Hungarian Vizsla). And I think if a dog were used to the barking/grumble play, it wouldn't be a big deal. Quill gets along with a lot of breeds and can adjust his play fairly well now.

But a dog not used to it or not tolerant of it, IME, tends to get sick of it real quick and snap/growl. There was a Great Pyrenees my friend was dog sitting that we knew hadn't been overly well socialized (we knew him as a pup, and while the owner took him everywhere and let him meet everyone, it was a small town and not many other pups he ever got to play with), and that dog HATED Quill. Quill tried to get him to play the first time we were all together (there was only about a 4 month age difference), the pyrenees freaked out and went at him, and any future situation we had to keep them far away from each other because the pyr would turn into a growling barking mess if he even saw Quill at a distance.

I think our boys probably would have a blast together haha! Quill gets so excited when he finds someone as vocal as he is!

If most of the dogs he grew up playing with were more patient with this, that could be adding to it too in the way of Albert not realizing not every dog loves a barking ball of energy and not learning how to tone down his play a bit. I personally don't have advice on a fix because, as I said, Quill tends to have the opposite reaction in the face of a dog who doesn't like this play, but someone else might have insight!
 

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I sounds more like other dogs dislike Albert because he's pushy and overly exuberant. A lot of dogs, especially as they get older, don't tolerate that well.

IME, aggression towards intact males doesn't look like what you described. It's typically a dog standing very tense and erect and growling towards the intact dog, or just straight out barking and staring. But I wasn't there and only have your description so it's hard to say. It does sound like the other dog corrected/growled first
 

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Discussion Starter #6
[Marvel] I'm glad to hear I'm not alone. I agree, I bet our two dogs would have a blast and I hope Albert can find someone just like him around here to play with!

[Elrohwen] He does have a more rambunctious play style that most dogs do not enjoy that is true. I still remain unsure if that was the ONLY reason why the other dog fought with him.

As an update, my fiance ran into the friend whose party we went to just yesterday (they are in the same grad program) and he was super apologetic because his wife and him knew that it wasn't Albert instigating a fight but that he wanted to play. APPARENTLY, they knew the other dog had some aggression issues when around other males and when they began fighting it was the other dog who was going after Albert. They actually babysit the other dog a lot and they've had issues with him going after other dogs (including a rottweiler puppy) but his owner is the type who thinks his dogs does nothing wrong and they didn't want to argue or blame anyone.

:crazy:

I wish our friends would have said something before so I could have been better prepared for the situation, but now we know we won't be back when that dog's around.
 

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[EDIT] Just saw your post directly above. Good that you have that information now!

If it makes you feel any better my husky had the same problem when we adopted him. Very friendly but other dogs would frequently go off on him. He was five when we adopted him, now he's nine. He always did best with puppies and large dogs that weren't offended by his nosiness. Usually Riley would "start" the fight by sniffing too intensely - he always wanted to stick his whole head under the other dog and most dogs smaller than 30 lbs had a problem with that.

I trained him to lie down when greeting small dogs and he now does it automatically, even off leash. If the other dog gives him a warning he'll try lying down and that usually diffuses the situation.

He also used to scream at other dogs in a husky fashion (sounded like we were torturing him!) but he's pretty aloof now. Helps that he's old. But it only took a few months to teach him the above because he's been a really easy dog to train in general. With Riley I did a few things, I taught him to walk in a circle towards other dogs before he was allowed to greet, and I taught him to lay down for small dogs (I would just tell the owner to wait for Riley to lay down before letting their dog sniff). With him it really only took a few reps a few times a week for a couple of months. Not typical I guess.

Rogue has been harder to work with because he still has a teenage shepherd puppy brain and instead of hurling himself on the floor to scream like Riley used to, he likes to run in circles and bark like a maniac. Less so now, but it's been a long process. Off leash he usually seems to coordinate with the other dog lol. He'll chase if the other dog likes being chased but he'll be chased if the other dog doesn't.
 
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