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Discussion Starter #1
I have been taking my one year old mutt, Gency, to the local dog park here in Kentucky for a few months. She really enjoys playing rough with other dogs, which does not seem to be a problem to me but some other dog owners have complained. I feel like if she was actually being aggressive, there would be biting and blood. She will bear her teeth, growl, rear up and tackle other dogs, but it never seems like it is an attempt to hurt another dog. She played this way with her mother when she was a puppy, and I am thinking she just has not grown out of it. She has never hurt another dog, and I have never seen her try to. She is a very well tempered dog, but I am scared that perhaps her behavior foreshadows more serious aggression.

I'm trying to a link a picture of her here:

If that doesn't work I attached a jpg file of her. Thought it might be important in case anyone could determine anything about her from possible genes.

Thoughts or past experiences?

Thanks a lot,
Sam
 

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Aw, what a cutie!

It's a little hard to tell from your description of the fighting whether it's play fighting or not. There's a lot of teeth action (but no biting) when Cupid plays with his doggy friend. So let me ask you this. Is Gency the instigator and does she do all the chasing/jumping?

With play fighting, they will switch roles during play. First chasing, then being chased. Jumping or pouncing on each other. So ask yourself this: is the action reciprocal? That may give you the answer.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Whether or not its reciprocated depends on the dog she is playing with. She loves it when another dog gets in on the fun the same way she does, but some times she will try to instigate with a dog that doesn't like it. She never bites hard (nipping at the neck with a quick release and no skin breaking) but will knock them over and then basically sit on top of them.

Thanks for your reply,
Sam
 

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You have to determine whether she is really playing (play bows, role reversals, etc.) whether she is being a bully or whether she just has poor socialization skills. While dogs may play well with certain dogs if they don't respect the rights of other dogs that do not want to play they are lacking in good manners/social skills. Will she allow other dogs to sit on her...recripocal. If not, she's probably a bully. Bully behavior usually escalates.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
In response to Tooney, other dogs will sit/pin her, but only ones that like to play as rough as her.

To Joey: I am not sure of the tail situation. What should I be looking for?

Do you have any advice on reversing her bulliness?
 

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It sounds like normal play and yes, it can get rough and tumble. The key is playing with dogs that evenly matched and watching out for the dogs that really don't want to play...the ones that show fear/withdrawal. That's where you step in and stop it before it even gets started.
 

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I usually break it up if both dogs tails aren't straight up or there is growling or teeth showing. I've been told by other owners at the dog park to 'just let them play' but I'd rather be safe than sorry.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Wow, thanks for all the good advice and thoughts. Finding a regular playmate is a good idea, I'll look into that. Also, a deviation from this thread's origin, Gency had a seizure this morning and is still seizing. I took her to the emergency vet, and she is ok, but it is a little bit scary.
 

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yeah, she is on some anti seizing meds and antibiotics. The vet said she probably ate something dead and rotting. I'm going to get some blood work done at her regular vet tomorrow. Thanks for the concern.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks for everyone's concern. She is romping and back to herself already.

Back to her being a bully though, does anyone have any thoughts on how to break that behavior? I can stop her when she gets too rough, but I'd like to stop her from wanting to get that rough. All i have been doing is putting her in time out at the dog park (on her leash away from other dogs for a few minutes).
 
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