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I have a blue heeler/Australian cattle dog named Henry who is about a year and four months old. Although he has never shown an ounce of aggression toward people or animals, he plays too rough. Most notably, he bites at dogs' feet and snaps at their face. It's never in an aggressive manner though...it is almost like he is purposely pushing their buttons. Once a dog gets angry, they will snap back at him, and he immediately takes a submissive stance. But less than five minutes later, he's back at it again.

I do not know how to curb this behavior, but I am not OK with it. He needs to learn NOT to snap at other dog's faces, and to lay off biting the feet. At the very least, when a dog does not tolerate his antics, he needs to stop. I've tried scolding him and putting him in time out for this behavior, but nothing seems to work. As a puppy, most of the dogs he interacted with played very rough (my neighbor's and friend's dogs), so maybe that is where he learned this behavior.

Any ideas? Please.
 

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I've never owned one,, but to me your pup is doing who he is. My GSD's loved to herd the goats.. I either have to leash them before we went out the door, or carry a leash with me. it wasn't about scolding them for wanting to herd the goats.. They had to learn doing with with me that "the goats are fine" " Mommy saids they fine where they are" and we go on doing what we had come outside to do walking right past where the goats were grazing. All dog have to learn about their super hero powers, how to properly use them and when it's not needed... Best to get a good "Out" / stop recall on your pup first before just turning him loose on his own with other dogs.. Maturity kicks in , and a solid foundation in OB skills between yall would really help the growing pains until you get to maturity..
 

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You have a herding dog, and they do tend to play like that. Getting a correction from another dog is fine, but if he does not take the hint I would remove him to calm down. Or, find playmates that share his play style. Some dogs really like to play rough like that, and others just don't. It's also a young dog thing, they tend to be a bit pushy and rude, and their skulls are thick as rock so it takes a long time for them to figure things out!

I mean, there really isn't much you can do to "correct" the play style itself. It might just be the way he likes to play, and that's the way he is, and he may or may not grow out of it. The best you can do in that scenario is find playmates who share his play style, or just don't allow him to play with dogs who don't appreciate him.
 

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As PatriciafromCo & Lillith wrote herding dogs tend to herd. Not all of them will nip, but those that do can give painful nips, possibly drawing blood when they get excited.

My dog plays with an ACD like that, and my dog will out run the ACD, or will roll on his back, so that he doesn't get bitten. When the ACD nips too hard, my dog will yelp and will snark him. The ACD will 'go submissive' and 'apologize,' but then go back to nipping when they resume playing.

Most dogs won't resume playing after the first hard nip, and that ... may be the problem (?). The ACD doesn't get enough feedback from different dogs to learn that nipping means that play stops.

Your dog may never learn that nipping makes play time stop ... or get unpleasant. Maybe if you can set up some play dates with some older dogs who will reprimand but not fight when playing is too rough, then your dog may learn. You might try other ACDs, Labs, possibly a few select large Pits and Rotts.
 

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I am going to add two things:

1-) Finding a dog who appreciates his playstyle really is probably as good as it's going to get and

2-) It is INCREDIBLY common for ACDS and, yeah, other herding breeds to become, uh, less than apologetic when rebuked by other dogs as they mature. By which I mean it's very common for them to stop being submissive and to start taking that correction as a signal that it's time to throw down.

Be careful in setting up playdates with the intention of having other dogs correct him. It MIGHT work. It might also end up in an all out brawl.
 

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I have a blue heeler/Australian cattle dog named Henry who is about a year and four months old. Although he has never shown an ounce of aggression toward people or animals, he plays too rough. Most notably, he bites at dogs' feet and snaps at their face. It's never in an aggressive manner though...it is almost like he is purposely pushing their buttons. Once a dog gets angry, they will snap back at him, and he immediately takes a submissive stance. But less than five minutes later, he's back at it again.

I do not know how to curb this behavior, but I am not OK with it. He needs to learn NOT to snap at other dog's faces, and to lay off biting the feet. At the very least, when a dog does not tolerate his antics, he needs to stop. I've tried scolding him and putting him in time out for this behavior, but nothing seems to work. As a puppy, most of the dogs he interacted with played very rough (my neighbor's and friend's dogs), so maybe that is where he learned this behavior.

Any ideas? Please.
Seeing this late.... Henry is an ACD.... He is going to go hard in all things.... Including play.. . To people not used to seeing ACDs play, it can look VERY rough. The best thing to do is find playmates that play the same way.... Other ACDs, Bel Mals, Working line GSDs, Some BCs, Some Aussies, etc..... Think drive, tenacity.etc
 

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Nope. Nope. Nope. Not gonna happen in my house. Cattle Dogs are pushy, they were bred to push cattle across the outback... So, yeah.

Get mouthy, go in your crate.
Push or bonk me with your nose, go in your crate
Jump on me, go in your crate
Try to shimmy a sandwich off my lap, go in your crate

You get the picture. Cattle Dogs love their peeps, so any separation is going to drive home a point with quickness. Just a few minutes, until they can get their wigs straight.
 
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