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My dog, Charlie, a lab/hound mix, is about 35 lbs at 14 months. She's friendly and playful--she loves playing with all dogs, whether it's chasing, being chased, or wrestling at the dog park. We go about twice a day. She's always rolling around. Very little body sensitivity.

HOWEVER, she goes nutso whenever a puppy younger than her enters the park, especially if the puppy is much smaller. She's so, so exuberant, attempting to initiate play with the puppy even if the puppy has her tail down at first. Usually after a second the puppy will chase Charlie back and start to play, but can't play as vigorously as Charlie, either because she doesn't want to or physically can't because she's much smaller. I can tell by Charlie's body language (bouncy, bouncy, play bowing, butt wiggling, mouth open and soft) that she's just super excited, but she doesn't have either the ability or inclination to temper her roughness of play with puppies as she does with adult dogs when given certain signals. She's never injured a puppy and only on the rare occasion does a puppy give a yip, in which case Charlie usually backs off (only to return a second later).

The good part is I can consistently call Charlie back to give her a "time out" if it seems like she's getting a bit too excited, but I'm wondering if there is any additional training I can do with her to moderate this? Is this normal behavior? Should I just leave the dog park whenever a puppy comes in? I ask the last question because one particular owner at my dog park inevitably picks up his puppy when Charlie starts to play at all with him, in which case Charlie starts jumping up at the puppy like a jack rabbit--that's another headache.

Side note: Charlie is very respectful of smaller, older dogs and respectful of dogs bigger than her, and, generally, of puppies bigger than her (usually it's because they have the strength/desire to rough-house right back with her). She's only my wild mongrel when it comes to a puppy that's smaller than her. Any help would be so appreciated! Thank you.

Dog Dog breed Canidae Mammal Labrador retriever
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