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My 9 month old V loves to go to the dog park, but he is playing with some of the other dogs very rough. There are several dogs who love to wrestle with him, but he has begone biting down on ears and not letting go, even if the other dog starts to whine.

This behavior is broken up immediately, but he often returns to it. If he keeps this up he will not be welcome at the park.

Anyone else experience this and have any ideas on how to correct it?
 

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Brodie is 19 months and also is a bit mouthy at the dog park. We have only took him a few times this past fall as well as this past month. Other owners seemingly are okay when I tell them he's new to dog parks and generally say "He'll learn who's boss and how to play" :( I am incredibly embarrassed with the amount of mouthiness when he plays. He goes to doggie daycare and we haven't heard any concerns from them about his playing, but it still makes me curious ...

If he gets too rough, I grab him by the scuff and pull him aside for a "time out". It's getting better, but I could use a few pointers also!
 

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Brodie and Cavedog,
I guess I could use some advice too because Pacer, 9.5 months, does the same things. He gets really mouthy, nips at the ears, grabs the other dogs' fur, etc. If they don't play with him, he barks like crazy! We also take him to doggie day care and the owners have 5 V's of their own. They say he does just fine and they said he is behaving better and better all of the time. So, they must not see these behaviors, either that, or they see it as being ok.
 

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I am no expert but from what I've read on here 'rough play' seems to be a V trait, Scooby plays rough and is very vocal although he doesn't nip/bite (he just makes a lot of noise and sounds agresssive).
 

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Clyde is now 20 months and does not do this anymore but it used to be a problem (you could search dog park.) Anyhow, I was in your shoes and debating whether or not I should continue to take him anymore but there was one week when he messed with a couple of the wrong dogs and they gave it right back to him. Luckily he never got really hurt but he learned his lesson and he quit messing with other dogs. Now, he just runs and plays by himself most of the time.
 

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They play hard, really hard.
Biting of ears and neck isn't always a sign of aggression or dominance behavior, but practice for coursing and taking down game. Sorry, but that is one of their gentic traits. It's not pretty, and a hand held remote collar can stop it pretty quickly. Bite the ears, get corrected with a zap
They can hit like hammers and knock a much bigger dog right of it's feet, get up and do it again before the other dog can recover.

Gunnr is absolutely horrible at times with Tika. Eventually though, Tika gets fed up and pins Gunnr against a door jamb, or wall, with her teeth around the side of Gunnr's head and ears, and holds her there.

Try a remote collar, if the problem really gets out of hand.
 

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When Snickers goes to the dog park, he will meet and greet each dog coming through. His play is quite rough as well. If a dog is running he will clip the dog from the back so the dog rolls. We too, tell the owners that he plays rough with low growls. He avoids a big congregation of dogs and will run and play with his 10 month old brother, Peanut. With Peanut, Snickers can be quite rough and snarly. If it seems to get out of hand I separate the two. Peanut has come back with some bites to his head and neck area from Snickers. :-\
 

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I have a 8th month old & she to plays very rough with maximus my 9th year old put bull. She bites & pulls on his neck & ears very hard when he has enough he will put her in her place real fast
 

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I think maybe he needs to find some dogs that can take it. If not, control him so he will not hurt the weeker playmates. I also will use a shock collar if need be.
 

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Mischa did this for a few months too. Some dogs could keep up and others couldn't. It was stressful for a while as I couldn't predict how an owner would take it but eventually Mischa learned. She still plays rough with dogs who can match her type of play but she's also slowly getting better with the littler dogs. It's definitely in the breed but they can also learn.

If it's a big concern, Gunnr always gives the best advice. ;)
 

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Like everyone else i've also been through the stress of having a dog who a) likes to play rough and b) is convinced all the other dogs want to do the same thing!

Fortunately he eventually grew out of it (around 18 months I think), helped by a few dogs who let him know his behaviour was not appreciated. The real stress for me was when other owners would either freak out at Merc (in which case i would just leave, i'm not good with confrontation) or worse, when Merc pestered another dog till they snapped at him and then their owners punished them. I didn't really think that was fair seeing as Merc was being obnoxious and deserved it - he wasn't going to learn any other way. And I mean it was usually just a snap, not a real bite and, IMHO, not worth smacking a dog for.

The one thing that i find sometimes still helps when there are littler dogs (and/or anxious owners) around is to have a ball or something and if they start getting too excited / rough, i throw the ball. Then the dogs all chase after that and forget about jumping / chewing/ wrestling each other for a few minutes. All it takes is a minute to break that fierce concentration on wrestling and they all calm down again. Usually ;)

At puppy school we did 'directed play' which basically meant letting them play and then just as they started getting out of control, stepping in and stopping the games - gently, they hadn't done anything wrong so it was just a case of distract and all the owners pulling their puppies out of the scrum. It helps to teach them some self-control and the ability to calm down again when they've gotten themselves all worked up.
 

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Any updates or advice on what worked? =)

My V always played nice up until about 2 weeks ago & all of a sudden she got to be way too rough (around 6 months old). I'm embarrassed when I go to the dog park but it's the only way I can get her good enough exercise during the week days.
 

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Find some tougher playmates. V's play hard. It's what they are. Even my big softie Astro sounds like he's ripping another dog to shreds when playing. But, there is no blood. Lots of posturing, lots of play biting and if blood is ever drawn, it's always from an accidental bump or contact.

Astro has a war wound on his paw at the moment from him and Zsa Zsa having a play wrestle. They are dogs... it happens......

The only curbing i will do to their play, is to stop two ganging up on one with a "No Stacks On" command.
 
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