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Hi all!

I was wondering if anyone had some suggestions how to teach Darwin to play down to a smaller dogs level? He is 15 months and loves to play, but I get the feeling the smaller dogs as well as their owners don't like his style. He isn't mean at all, but loves to run and bump and well play like a V! Anyone have any luck teaching their V to play with smaller dogs without seeming like they are going to crush them?

Thanks a bunch!
 

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I'm no help but have the same problem...80lbs or 18lbs...he wants to play the same w/ both...it the other dog doesn't want o play he's good, but if they do he doesn't realize he can't play the same way..he gets leashed and corrected when it happens, but hoping it's something they grow out of/figure out!
 

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Copper has a bull dog buddy that is built like a tank at 90 lbs and low to the ground but very fast for her size. He plays with her like he would a toy poodle! :eek: He will hurt the little one and get knocked out by the big one if I wasn't there to monitor every second of their play time. :)
 

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Good topic to bring up. We were wondering the same thing. Dan's mom has a shih tzu and my mom has a 5lb maltese. The shih tzu doesn't want to play with Holley because she isn't used to dogs and playing since she is queen of her castle. She is trying to teach Holley that no means no but Holley still tries to get her to play. Needless to say there is a lot of barking from both parties and biting/nipping from the shih tzu. My mom's dog is a different story. He has been attacked a couple times while my mom was walking him so her fears bigger dogs. He gets along great with all the little dogs at the dock but Holley is too much and it scares him. We would like to find an inbetween for them.
 

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I suspect keneomac hit the nail on the head when he said some " owners don't like his style". If it were left up to the dogs it often seems they sort out their differences without too much trouble! But I have also had to step in and stop play because merc was being a V and the owners of the white fluff balls didn't like it. At the same time I've also taken merc away when other dogs have had him pinned to the ground and wouldnt let him up. I understand putting him in his place but "nice" dogs make their
point and move on.

Anyway, if you want to teach a V to play with a particular small dog, spending time together before off lead play might help. Going for an on lead walk where they can see each other, have a sniff every now and then but not get too excited right off might help. Then you could progress to a few minutes play, maybe leave a leash on the V and just before it gets out of hand separate the dogs and reward them separately (with food if you are training that way or with a game if not). After a while hopefully they would be able to interact for longer without it getting too rough.

Merc has settled down a lot since turning two and is great now with little or old dogs, he seems to have developed the ability to read what the other dog is up for - a full on wrestle or just a little sniff and I can't take any credit for that. Mind you I usually have a ball or some toy with me and if I don't like how the dogs are playing I throw it in the other direction. It breaks up the rough play without hurting the feelings of any of the dogs, or their owners.

Linescreamer is right, you have to watch them the whole time. Some of my friends want to come on dog walks with me but then find they can't actually talk to me because I'm too busy watching the dogs and "working" with merc. I don't let him play with other dogs for more than maybe five minutes without checking in. If he doesnt check in with me then I get his attention one way or another even if it's just a pause and a look to me before releasing him to continue going nuts
 
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