What to Do When Your Dog Plays Too Rough
by Pet Qwerks Toys on December 24, 2018
Rough plays are all part of the fun of being a dog. Playing is one way for dogs through which they explore their world and socialize with all other animals and humans. It is very reasonable, safe, and healthy in most cases, however it can become precarious if it goes too far. Dogs might play bite, lunge, swipe, and even bark at you or other canines during playtime, but it will mostly be done in a gentle, welcoming manner. Nevertheless, playful activities can take a turn for the worse if the dog begins to bite or play in a manner that harms people or other animals.
Discourage rough behavior
Sometimes people can influence dogs to behave roughly, particularly if they are using their hands, arms, or legs whilst playing with the dog. It is recommended that you act gently with your dog and use toys to play with them instead of your body. Some of this behavior is learned from other dogs who play roughly in general or from dogs that are larger than your dog. If you notice that this behavior might be influenced by another person or dog, then cease the activity between the two parties.
Let the dog cool off
Playing can often make dogs feel slightly stressed, particularly after a rough encounter. One of the best things to do is let the dog cool off with a brief time out of at least five to ten minutes. A firm command to sit or lie down in their bed will cause them to relieve some of the tension and regroup.
Spay or neuter your dog
For dogs, playing is primarily about exerting dominance over another dog, toy, or person. Spaying or neutering your dog can help reduce some of these impulses, make them more docile, and easier to manage. This might be something to consider if your dog has a history of showing a lot of aggression toward people or animals.
Stop incidents before they start
It can be problematic at times to distinguish play from a fierce encounter, but one of the best ways to stop it is to break them up before they start. Dogs will typically seem to be in a cheerful mood during play, and they might lean forward, growl, or even a bark a little bit. Know your own dog’s body language so you can spot signs of violence before it escalates. The situation can spiral out of control if the dogs start to expose their teeth, use a low pitched growl, or yelp when they are bitten. Pay close attention if a small and a large dog are playing together as the smaller dog could possibly get hurt even if they are playing.
Playing is a healthy part of socialization for dogs, and it is something to be stimulated. On the other hand, rough play can be unsafe for you and your dog because it can lead to bites or other injuries to yourself or another pet. If the situation is getting too intense, then it is best to remove the dog for a time-out session. Please consult with your veterinarian if there seems to be a more serious behavioral problem, or if your dog’s behavior changes abruptly.