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Is my dog playing too roughly with other dogs?

Questioning if your dog’s play is too rough is common. For many owners, watching their dog play with another can spark thoughts they may need to intervene.

In this article we will explore one of the most common queries I get from clients, ‘is my dog too rough when they play with other dogs? We will look at how to identify a dog that is being too rough with another. I will also share my top tips for play with your dog.

How do I know if my dog is being too rough?

To identify behaviour that could be considered ‘too rough’ by another (or their owner) we must carefully watch their body language for signs of aggression, these can present as growling for long periods, fixating on the other dog and standing rigidly.

How to prevent your dog from playing too roughly?

Choose the right play partner

Your dog will adjust their play to their playmate

So, picking a suitable dog for yours to play with is very important.

For example, if you have a young pup, dont pair them up with another young puppy. No matter how cute you think those Instagram videos will be, this match will cause one (or both) dogs to become too excited and play too roughly.

Instead, match the young puppy up with an older, calmer dog. This way, they can play with each other but a well balanced older dog will also teach yours boundaries.

Fall back on your basic obedience.

Ensure you have dog training commands you can rely on when your dog begins playing too roughly

Some of my go to commands with my dog are ‘sit,’ ‘drop’ and ‘place.’ If your dog has not yet mastered a couple of training commands, I suggest you go back to the basics in dog training before introducing your dog to a playmate.

Why does basic obedience help with rough play in dogs?

Reliable commands such as ‘sit’ and ‘drop’ will be invaluable when your dog is beginning to play too rough. These commands will allow you to gain back control of this situation and give your dog the chance to calm down. After a few minutes of calm, you can let them go back to play. Repeat if needed.

Build value in yourself

When your dog sees you as more valuable than other dogs, it will inevitability listen to you even in a high distraction environment. A dog that does not value you will not listen. In addition to providing high value treats such as Prime 100.  have a number of tips for building value in yourself in my training tools blog series.

Let your dog meet other dogs (the right ones)

When we think our dog plays too rough with others, our natural instinct is to restrict their exposure to other dogs but this can create hyper frustration.

How will letting my dog meet others stop them playing too roughly?

A dog that can not ‘get’ to other dogs will not be able to control their reactions when they finally do. So, by letting our animal meet other suitable playmates we are preventing the build up of frustration they may otherwise feel.

This article explores just some of the reasons why your dog may play too roughly with others. For more help identifying and fixing this behaviour, book an in-home training session, tailored to the needs of your dog.

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