All living creatures can become overexcited and get caught up in the moment. Dogs are definitely no exception! Although it can be fun to watch or even engage in excitable play, too often your dog can misread your signals and think it’s acceptable to play rough. It’s critical that you train your dog to stop an unwanted behavior once it begins, and especially one where you, your dog, or your family members can get hurt.
Puppies are especially prone to get wound up, and because they are still learning, they often don’t realize that using claws or teeth while playing is unacceptable in their new homes and environments. However, some adult dogs, including those who were never taught proper boundaries to begin with, can also play too rough. It’s up to the owner to set the ground rules so a dog can be a happy, healthy, and safe member of a family.
The purpose of this type of training is to provide your dog with proper socialization. This practice is necessary for puppies or any dog who never received the right kind of training before. Don’t misunderstand this behavior as being sweet or cute, as you won’t have the same opinion on it when your puppy grows up and plays much more roughly as an adult dog.
Rough play often comes from overexcitement, or a dog learning to play rough from other dogs. In some instances, dogs can play rough because their owners have taught them that behavior or it may be a dog exerting dominance over another dog or person. This latter group can be dangerous, as dogs trying to dominate others are not playing at all. These dogs may growl or even bite and cause serious injury. Whatever your dog’s circumstance, she can be trained to stop rough play by following any of these effective training methods.
Make sure you are in a calm mindset and remain patient and consistent throughout the training session. It may be helpful to have a toy or tennis ball on hand as tools to use for training or even a head halter. Careful observation is needed as well to determine the point at which your dog crosses from happy and energetic to overly excitable.
Remember that if you find yourself becoming angry or frustrated, stop training and take a break. Any negative emotion or action used toward your dog during this type of training is counterintuitive and will only cause more problems. Keep a positive attitude, and soon your dog will be able to play gently.
hi! My family has never had a dog before we adopted cruiser from the SPCA a couple years ago. We never did any formal training other than basic recall. when cruiser is around dogs his size or smaller dogs, he tends to get over excited and kind of jumps up on them or plays too rough. He never bites aggressively or humps (sorry i didn’t know how to say that better) but I can’t get him to play easier with dogs his size or smaller. With larger dogs he plays completely fine. I assume it’s a dominance thing? I’m not sure where or how to start training on this.
Hello, I would start with taking Cruiser to obedience classes. It is an excellent way to socialize dogs in a good environment and at the same time, you have the benefit of a trainer right there. Obedience training also cements the bond between you. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-pitbull-puppy-basic-commands - these are basic ways to start off. You can try the Mind Your Manners Method here: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-hyper-dog-to-calm-down. Choose a command word when you want Cruiser to change a behavior and be sure to consistently enforce it. Listening is key to stopping a behavior when you ask: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you. Teach Cruiser "No" for example when he plays rough https://wagwalking.com/training/understand-no. Then enforce it with the listening skills. If you are not able to get the behavior under control you can seek an in-home trainer. All the best!
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