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How To Recognise If Play May Be Something To Worry About?


Guest Balfie
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Guest Balfie

We have two ex racers and have now have a lurcher puppy as well :heart

 

He is much more lively than our greys (although I dont know if its possible to get less lively than them lol)

 

We have only ever had adult greys before, he is our first puppy, so this is new to us.

 

When he is running up and down playing, our girlie sometimes runs after him, ears pricked right up, and she has her mouth open, she seems to be trying to mouth at the back of his neck.

Is this normal play, or is she too interested?

 

I dont know if I am worrying too much, I always intervene when I see this to calm things down, I worry that she is too excited and might grab hold of him thinking its playtime and he is a toy.

 

Is this normal greyhound play with a puppy, or am I right to be worried?

Is it her chase instinct kicking in when she see's him running around?

 

Please advise, I need to know if this could be a potantially dangerous situation that we need to be keeping an eye on, or if its normal play that we can let them get on with?

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Guest Wasserbuffel

I don't know much about puppies, but I do know that neck biting is pretty normal greyhound play. You might want to muzzle everyone in the yard if they're prone to being mouthy since they can so easily cause a gash that needs stitches without even trying to cause any harm.

 

Others with more experience will certainly chime in, but I don't think it's a bad idea on your part to keep things calm. especially if the pup is much smaller than the adults.

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You should see how my dogs play and have always played since Kili was quite a young puppy. It's moderately terrifying. Summit runs her down into the ground, growling and snarling, and snapping at her. She screams bloody murder like she's being killed and then jumps up and takes off all over again. If Summit doesn't want to chase her she jumps on him and bites at his face until she either pisses him off enough or interests him enough. I used to tell Summit to simmer down because I didn't want the puppy getting hurt by accident, but she freaking loves it and is just asking for it... so game on!

 

Sounds like your pair are engaging in appropriate play, but depending on how rough your adult is and how young your pup is (and whether pup likes it) it may be too soon for them to play. I let my guys play rough because they both enjoy it to no end. If Kili was afraid or not enjoying it I wouldn't let them run together. I also don't worry too much about scrapes and cuts since I can just bang a couple staples or sutures in those myself. It's a risk but my dogs are pretty rough and tumble so it's just a risk we take. Not everyone likes taking that risk though.

Kristie and the Apex Agility Greyhounds: Kili (ATChC AgMCh Lakilanni Where Eagles Fly RN IP MSCDC MTRDC ExS Bronze ExJ Bronze ) and Kenna (Lakilanni Kiss The Sky RN MADC MJDC AGDC AGEx AGExJ). Waiting at the Bridge: Retired racer Summit (Bbf Dropout) May 5, 2005-Jan 30, 2019

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Truman came home at 15-weeks, and Henry was almost four. We definitely went through some similar behaviors. Sometimes the puppy enjoyed it and even instigated it (still does). Other times, I can tell he's a little scared, so I give my older guy a time out. My advice is to pay attention to your puppy's body language, tail position, ear position, facial expressions, and sounds. If he's got his tail tucked and looks frightened, then I'd step in and give him a little space. For everything else, I let them sort it out amongst themselves.

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Guest maidmarcia

I take my dogs to the dog park every morning and lately a girl has been coming with her 6 month old whippet. My 6 month old cockapoo gets along fabulously with this whippet although the thing can outrun him any day!

 

HOWEVER...

My almost 7 year old greyhound plays very rough with this little whippet. I'm not sure why. I know that greys play differently with each other than with other dogs, so maybe he recognizes the houndie in her and wants to get her going, but I've noticed he'll try to bite her or bark loudly at her which is strange for him.

 

Sometimes I have to intervene and tell him to calm down because he just gets so worked up! I think he's just trying to play with her, but he's too big and doesn't know how to play gently.

To note: he doesn't play with my cockapoo this way :ghplaybow

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Brooke loves to play with small breeds and I am ok with this as long as the small breed is ok with it. Please note, small breed dogs belongs to a friend, not just any random dog. I used to really worry, but quickly realized that when the small breed got chased down and rolled over he loved it...he'd quickly be back up and running again so she could chase him. And yes, she would always try to bite his head. Of course, I supervise just in case, but it has never escalated and small breed still loves it when Brooke runs him down. :dunno They are both playing.

Jan with precious pups Emmy (Stormin J Flag) and Simon (Nitro Si). Missing my angels: Bailey Buffetbobleclair 11/11/98-17/12/09; Ben Task Rapid Wave 5/5/02-2/11/15; Brooke Glo's Destroyer 7/09/06-21/06/16 and Katie Crazykatiebug 12/11/06 -21/08/21. My blog about grief The reality is that you will grieve forever. You will not get over the loss of a loved one; you will learn to live with it. You will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered. You will be whole again but you will never be the same. Nor should you be the same, nor would you want to. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

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My female is like that with my newest boy - they each try to get the other to play but, at some point, my female gets "attuned" (for lack of a better word) and then she is out for blood. It happens in an instant. She just turns nasty with the youngest. For safety sake, muzzles on all.

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If all three are engaging in play, I would use muzzles. It's easy for two to gang up on one. I don't like vet bills so mine are muzzled when outside.

Judy, mom to Darth Vader, Bandita, And Angel

Forever in our hearts, DeeYoGee, Dani, Emmy, Andy, Heart, Saint, Valentino, Arrow, Gee, Bebe, Jilly Bean, Bullitt, Pistol, Junior, Sammie, Joey, Gizmo, Do Bee

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Guest Jengrey1

I have a yorkie mix. My grey runs up to her and acts like she is to bite her head or neck all the time. The first time I seen them do this it scared me really bad, I thought she was going to kill the yorkie. I realized that the little one was initiating being chased and everything was fine. However I am getting another grey in 9 days, so everyone is going to have to wear their muzzles for a bit. I'm not taking any chances.

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You should see how my dogs play and have always played since Kili was quite a young puppy. It's moderately terrifying. Summit runs her down into the ground, growling and snarling, and snapping at her. She screams bloody murder like she's being killed and then jumps up and takes off all over again. If Summit doesn't want to chase her she jumps on him and bites at his face until she either pisses him off enough or interests him enough. I used to tell Summit to simmer down because I didn't want the puppy getting hurt by accident, but she freaking loves it and is just asking for it... so game on!

 

Sounds like your pair are engaging in appropriate play, but depending on how rough your adult is and how young your pup is (and whether pup likes it) it may be too soon for them to play. I let my guys play rough because they both enjoy it to no end. If Kili was afraid or not enjoying it I wouldn't let them run together. I also don't worry too much about scrapes and cuts since I can just bang a couple staples or sutures in those myself. It's a risk but my dogs are pretty rough and tumble so it's just a risk we take. Not everyone likes taking that risk though.

 

 

Truman came home at 15-weeks, and Henry was almost four. We definitely went through some similar behaviors. Sometimes the puppy enjoyed it and even instigated it (still does). Other times, I can tell he's a little scared, so I give my older guy a time out. My advice is to pay attention to your puppy's body language, tail position, ear position, facial expressions, and sounds. If he's got his tail tucked and looks frightened, then I'd step in and give him a little space. For everything else, I let them sort it out amongst themselves.

All of this!

 

Our greyhound puppy came home at 11 weeks old. She and her older brother Whiskey would play *extremely* roughly. Scared the crap out of us. It's loud and boisterous, it's rough, they use all their teeth. But Whiskey has excellent bite inhibition and he never even drew blood on her. As soon as she was big enough, it was muzzles all around. Just in case, for the sake of safety. Lilly also would grab Whiskey's collar in her teeth and drag him all over, even through her muzzle. She ruined several of his collars until we got a muzzle with a stool guard to stop her from biting.

 

Trust me. You will really appreciate having an adult around to get rid of puppy energy. So just make sure they are both safe from being injured and let them go at it.

Chris - Mom to: Lilly, Felicity (DeLand), and Andi (Braska Pandora)

35764734494_93de5b5963_b.jpg

Angels: Libby (Everlast), Dorie (Dog Gone Holly), Dude (TNJ VooDoo), Copper (Kid's Copper), Cash (GSI Payncash), Toni (LPH Cry Baby), Whiskey (KT's Phys Ed), Atom

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I will say this, even with high-prey greys, greyhounds seem to have a remarkable ability to recognize their own kind, and most will be okay around iggies, even if they aren't good with other small dogs. I even saw one grey drawn to pictures of other greys projected on a wall from a power point presentation. It was pretty cute. Anyway, even if the puppy is a lurcher, it's still a puppy, and it's still part-sighthound and your greys should pick up on that. (They are often called 'breed snobs' after all, haha.) I think your ex-racers recognize your lurcher puppy for what he is, and it's fairly unlikely that they'll see him as prey. Still a good idea to be vigilant, though, especially as he gets bigger.

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Just wanted to add that you *want* your adults to be able to correct the puppy. This is how puppies learn what is OK and what isn't, and your adult dogs will teach her, though it does sound a bit over the top.

Chris - Mom to: Lilly, Felicity (DeLand), and Andi (Braska Pandora)

35764734494_93de5b5963_b.jpg

Angels: Libby (Everlast), Dorie (Dog Gone Holly), Dude (TNJ VooDoo), Copper (Kid's Copper), Cash (GSI Payncash), Toni (LPH Cry Baby), Whiskey (KT's Phys Ed), Atom

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Guest Balfie

Thanks for all the replies, I feel reassured.

Our pup is small, but not tiny, and sometimes it my girlie that needs rescuing from him!

 

He barks and yaps at her, and nips at her to get her to play, then when she does I think he gets a bit scared and he runs and hides. Then when she stops he's straight back out trying to get her to play again!

My older boy keeps him in line, he's told him off a few times, but our girl is a lot more tolerant and lets him get away with murder. Although she has told him off a couple of times when he pushes it too far.

I think you are right, she recognises that he's a puppy, and I think he knows shes a mummy type! They lick each others faces, and he gets into bed with her :heart

 

I think they are going to have great fun together, she's always liked to play (in that weird greyhound way) but ourolder boy doesnt like to play at all.

 

They actually do the play thing inside the house, we have quite a long front room that the puppy charges up and down in, our girlie also does her best but its not quite big enough for an adult grey to get up a full head of steam lol

 

Thanks again for all your replies, I feel so much happier about this and will relax a bit when they start playing again.

 

My female is like that with my newest boy - they each try to get the other to play but, at some point, my female gets "attuned" (for lack of a better word) and then she is out for blood. It happens in an instant. She just turns nasty with the youngest. For safety sake, muzzles on all.

 

Out of interest and for safetys sake, what are the signs you see (if any) that your girl has gone beyond play mode and switched into 'the zone'?

Lottie has her ears up, head up, everything up! Very interested and totally focused on him, she runs after the puppy and has her mouth on the back of his neck.

She just reminds me of when they go 'into the zone', and thats what worried me. Although she hasnt up til now actually grabbed him, I do think she still recoginses that he is a puppy and playing, and as time goes on hopefully that will become more and more ingrained in her.

 

She's actually not that high prey drive, not as bad as our other girl used to be. She is very easily distracted from cats etc when out walking and doesnt pay too much attention to them.

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Guest Balfie

Well they just had a full on play session, uncomfortable viewing lol and definately something I will have to get used to!

Very rough and tumble, but he seemed quite happy and when they stopped he came back for more. :ghplaybow

Edited by Balfie
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Well they just had a full on play session, uncomfortable viewing lol and definately something I will have to get used to!

Very rough and tumble, but he seemed quite happy and when they stopped he came back for more. :ghplaybow

 

I'll try to get a video of my guys playing today and post it here. You'll see. The noises are horrifying. I'm pretty sure my next door neighbour thinks my dogs are killing each other sometimes.

Kristie and the Apex Agility Greyhounds: Kili (ATChC AgMCh Lakilanni Where Eagles Fly RN IP MSCDC MTRDC ExS Bronze ExJ Bronze ) and Kenna (Lakilanni Kiss The Sky RN MADC MJDC AGDC AGEx AGExJ). Waiting at the Bridge: Retired racer Summit (Bbf Dropout) May 5, 2005-Jan 30, 2019

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Guest Giselle

Appropriate play: It's not a question of how rough they can get. It gets rough... and noisy.. and messy. That's normal. It's a question of, Will the dogs stop themselves, and, once Dog 1 stops playing, will Dog 2 stop harassing him? It's all about impulse control. If both dogs periodically stop or disengage (by looking away, by moving away, by rolling over, by sniffing something else, etc.), the other dog should also stop playing. If the other dog keeps pestering Dog 1 and keeps trying to push or mouth or whack or nip him, then you should step in and stop Dog 2. Incessant attention-seeking behavior is inappropriate play, inappropriate communication, and it's teaching bad behaviors. Puppies and dogs need to learn the dog equivalent of "No", and, if they're having trouble understanding it, then you need to step in and teach them. Simply remove the offending dog and periodically practice Down/Stay before releasing him to play again. Also make sure that your dogs' recalls are all very strong so that you can call them off problematic situations.

 

This is an example of appropriate play:

http://drsophiayin.com/resources/video_full/jonesy-ryder-appropriate-dog-play

Notice how, when the small dog disengages by rolling over or laying still, the larger dog will respond by stopping and looking away. They're giving each other signals to start and stop, and they're responding to each other appropriately.

 

Here's a blog with videos that explains this more in-depth:

http://drsophiayin.com/blog/entry/bonnie-and-porter

Edited by Giselle
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My male Tip has a large borzi friend. Their play is pretty rough with a lot of bared teeth - but they always know when to turn it off and then will calmly walk around together. Here are a few pics. And these are the ones that look less violent.

 

 

http://www.flickr.com/photos/billfphotos/7819927246/

 

 

http://www.flickr.com/photos/billfphotos/9729288648/

 

 

http://www.flickr.com/photos/billfphotos/8696641233/

 

 

http://www.flickr.com/photos/billfphotos/8627271107/

 

 

http://www.flickr.com/photos/billfphotos/8524075569/

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Guest VelvetOkie

the most important thing is to muzzle all. my smaller girl slams into my boy, he has run her over. all in play of course, fast speed equals = hits. and both have had skin tears from the nipping while running, one that required stitches. the muzzles lets them play in their wild crazy run each other over way but keeps all teeth safely away.

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