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Big black dog versus Spoodle/cockapoo, friends for life playing as hard as they can VIDEO

..... dogs play hard
.

This is a little story about the big black friendly dog that was almost banned from a park because of its tendency to over-play.

As a dog walker .. I took Ella on as a project. She needed walks, and she was not inherently aggressive. Trust me, I have walked much 'harder' dog cases. In this video you will see Ella playing with my own dog Archie. If she was dangerous I would never have let her play with him. But you might like to read the story behind the video first...

The second harder dog play video can be found here.

This presents an interesting conundrum with dog walking. Many people buy a dog based on   thoughts of rescue, or that it is cute or for whatever reason, and forget after a few months that they own a dog. It sits as a relic out in the back yard. They forget or don't know that dogs are as social as human beings, perhaps more so. And that they need to be around their own kind. This was NOT the issue with Ella, her owners were very good walkers, however due to injury I was brought in, because of course she still needed her walks.

The issue I think is that she may have missed out on her socialisation play between 3 and 5 months of age. For some dogs, this won't make a lot of difference, however in Ella's case, it made a profound difference. The reason is, that she just feed off energy and does not easily read what another dogs wants or needs are.  Note, that any dog not walked regularly will revert to an unsocial state, which leads to a downward spiral of them not being taken out. This is the saddest outcome of owner's who are unable or don't want to walk their dogs regularly.

For Ella knowing which dogs are high energy and extremely submissive or high energy and aggressive was the main problem. Both of these kinds of dogs (extreme submissive or aggressive) should not be forced to play. I have seen her yield to other dogs in the park, but this rarely happens. All she wants is to have a good time, but sometimes this means over-riding what the other dog wants. She just sees a dogs energy in raw form, without the social codes that go with it. The amazing thing that people misread about Ella is that she is a high play dog, not an aggressive dog.

This is perfectly fine for a social dog that she meets, and so in lies the irony. While Ella lacked some social wisdom, the only problem seemed to be when she came in contact with other dogs who were not balanced. When she met an aggressive dog, that was sort of fine. It meant that she would approach it if she thought she could get a game out of it, and it was up to the other owners to decide if their dog was being stressed too much and whether they could play with Ella.

However when she would meet and extremely submissive and scared dog, that dog would just run, and she pursued it thinking it was a game. This is where the real problem would start in off lead parks. This is how Ella came to be walked on lead exclusively, except for special times when no one was around and videos could be taken.

THE DOG PLAY VIDEO

This is why I thought it very instructive to show how hard Ella plays, but how she was also capable of adjusting that play with Archie. You will see in slow motion that many of her mouthing movements are puppy play orientated. While she is over two years old, she still knows how to play socially! Yes in the video, slowed down for effect, you can see her making most of the moves, and also considerably outweighing Archie. But this meant that my dominant spoodle, could play as hard as he wanted, not having to restrain himself in play. This is exactly how he likes it, with a dog that we both know will not purposely cause him harm. Great exercise and a chance to test out each others skills.

Of course the video is cut together how I wanted it. So I thought I would end it on a happy note, showing that even Ella has limits.

In time Ella could well learn with regular walks, eventually more off lead ones, where acceptable levels or play lie, and when to stop if another dog chooses not to play back. This is the whole point of teaching dogs how to behave socially. And why off lead walks, daily, are so important!

The only reason Ella is NOT still  being videoed and playing locally is that her owners have moved cities for a well deserved tree change.

We wish Ella and her owners a well deserved break and happy time in the parks.

 

Article by Bruce Dwyer. If you wish to use any of this information please use a LINK reference to http://www.dogwalkersmelbourne.com.au

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