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Duchess "Playing" with coco?????

1590 Views 22 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  Kratty
okay guys...just wondering if you guys can either explain or help duchess's behavior...we have never had two dogs at one time...and so we have never dealt with this kind of stuff...
to be nice and simple Duchess just seems SOOOOO mean to coco at times when we are outside in the yard playing. sometimes she will just start running after coco...first playing chase around the shed...but then when she finally catches up to coco she will jump and tackle him and knock him over pretty hard then BARK BARK BARK at him lunge...she has never put a mark on him or even a scratch...but this kind of thing if you can even call it playing...scares coco...and he tries to snap and lunge back on occassion...
usually its when she is either chasing coco..or when its time to go in the house. She is just real real rough and mean when it comes to playing with him...
I don't know whether she is trying to get him to toughen up and she is tired of always chasing him and wants coco to chase she barks and barks at him and does a play bow...but she tackles him so hard!
She loves other dogs at the dog park...and does this bark bark bark and run with some dogs she knows pretty well at the dog park...but she doesnt do it at all like she does to coco!
It is hard to explain...and maybe tomorrow I will get a video clip of this behavior cause to me it doesnt seem right at all...but since coco is so timid and fearful as it is...I dont know whether its just cause he gets overwhelmed and surrenders to her...and meanwhile she might be just trying to either feed off of his fear or make him tougher or something...but I may have to start taking them out seperately. They can play side by side fine...its just if something triggers duchess's focus to coco...she will want to chase him down and knock him right on his butt and do the bark bark bark run away lunge stuff...
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It sounds to me like Duchess is playing, but her idea of play could be different than Coco's. Dobermans like to be in charge. When Mavis was around, even though at 80 lbs she was my smallest dog, she was Top Dog. She made sure the other dogs knew it by playing rough with them. It never was a real fight, but she got her point across just the sane.

At the Dog Park my guys play alot rougher with each other than they do with the other dogs. When they play with each other, you'd think they are trying to kill each other, but they are just playing. If your dogs get along fine, but play rough, I wouldn't worry about it. Duchess just has to make sure Coco doesn't forget who the Top Dog is.

It's a Doberman Thing.
thanks for the response so soon :) I will still try to get a clip of this...cause if you know coco's background how he was abused and so he gets irritable and overwhelmed easily with stranger dogs...and when duchess does this to him...he tries standing up for himself...but I dont know whether he should be or now...cause like I said it doesnt seem like duchess means to do any harm to him...she just gets consumed in this world like "CHARGE AT COCO AND MAKE HIM FALL!!! THEN BARK AT HIM TILL HE CANT TAKE IT NO MORE!" world
Da'Kari plays rough too, Nash has learned to keep up with her but I had to watch them very closely when he was smaller. I kept thinking "just you wait girl" because Nash is going to be bigger than her in time, he is not quite five months old and is already getting close to her size now at 51 pds and she is 70 lbs.

It sounds like rough play which dogs will do, the only difference is that Coco has a background but Duchess doesn't understand that, I don't know if it is something that needs to be addressed or if it is best to leave them to work it out, I am sure others with more experience will be able to help you.
I agree. Sounds like she's just playing rough but Coco isn't having it lol. Or he might feel timid from her, when really she just wants to play. I noticed when Bruno gets with his sister, he's rough. They play and jump on each other and just run and run forever lol. But when he's with other dogs. He's more gentle and not so rough. Actually, he only ever plays with little dogs like jack russle or yorkie poo haha. So he gets in a down position and plays with them like that. But I just think it's Duchess showing him who's boss ;) I'd still keep an eye on it tho if it worries you or makes you uneasy. We never know what our dogs will do. :)
yeah i dont mind the bark bark bark...I just dont like when she runs RIGHT at him and then runs right into him sometimes even on top of him...and he falls badly to the ground.:(
Many Dobermans do enjoy very rough play.

However, I don't think it has anything to do with who is "top dog". Do some reading on "alpha" dogs and you'll learn that they don't have to be bullies to maintain their position. "Alpha" dogs just are "alpha" dogs, and it's well recognized by most dogs they come across. The ones that scramble around and act rough and tough and act like bullies are more apt to be insecure about their positions, and are not "on top" at all. The "top dog" will rarely lower themself to squabble for a position. They already know what it is. People are so consumed apparently for this need to believe that one of their dogs is "alpha" over the other(s). Very few dogs are truly "alpha dogs" - you're the leader in the house. Not one of them.

I think we try to make too much out of simple dog play. If the dog is playing too rough and frightening the other dog, stop the play - it's enough. If they're playing nicely and both are agreeable to what is going on, let it go on. It's that simple.
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Sabot plays really really rough with Nina....she just takes it, she is the boss tho...but he is very rough. He grabs her by her GSD neck and pulls as hard as he can....she just shows him her teeth...he goes away and comes right back for more trying to put his paw over her head. Sometimes she gets enough and lets him have it, because he doesn't know when to stop...Big ol Puppy!!
You might be over thinking the whole thing. It sounds like nothing but play to me, but if you do not like how they play stop it. It has been my experience that when a dog gets tired of being rolled over and jumped on they will put a stop to it themselves. This could be a sign that Duchess needs more exercise thou.
okay so I got some definately need sound too see how annoying the bark is! lol and your dogs will probably wonder what is going on!
in this one..below they are always playing chase...and then once coco gives up and she tackles him...he usually gets knocked down on his butt...and duchess barks at him ...then he starts trying to snap back while trying to run in the house.

sometimes she will just run and BODY SLAM him then he is on the ground and she barks at the clip above she actually wasnt as rough as she usually is...but you can still see how coco doesnt like it
Yeah i probably am overthinking it...but like I said we have never had two dogs at once...When she was a puppy she played rough and she was always very vocal so maybe she just doesnt understand coco...
She gets LOTS of excersise...we are always taking them outside to play and not lately b.c im scared of ticks lol but I use to take her to the dog park for 3 hours about 5 times a week...
I have noticed when Nikki plays with other dogs, if they let her play rough, she will play rough with them. Only when they tell her they had enough, she will stop it....I do not like to let it get like that, so just stopping that play is enough for us. In my current training class, we are practicing calling dogs out of a play session, so we have to have them start a play seesion first. One of the other dogs will let Nikki play rough and doesn't say "no", so she takes it as okay.
yeah with dogs duchess doesnt know she is fine...she is actually very very calm around them...when she gets to know them or she clicks with them she will sprint with them...she likes when the other dog is chasing her....coco never chases duchess...its always duchess chasing coco...she even acts more polite and manageable to coco when my friends dog is over so it is the three of them...
I think it more play and her barking is trying to get coco to play with her. Asher and Harmony love to charge. Harmony is the best at stalking out her victims first slowly. We talked before about Doodle's past and how alike Coco and him were. They do the same with Doodle. They love to gang up on him and he enjoys to be the chased one. But they will corner him and slam him against the fence sometimes and that is it. If he yelps, playtime is over and other dogs are called off. They get too rough with sometimes and will than play with eachother and he will come by me. In his own time Doodle lets them know how much he will take and little by little it gets to be more. I don't know if that helped you at all.
no actually it did help me. I just feel bad for coco sometimes cause I always have this feeling that it is duchess just trying to get him to toughen up and play...but coco doesnt take it well at all...and it is usually happens most when we say "time to go inside" one time Duchess came in with a dime sized chunk out of her cheek from coco getting mad at her...its all healed perfectly now...which shocked even had a little small flap that hung down...and we were thinking it may need a stitch...but we just used a small round bandaid on it till it started to fuse back.
See the thing is...they pretty much go outside to play...they know outside in the backyard is playtime! I should do training out there with them and just relax out there with them so that they realize that the backyard doesnt have to be so precious.
By reading what you have typed and watching the videos, it seems that they are just playing. However, as MaryAndDobes said I would stop the play whenever Duchess gets too rough and Coco seems to not like it. It also seems that Duchess does not want to stop playing when Coco has had enough and keeps trying to agitate him to play. I would just stop her, tell her NO and put her on a sit stay everytime she does that.

Good Luck
Yuck. I wouldn't let it get so far that Coco that that mad at her. I usually stay outside and relax with mine. That way I can keep an eye on them if they are playing. If they are just relaxing in the sun, I will go inside and do this or that and let them relax, but they usually want to go in with me. We spend a lot of time in the backyard to play and get out when it is nice. I hate being indoors. So they will run rampant for about 5 min. and then lounge for sometime under the trees and next to me. I can also watch the play and ref. them when it does get to rough and call them off. I "practice" call back during plays. So when he does have enough, they will come back and not irritate him even more or hurt him. They come to me and sit. For the most part though now, they know how much he can tolerate. He is the one that will extend the limits in his own time.
yeah it was gross...and we do break it up it just takes a lot for duchess to listen when she realizes she wants to play like this with coco...well its summer now and I can be outside more and just relax so I will have to do that and bring treats out with me...the only thing is once duchess knows I have treats...she sits right in front of me and just watches
I agree with MaryandDobes 100%. Sometimes I have to intervene in play time, like Kratty was saying.

Some Dobermans can play very rough and sometimes this works out well with other dogs, other times if the Dobe doesn't take no for answer and insists on playing rough it can turn into bully type behavior, which I won't let happen. There is no need for that.

I have noticed my male will play really hard with other dogs, female labs especially, but when it comes to female Dobermans he respects them like nothing else. lol. He doesn't play as rough with them and pretty much lets them walk all over him, Mr. High Energy crazy man turns into Mr. Calm and Cool with good manners. That is b/c the many female Dobes in his life taught him that lesson =) His play differs with each dog he interacts with.
thanks guys...I went outside today to draw...and sat in a chair while the dogs either relaxed or played...I was just out there relaxing and they did great! Coco even started to chase Duchess around! She loved that! Then they just lounge in the grass...and then I started to play more with them and they did fine still! so Im going to try to bring them out for longer periods of just hangout outside.
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