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Abby's favourite way to play with other dogs is to jump around trying to bite at their necks. Thats basically how it looks anyway, sometimes they hold on to extra skin. We took her to off-leash dog parks when she was a little younger around 6 months of age and a lot of the dogs seemed to play that way and she started making it a habit. I'm not totally comfortable with this playing for a couple of reasons.

We've moved and occasionally go to a new off-leash park where people there get upset when dogs (particularly my doberman) play rough with their dog.

I hear a lot of people say its normal play behaviour and they're not hurting each other and yada yada yada but i know lots of people are not comfortable with it and many get visibly upset. How do I get her to play a little more gently?

It doesn't matter how many times we take her away from the dog she's playing with, she's just not clueing in to what we want. She has fun playing this way and often its difficult to even get her attention to come.

Any advice??
 

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for now, stop the dog playing untill you have a reaaly good come.... thats number one work that as much as possible.

find other dog owners you know or make friends with some and use there dogs for training....

if someone doesnt feel comfortable, just call your dobe and move on, some people just see a dobe as a bad thing, they are just uneducated. but i would seriously get the dobe more obedient for situations like these.
 

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I agree to really work on her recall, carry the tastiest little treats you can in your pocket (maybe in a plastic bag so the other dogs won't get wind of them) so she is really being rewarded for returning to you. Basically you have to find a way to make returning to you more positive to her than continuing rough play. And if you recall her and don't let her return to play at all too many times, she's going to take note of that.... "go back to dad, then I don't get to play anymore, maybe I"ll just pretend to not hear him and keep playing" ~~~Well you get my drift.

A good thing would be to pair up with a friend (that's okay with the way she plays) that has a dog that gets along with Abby, and practice as much as possible. With several friends and several different dogs. Before returning to the dog park with other people there that are upset by her play. Ideally if she is corrected by another dog, that would really help the training on both ends. But clearly that's not something to rely on finding.
 

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My Sasha plays with Dar and my little dogs in a similar way--she wants to always be sticking their face or their neck in her mouth! She's not aggressive toward them, but it's just that constant 'chew-slobber' thing going on. I dont take her to play with dogs she doesnt know because she cant leave their heads alone! We had to get rid of out cat right after we got Sasha, because the poor thing couldnt make a move without Sasha putting its head in her mouth! The cat went to my daughter who has another cat and no dogs, so it was a happy ending.
 

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I see that happens alot at the dog park we visit. Nikita does the same thing to certain dogs she wants to play with. Alot of other people do not like the way that looks like with a Doberman. Its fine when the lab does it, but not my Doberman. I have the command "Enough" I use to stop her current activities, which works good. She responds to that. If she continues, I will give her a time out, in which she must stop all activities and do a sit/stay or down/stay and stay ther until I release her, while the other dogs continue to play. Usually in a minute or so. She catches on pretty quick of what I think is appropriate behavior. After a few of these, you will see them paying closer attention to you and will respond better to your requests. I do not see many owners that give their dogs any kind of time out's or correction of that kind. My girl is no way near the perfect angel at the park, but I can control her behavior better because she is more aware of my presence.

I think its important that they learn to 1) pay attention to you when ever you requests this attention & 2) To learn what you approve or disapprove. This works great for us....
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the replies!

We do not really know anyone with a dog to practice with. Dogs in the neighbourhood are too small. We'll definitley have to work on recall because sometimes when she's playing with other dogs I'll call her, she'll look at me as if saying "okay, yep, when i'm done here I'll try and get over to see you" and then keep on playing.

Is this normal Dobe behaviour to try and wrestle with every single dog she meets??

Its fine when the lab does it, but not my Doberman
I know exactly what you mean. A couple weeks ago two golden retrievers were playing this way, then one left so Abby decided to jump in and try and play and the owner started screaming who's dog is this?? and really just freaking out. I had to use some serious will power not to answer her by throwing abby's poop bag in her face! :devil_1:
 

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dont get mad at people who dont understand a dobe, try to be civil and explain your dog to them, they still may not feel comfortable, but it is there right....just dont sweat it much, we know there great dogs and thats all thats important
 

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Duchess likes to like I said Bark bark bark, bite coco's neck or charge at him and knock him on the ground and then bark bark bark lol poor coco...I think he doesnt know whats going on when she does that! She only does it to dogs she knows very well...like the golden retriever she grew up with...
 

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A great way on working on a recall without doing the recall is to play hide-n-seek. Go hide somewhere in the house and call Abbey and let her find you. Make a big deal when she finds you. Repeat all over the house. Then try it outside, in a secure location, ofcourse. They really like this game. We did this alot with Nikita and when we were doing out-of-sight recalls in class, she did it perfectly in class. Your teaching her to find you and it becomes a game they like to play, so when you do the actual recall, they want to find you....Give it a try....Nikita gets so jiggly when she finds me. It helped us out alot.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the advice Kratty. We actually play hide and seek quite often in the house. Will definitely have to try it outside where there are more distractions!
 

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Here's something else I learned about doing a successful "Recall". The Recall is made up of 3 different parts. Break the distraction & get the attention, the coming to you, as fast as possible, and the sitting directly in front of you. Thats what we do for a successful Recall.

We started in the reverse order in our classes. We used the "Here" command to be able to get Nikita to sit directly infront of us. The hand motion is similar to those people bringing in an airplane with those nifty flashlights. Whatever side she was on, we directed her to our front and then used our sit hand signal to get her to sit. So "Here" meant to her, sit directly infront of me. Its important to do that, because you want poochy to stop and sit for you instead of running pass or around you.

The "Come" command, needs to mean that the party is with you. If something else is more interesting than your poochy will go that way instead. So when doing the come command it has to be in a very festive, fun, and energetic. It helps to start off small. With someone holding poochy on a leash. Revev your poochy up and run a short distance away. Look at Poochy and yell "<Insert Dog's name here, Come". With Poochy all reveved up, she will be wanting to go to you. Have the other person drop the leash and provide encouragement when poochy is coming to you. Encouragement words can be "good girl/boy, very nice, thats it, etc" all is the happy voice, until she is almost to you. You want poochy to come as fast as possible, that way poochy will not be distracted by anything in her path. Once poochy is near you, do the "Here" command to get poochy to sit in front of you. Very highly energetic praise is mandatory at this time, when they do this. It re-enforces thats this is a good thing and ofcourse, the party is with me. Don't over use the "Come" command or the Command you choose for the recall, Over use makes it become stagnate and we only use it for emergencys. Like she is in the middle of the road with a car coming. So when poochy hears the Recall command she thinks I need to come to you as fast as possible.

Now for the hardest part, breaking the distractions. Once poochy is distracted, the recall won't work if poochy won't pay attention to you. My girl has a pretty mean focus, as you can see by her fetch videos. So calling her name was not enough. We discovered this in class, when practicing when the instructor was holding a cookie for her and we did the recall and I could not get her attention at all. During that cookie test, I inadvertently said, "Nikita, Thats Enough" and she looked at me. I used that at the dog park when she would get out of hand and that would stop her. So, after that, I used the "Enough" command to break distractions and regain the focus. You might have to find out what works for you. Once you have poochys attention, continue with the exercise as described above.

Once these 3 parts are combined successfully, you will start to have a strong Recall. When we Practice Recalls, we do it maybe a few times and thats it for the day. Don't want to abuse it, since we use it for Emergencies. When we want Nikita to come to us, say when I have my lazy butt in a chair, I use another command such as "Over here", which means come to me too.

This may not worked for everyone, but it should give a good outline how to set up poochy for achieving a good recall......Hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks again Kratty! :cool2:

Its definitely the distractions part of the equation thats the most difficult. Another dog, a squirrel, attention from a stranger (whether good or bad) all seem to require Abby's full attention so just calling her name doesn't get her to pay attention to me.
 
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