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My dog plays rough - why and what to do

The roughness and excessive severity that some dogs display when playing is a very frequent concern among guardians, especially among those who have children at home or who live with dogs that are very large or strong.

Jumping, barking, growling, or biting hands and feet are behaviors that can appear during play, but, at times, they can also be signs that the animal is uncomfortable in the situation in which it finds itself.

In this case, the dog must be respected and the interaction stopped to prevent any possible aggressive reaction on his part. In this DOG57 article, we help you find out why your dog is playing so hard and what you can do to prevent it.









Puppy playing very hard, is this normal?

Once they open their eyes and start walking, the cubs spend most of the day playing with their siblings and their mother. But that's not all, because thanks to these first games, puppies also learn to regulate the intensity of their bite. So as not to hurt his brothers while playing with each other.

For puppies to be able to deal with this and other learning and successfully adapt to their future human families, it is very important, whenever possible, that they are not separated from their mother before they are two months old. 

It is possible that once the puppy comes home, he will start to play with us very rough, growl, and bite us hard, but don't panic, this does not necessarily mean that our fur is aggressive, not much less.

We must bear in mind that the natural way puppies play is to chase, "catch" and "fight" among themselves. Thus, they bite and the excitement of the moment causes many to start barking or growing, so this is normal.

The problem is that although a puppy can control the intensity of its bite when playing with other dogs, we are human, which means we have a greater sensitivity to touch, and therefore feel more pain when they bite us.

That is why, as teachers, we must teach him what is the most appropriate way to play with us. Later in this article, we'll explain how to do this. Read on! 

Why does my adult dog play so violently?

After investigating the importance of keeping a puppy with her mother and siblings during the first months of her life so that it learns to communicate and control the intensity of its bite, we can see how this directly affects the behavior of an adult. Therefore, several reasons can explain why an adult dog plays an aggressive or cruel role.

If our fur is separated from its mother too early, if it does not communicate properly with other dogs during the puppy stage, or, simply, if we do not teach it from an early age to control the force with which it bites, it is possible later on we will find ourselves with an adult dog playing roughly. 

Is my adult dog playing rough or aggressive?

To modify this behavior, the first thing we must do is learn to distinguish when a dog is playing (even if it is doing it roughly) and when it is trying to send us signals of discomfort.

To do this, it is necessary, first of all, to carefully analyze the context in which we find ourselves, monitor the facial and body expressions of the dog, and assess the relationship that the animal has with the people with whom it interacts.

If the environment is hostile, or the dog is nervous, anxious, or afraid, does not trust the people around him, or feels threatened in some way, it is highly unlikely that he intended to play. In this case, we would be able to observe the behaviors that often appear during the game (tail wagging, jumping on people, showing teeth, snarling, adopting a 'reverence' pose with the butt raised, etc.), but this can now emit a completely different intent.

These behaviors are known as calm signals and threat signals (depending on their severity) and are nothing more than attempts by the dog to tell us that he is not feeling well and that we are pleased to walk away. Of course, but, if we repeatedly respect or punish them, the dog will likely end up stinging or biting us.






What do I do if my dog ​​is playing rough?

As we said before, the natural way dogs play consists, among other things, of chasing and gnawing each other, so it is not that they also try to play with us in the same way.

To prevent them from hurting us or others, it is advisable to start practicing what we call bite prevention from the moment the dog comes home as a puppy, although there is no problem if we adopt or if we already have an adult dog at home, they are also quite capable of learning to control the intensity of Play!

Teaching a dog to prevent a bite is to teach him not to use his mouth when he plays with us. To do this, the first thing we must do is to avoid playing directly with our hands, as it is very tempting for a puppy to try to "catch" them.

When your dog is jumping on you or biting you hard, it may be a good idea to make a short, loud "groan" to let the dog know that they have hurt you, then pause the toy for a few seconds and always resume with an appropriate toy or teether.

 This way, we teach the dog that if he behaves too abruptly, the activity ends.
Of course, we should never physically or punish, intimidate yell at a dog for the way they play, as this will only lead to frustration of the animal and a loss of trust in us, which can seriously damage the relationship.

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