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Old 10th February 2004, 02:00 PM
Cami's Avatar
Boxer Insane
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Westerville Ohio
Posts: 5,730
Boxers unusual play....upsetting other dogs

Cami is just over 10 months old. She lovessss all dogs but our problem is her normal boxer play which other dogs seem to take offense to.
She was socialized with many dogs, including family members, neighbors, and friends dogs every since we brought her home at 9 weeks old. She has been in 2 different classes, puppy kindergarden and a slightly more advanced puppy class.
The dogs all think that she is trying to attack them or is being aggressive with them. They all fall over on their backs and she of course sees this as a sign of submission and immediately preceeds to jump on top of them and trampling all over them with her big feet. All the while she is just play growling and kidney beaning and wiggling the nubby!
She has not shown any forms of aggression to any dog. She only wants to play. So my question is....and I will use an actual situation as an example;
My in-laws have a very big/solid unneutered male Boston terrier. He has been known to bite humans on occasion, but for the most part is a good dog. When Cami was smaller (now 52lbs), they would chase each other in the yard and have a great time. Now, this boston seems a little intimidated by Cami. He just tries desperately to get away from her and we end up seperating them A) because we don't want Cami to hurt him and B) we don't want him to turn on her and hurt her.
Are we making a mistake by seperating them? Should we just allow them to learn how to play with each other? I feel bad taking her over to the inlaws, I feel like they have to make a consession for Cami by putting their dog alone in a room until we leave. Also, they are our Cami-sitters, when we have to leave her for a day. She ends up staying in a kitchen, with an eye on her at all times but no doggie to play with that she knows is in another room.
Can an overly exhuberant Cami turn a "normal" dog into a biter? Or, is this all just normal dog behaviour and they should be left alone to figure it out? With supervision of course.
She has been bitten by two different dogs....one Boston, male....my inlaws during play when she was younger, nothing serious and by a female Corgi who was out for blood, again, we jumped in immediately and nothing serious. Actually on both occasions when she was bitten, she didn't even seem to notice and wanted to continue on playing.

Any advice? I want my dog to be able to make and keep "friends".

Susi & Cami
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Old 10th February 2004, 04:59 PM
Krikkit's Avatar
Boxer Insane
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Australia
Posts: 4,011
Cami just needs to learn a little self control, and not so 'in your face' with play.

You might like to read 'Just Wants To Say Hi'


'Teaching Self Control'

Also, it's a good idea to reward her for good social interaction, here are some things you can look for to reward:

Calming Signals - The Art of Survival

Good luck


Old 10th February 2004, 05:48 PM
harley03's Avatar
Completely Boxer Crazy
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Paradise, Newfoundland
Posts: 727
Great links.
I read them all and can definatley relate some of Harley's behaviors to those in the articles.

Thank you Sharron

Old 10th February 2004, 07:17 PM
3dognight's Avatar
Super Boxer
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: MA
Posts: 350
I can relate to your situation. We adopted our boxer through a private surrender and not thinking I just went and picked him up and assumed my 4 year old lab would just love this new little bundle of joy (who was 1 1/2 yrs old) as much as we did. Well I really didn't expect what came next. Needless to say I didn't do my homework about introducing adult dogs...I let them sniff through the fence and saw tails wagging...so I said ok, lets see them play. Well...not a great idea!! It took 2 weeks of gradual sniffing (place one in the crate and let the other sniff etc) and keeping them totally separate. Finally after 2 weeks I couldn't take any more and I just threw them both in the back yard and let them determine who was the boss. (The lab was the boss).

Jake (the lab) never really had a "playmate" before, he had "companions", but never like a boxer. After quite some time he has "learned" the boxer play (and is quite funny to watch) and lets Cooper initiate it any time and he'll play along for a bit....but he tires first. Initially when they played they both went right for the other's neck and Cooper had scabs from Jake biting too hard, but that roughness has gone away (they still bite necks, but no more marks!)

Jake (at 100 lbs) outweighs Cooper by 55 lbs, but they have become best friends and terrific playmates, dispite the size difference. I now have to separate them because they won't stop playing and after displacing my furniture every evening they get put into their "respective corners" when I can't take any more rough housing. Some nights they end up tiring themselves out and just crash together on the floor.

Old 11th February 2004, 12:28 AM
entelekia's Avatar
Super Boxer
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: USA, California
Posts: 494
how to read "owners"

Ok, I read all three links and they are all very, very good...

However, I have some questions. I always have a problem or two at dog parks when I'm with Laika, because of her being "loud" and "sounding vicious". She's never bitten another dog, but she does sound like she's out for blood (which I know it to be just play) I am always near and always pull her away when she behaves that way, because the owners of the other dogs are, understandably, alarmed (sometimes TOO alarmed, and sometimes down right freaked out).
I will give a couple of examples: One time we were at a dog park and some people came over with a foster they had. Him and Laika went at it immediately and BOTH dogs were growling and boxing and in general being rowdy. I didn't think much of it, because I'm used to Laika's play, and since their dog was doing the same thing, I figured they would too. Well, this couple were frantically trying to pull their dog away from Laika, the whole while saying how they didn't want this dog to become "aggressive" because they were trying to get him adopted out. I've been around dogs A LOT (worked in a doggy daycare) and to me what was going on was totally normal, loud yes, but normal dog play.
The second situation happened at another dog park, where Laika encountered a young pup (maybe 5-6 months old) who came running straight at her... Laika immediately pinned her down and started pawing her and holding her down with her mouth (NOT biting) all the while doing her loud growl/play thing and wagging her nub. I saw the owner's face and promptly said, don't worry, she's all play, and the owner was like, "well mine is a pup and I'm trying to socialize her, so I don't need some dog to intimidate her and give her a bad experience" I said sure, apologized and took Laika away, thinking in my head she was doing a disservice to her dog, because Laika was teaching her manners, which all puppies need, and isn't that the point of "socializing" puppies anyways? Laika never put a scratch on the puppy, rather the puppy wanted to go after Laika when I had removed her.

So I guess my questions are: Is there anyway to curb the "loudness" of a boxer's play? and if there's not, what to tell other owners out there so they don't think my dog is out for blood? Or, should I just give up on crowded dog parks altogether?

Laika has been to daycare many, many, many times and never had a problem... she just freaks out people by "sounding" really mean, which she's really not. Also the boxing doesn't help.
Wendy, Laika and Lego

Old 11th February 2004, 04:54 PM
Krikkit's Avatar
Boxer Insane
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Australia
Posts: 4,011
Well, my personal opinion is that you can not educate people about loud Boxer play when they are not interested - people who are worried by this are not really going to belive that a Boxer just likes to make noise.

I've never thought about trying to train them to play without the noises - it would be hard to do, and again, in my opinion, not really worth the effort when there are so many other things to train

I don't like dog parks, never have, never will. My Boxers can get lots of socialisation and play without going to a dog park.

Sorry, this is probably not helpful to you entelekia - maybe all you can do is get to know what owners don't mind loud play amongst dogs and mix with them, while avoiding those who find it disturbing. Interference with normal play, by stressed humans, could lead to a dog fight.


Old 11th February 2004, 05:04 PM
entelekia's Avatar
Super Boxer
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: USA, California
Posts: 494
Thank you though...
It's just hard, because I live in an apartment and I like taking her to the park so she can get off leash time. Here in Oakland dogs aren't allowed in school yards and city parks (just a select few that have the off leash area).
I am just going to try and find some other parks and trails in other counties where dogs are allowed, but that are not a "dog park" per se.