Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Dog Play: Good and Not So Good

Here's a video clip of dogs playing. (Note, the golden retriever is the cutest one!).

Part 1: Griffin (2yo male golden) and Luna ( 6yo black and white mix) playing. They live in the same household and really like to play together. They play chase games and wrestling. Even though there is not a lot of role reversal in this clip, Griffin mostly biting, pulling on Luna, it is good play. They both continue to be engaged and continue to play. I like the changes of direction. Both dogs are loose and happy. This is great play.

Part 2: Same clip, Rocket (6mo golden) comes over and wants to play. He is not very good at playing. He is showing no signs of role reversal and the play attempts are mostly of Rocket bouncing on top of Luna and pouncing at her. Occasionally he tries to mount and Luna turns to try and engage him in play. When you see profile views of Rocket, you can see his mouth open wide, the edge forms a "c" shape, this is a VERY good thing and sign of play. He's having a great time and trying to be friendly. Luna also perceives this as play, and is trying to get him to keep playing. This is great play from Luna, and the best play I had seen from Rocket, but still far from ideal. Rocket is not a puppy I would put with dogs other than those with great play skills. He could get away with poor play skills or learn inappropriate play if he was with other poor-players.

Note all of the spins and sneezes Luna puts in while playing.

Griffin gets upset and is barking at the pair, he wants to play with Luna but won't push Rocket out of the way. The others ignore his frustration and Luna chooses to keep playing with Rocket.

Part 3: Griffin again and a 2yo sporting breed dog. This is not good play (and not a good video clip...there was very interesting behaviors before I turned on the camera). No role reversals at all. Griffin is looking at the other dog, even when the third dog is around. He continues to move at an anxious trot and the black and white dog does not give any indications of wanting to play or interact. Again, Griffin gives frustrated barks.

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