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Dog Rough Play

Introduction

Playing rough is a type of behavior in dogs that can accelerate quickly into a potentially dangerous situation. It is important that this type of behavior is prevented, and if it develops it should be stopped as quickly as possible. Here are a few helpful things that you can do to prevent your dog from playing rough.

Training Tips

Rough playing behavior is often behavior that is learned from other dogs or people. If your dog is learning rough play behavior from other dogs, you will need to remove your dog from this situation. If dogs become rough while they play they need to be separated immediately. Dogs in large groups will also engage in increasingly rough behavior. Keep your dog away from large groups of dogs; it is best to keep dogs at play in groups of no more than three.
Prevent your dog from rough playing behavior by playing gently with your dog. Never encourage behavior where your dog is 'playing' by attacking your hand, arm, or leg. This type of physical behavior can quickly get out of control; or your dog may accidentally end up harming a smaller person or child. Use a toy instead of yourself for play, and discourage any rough play between you and your dog.
Dogs are a lot like children, and sometime their play gets out of control. A game with a toy suddenly becomes a fight, or someone gets a little nippy and then someone else gets mad, or they just get over excited. If you notice your dog becoming over excited and out of control stop the play. Give your dog a small time out and try to calm the dog down.
Sometimes rough play develops out of dominance issues. Spaying, and especially neutering, your dog early in life will prevent a lot of these dominance issues from developing. Keeping play groups down to a minimum will also help to stop dominance issues from causing rough play.

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