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Old 08-25-2017, 03:53 PM
 
Location: Middle of the ocean
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I have a 70 lb 9 month old Rhodesian Ridgeback mix. He is very people friendly, and always wants to play, but he is very rough.

He is highly prey driven and he gets wound up with running, jumping up, growling, play biting, grabbing the leash and shaking it. It concerns me because he is so large it causes damage. I took him out to a lagoon to swim and run him in the water and got my elbow good with his teeth and left a good tooth mark on the back of my hand. I stopped him told him "no", and took him for a time out to calm down. He seemed to get better towards the end (probably just tired).

It concerns me because he hurts people with his teeth and mountain lion like nails.

I think he should be prohibited from any rough play (but open to thoughts), and my husband thinks he should be allowed to rough house with him and the boys.

I'm really worried he could hurt a child just trying to play.

I try to keep him tired out, go for runs on the bike, swimming, dog park to chase balls, nose work, etc.

His nickname is Baby Groot, and it really fits him.
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Old 08-25-2017, 05:25 PM
 
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Big. Dog. He is going to be a handful.

Dogs learn to play gently by playing - and getting put in their place when they play too rough. Just like kids, how much correction it takes depends on the individual. Some will repond to a simple ouch, or a whine if it is a dog. Some have to be physically checked, sometimes hard. This is hard advice to give, because one does not want to over-react, nor to get into the whole dominance business. I just don't want to go there - but sometimes getting a dog to play appropriately is something like that. I think a better response is just to stop play when it gets TOO rough - just immediately stop and make calming body language. I hope you will get some other ideas on here - I can't say I'm full of ideas to help in this case.

But it varies from dog to dog. I have one who gets excited and has never quite broken the habit of jumping up on me when he gets excited. Being calming didn't really seem to work. Next time it was the same thing. What I did that worked was put a name to the jumping up behavior. I called it "lap". Then I told him "no lap" to get off. It helped him improve, he often hesitates to think now when he is about to jump up on me - and that gives me the opportunity to stop him. I also tell him sometimes "lap", letting him jump up, so that he remembers there is a difference.
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Old 08-25-2017, 05:51 PM
Status: "On The Lookout" (set 25 days ago)
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikala43 View Post
I have a 70 lb 9 month old Rhodesian Ridgeback mix.
He is very people friendly, and always wants to play, but he is very rough.
Very? My almost 80lb Cheech loves to wrestle and loves it rough but I don't say very.

He's also very sensitive to the older and weaker and the pups to not engage.
But with another young(er) dog his size he'll run them across the park, grab the collar
and bring 'em down like a rodeo calf and then proceed to gnaw and mouth and wrestle them.
But no biting.
Quote:
It concerns me because he hurts people with his teeth and mountain lion like nails.
I think he should be prohibited from any rough play (but open to thoughts)
What you're describing is a trait of the ridgebacks.
They don't seem to have an 'off' switch and many don't respond to verbal commands to stop
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Old 08-25-2017, 05:55 PM
 
Location: Middle of the ocean
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Thank you both for the input. It is a fine line with the type of discipline to use, as it really can be specific to the dog. I will also be going over this with my trainer who knows him

I wouldn't mind if he played hard with dogs, he doesn't really play with them at the dog park, he just wants his ball.

I'll keep working with him to find the appropriate method.
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Old 08-26-2017, 12:09 PM
 
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A well-socialized dog with a solid temperament will normally "handicap" or moderate their play to match the play level of the dog they are playing with.

This does not necessarily have anything directly to do with prey drive, but rather relates to learning how to calm himself and how to play appropriately.

I would definitely teach puppy that mouths and claws do not belong on human skin. I would not allow him to get so amped up (over-excited) that he engages in rude play.

At 9 months old he is still learning how to manage dog-dog and dog-human interactions. But the issues you are describing sound like immature bratty behavior. They do not merit "discipline", but rather, just like a bratty human teenager, he needs to be taught how to interact appropriately and given guidance when he behaves inappropriately.

He is going to be a big boy, and if he does end up injuring someone, even accidentally, it could have unthinkable consequences for him.

It is important to get your husband on board with this. Dogs don't have the concept of "sometimes" as in sometimes I can play rough with dad, but never with mom. He either does the behavior or he doesn't. In this case, you don't want him practicing this naughty behavior. Ever. So no rough over-the-top play with hubby.

My suggestions are as follows:
1) Manage play session so that all play stops before puppy gets amped up to the point where he is using his mouth or jumping. This means playing appropriately with puppy so that he isn't allowed to practice the bad behavior of going over the top. So- while puppy is still engaged with you and having fun playing, end play, release him to a "go settle" or whatever your settle cue is, and walk away.

2) If puppy begins to put his mouth on or jump on whichever human he is playing with, then all fun stops immediately and you walk away = no look, no talk, no touch. If he escalates his behavior because you are walking away from him, then he gets a 2 minute time-out in his crate.

3) I would get puppy into a managed play group with an older well-balanced large dog who will help teach him how to better moderate his play and calm himself.

4) Help him learn how to self-regulate his behavior: controlled managed tug games can be good for this- tug for a 20-30 seconds, ask for release, and ask him to "down", then release him to tug again, rinse repeat. The short burst of energy to get the tug combined with the down will help him learn how to amp up and cool down. Alternately you can use high energy recalls as a way to practice this- practice recall, reward with high level treat, then ask for down; slowly increase distance and the drive to recall.
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Old 08-28-2017, 05:01 PM
 
Location: Middle of the ocean
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Ok, spoke to my trainer and everyone in the house is on board for no more rough play. I've been doing a lot of "setting up for failure" to address the issue and he is doing well. Plus, we are continuing to give him a lot of exercise like runs with the bike and swimming.
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Old 05-29-2018, 09:59 PM
 
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Your boy will be 19 months now so no doubt past all his silliness but I will put my bit in anyway in case others have the same problem. My girl Jazz is a Rhodesian Ridgeback x Doberman and I totally get what you were saying. She is nearly 12 months now and I can see her behaviour improving every day, but it felt like an unwinable battle for a while!

I tried ignoring the behaviour, she just got more persistent. Tried redirecting to food or toys but she had no interest in those while possessed by the puppy devil. Time out only worked if she was overtired. If I put the leash on to control her she threw herself on the ground and began thrashing around with her feet and teeth. She had plenty of exercise for both mind and body, but was still totally frustrated by my unwillingness to roughhouse. So, I made the 160km round trip to take her to the dog park to play with like minded puppies every few weeks, and she loved that, but she still wanted the same from me. All the rest of her manners were good. Walking, waiting for meals, sit, stay etc. Not super destructive, and most of the other puppy stuff she seemed to breeze through.

What finally worked was a water pistol. So simple. Just waited until she came in for the kill, gave her a firm "no" and a squirt at the same time. She spun around in astonishment, looked at her back, looked at me, decided to try again. Same result. Then later in the walk another try, but after that she turned the corner and became manageable. She loves water, it didn't hurt her, but she wasn't sure where it came from at the start. We do have the occasional relapse, but she knows, and it is just a teenage try on.

Super intelligent, fearless, freethinking dogs these! That makes them a handful and frustrating to deal with as pups, but I can now see what a wonderful, adaptable, loyal and well behaved companion Jazz is well on the way to becoming. And as an added bonus you have a burglar alarm with you!
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Old 05-30-2018, 08:57 AM
 
Location: North Idaho
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I absolutely will not tolerate rough housing with my dogs. It teaches bad behavior, it messes up their feel for how much rough is too rough, it makes them very unwelcome outside the family. It's your family and your dogs, so it is your choice about continuing to allow it, but you aren't going to get good results from it.

Rhodesian Ridgebacks are notorious for rough play. That is a breed where it is even more important to put effort into instilling good manners.

Fetch is a good energy burner and a good game for the family to play with the dog. The kids need to be watched to make sure they don't tease the dog, which, as far as I can tell, every kid tries and has to be reminded constantly that if they want to play fetch they must play by the rules.

If you can find some other family with a similar size dog that is strong and rough, I suggest some doggy play dates to burn off some energy.
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Old 05-30-2018, 09:55 AM
 
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I wish people would think things through before getting high drive dogs. These dogs take a lot of training, knowledge, and management. Just "forbidding rough play" is not going to cut it.
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Old 05-30-2018, 09:58 AM
 
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And in your other thread you say you have two dogs you are having issues with. Now here is a third? How many dogs do you have?
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