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Romping with a young one

“You could walk a little slower, human… *pant pant*”

tired dog

This is the face of a 5-year-old dog. Outplayed and outlasted by a 6-month-old chocolate lab puppy (that was about her size but bulkier). A month ago.

At first they had fun, but puppy was unstoppable and kept going after her even though she probably had fulfilled her quota for fun wrestling with salivary dog. :P She played with him still, but for the first time, she got so excited she was play-growling. I have never heard her growl during playing with another dog before so that’s new to me. But she has play growled with me when she gets too excited before, so I wasn’t too surprised. That’s usually the signal for me to give her a timeout.

It occurred to us we should separate them when Donna started the play growling. Have to say though that considering the action was fast and furious, the other lady (even smaller and slimmer than me) and I were probably somewhat at a loss how to separate them.

Donna didn’t seem particularly unhappy though, but I wouldn’t be surprised if I missed some calming signals from her.  And should have given them a time out sooner.

Eventually, enough was enough so she flung herself on the ground in a submissive gesture and puppy was onto her. We quickly move to separate them, but she had already darted off. Puppy gave chase but was no match for Donna’s speed.

Eventually they stopped and we were able to corner and separate the puppy from Donna.

So there you have it. Exhausted Donna. Outplayed, Outwitted and Outlasted by a 6 month old puppy.

At least she outran him. :P

I think it was still a good play session considering both dogs had fun and there was no antagonism between them even when things got a little wild. Just wondering if I was over-worrying over the play growling or I could have done better. :) I guess perhaps I should err on the cautious side and start giving them time outs earlier before they get too rambunctious for us to separate?


Dog jumps on visitors at the door?


Q&A with vanillapup, Singapore dog blogger


  1. We have a foster puppy in our house right now and our older dog Ava can relate to Donna’s exhaustion, Those puppies have a ton of energy!

  2. Playing with puppies can be lots of fun…but I guess I am partial. Woof!

  3. That is a daily event at our house since I am seven and my sisters are one and twelve. Bailie still has a ton of puppy in her and wears us other two out all the time, but she also gets us going.

  4. goldenwoofs

    It’s just pure FUN FUN FUN!!! Happy Black n White Sunday. Golden Woofs

  5. I tired dog is a good dog, and a happy one. I think play growling is OK unless there i obvious aggression. Torrey will growl when playing with other dogs.

  6. Don’t second guess yourself. I do the same, try to read into Jack’s behavior all the time. It sounds like a good healthy play session.

  7. What FUN but I bet I would be dog tired after playing with a puppy!

  8. Hawk aka BrownDog

    Hi Y’all!

    Here is an excellent article. (http://thebark.com/content/your-dogs-rough-play-appropriate)

    Play growling and its meaning has been researched by the authors. Many of their observations agree with what I have been told by trainers over the years. I think you’ll enjoy reading it.

    Y’all come by now,
    Hawk aka BrownDog

  9. I’m OK playing but just don’t touch my food.

  10. I would probably err on the cautious side but I usually do anyway due to Mr. N’s size. I’m not sure how he feels about puppies. The ones he has met have been big and bouncy so he’s usually not inclined to play with them.

  11. LOL! Yes human, why do you need to walk so fast? hahahaha! Love that look on Donna’s face. You’ve captured it perfectly Mrs. P! Please give her lots of hugs from me. :D

  12. Poor Donna exhausted….lol. I think I would would keep a watchful eye on any growing when it comes to a puppy and older dog. I was once told by a long time breeder that the worse dog fights he has ever seen started as play and then one dog (usually the older) decides enough is enough. I guess you need to make sure the play growl doesn’t become a real growl and puppies can so easily be fear imprinted. If it looked like Donna had had enough, I bet she had.

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