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  • Writer's pictureMecca Curtice, CCDT, CTDI

Play Styles in Dogs: It Does Make a Difference

The month of July always has a big bang in it. I had a new dog come in on July 2, 2024. As I started to work with her and get to know her better. I took a good look at her past life. As I look at the L.E.G.S of each dog, I can start learning more about the individual dog. One of the first steps was ordering a DNA test kit. I looked at this female dog, named Georgia Peach that is estimated about two years old, that once lived in Milwaukee, WI. She once was a stray, but I'm wondering for, how long? I can only imagine what she learned as she was wandering the streets of Milwaukee. That is a very busy city, full of people, cars, sounds, tall buildings and so much more going on in the environment. All dogs are learning 24/7 all the time. She had been through so many changes from an animal control environment and then adopted in January 2024. She lived in her new home for seven months and now she was in need of training. As I am thinking about all of her past learning and experiences, it helps me to have a better understanding of her past.

Georgia is a brindle dog, with ears that point up and she is small. I estimate her weight to be around 55 pounds currently. As I looked at her, I know she is a mix of breeds and I want to know what is exactly in her. What makes up Georgia and what is her dominating breed? As I am being a dog detective and getting a better understanding of the dog, I am working with, I started her house training and crate training. I found out she does know the cue "sit" so that was a start. Then I started on the cue "down". Getting some foundational skills started with her. She is a puller on the leash and it's because no one took the time to train her for "loose leash" walking. For being such a small dog, she sure has the power. I started training her to learn how to walk nice on leash. I understand her past learning of pulling has always worked for her. It's not her fault no one took the time to teach her. Now I am working on her present learning with me. As you read along here, you will have a better understanding of why I look at the whole L.E.G.S of a dog. I have talked about her past and present learning, her environment changes and now I'm looking into the genetics of the dog. Genetics does matter and so does the health of the dog. Next will be getting her into a veterinarian for a checkup, to make sure she is all good, on the inside too.

As I am now working with her and getting to know her better. I started introducing her to my two female dogs. My dog Sasha is an energetic get up and go type of dog. She makes laugh at time with her excitement over getting something new too. Give her new bone and she will check it out and do a little dance. Roxy my other female, she is short, and she is more of a couch potato kind of dog. She enjoys a good run with a dog during play time and then she is done. Both of my dogs are just being themselves, because they are individual dogs.

Below I have Sasha and Georgia playing together. You will notice the change in play between two different dogs as I allow Georgia to interact with them.

Sasha and Georgia play rough. Both dogs are energetic, so I stay close by using 100 % supervision to make sure all goes well. Their play session was about ten minutes and then I gave them something else to do. Any time dogs are aroused like this, the state of arousal is high, and I do recommend giving each dog something else to do to bring the state of arousal down. Arousal is arousal if it is bad or good. But it still needs to come down.

Below is Georgia and Roxy together, they are both completely different dogs with each other. Roxy would rather just hand out on the couch. She is just that type of dog. But this video is a good example of the difference in play.

Anytime you are introducing dogs for the first time, never just put them together. I did a set up in my home and used positive reinforcement with them. Using small pieces of food during a game. I used management to help me also.

Even if a dog has been tested with other dogs, you should also use safety and management in your home too. They are animals and they can change, just like people can change.

If you're interested in learning more about the L.E.G.S of your dog. I am located in Sheboygan, WI. where you can contact Mecca's All Breed Dog Training. I offer a service for this or maybe you are thinking about getting a new dog. I can sit down with you and talk about different breeds. The L.E.G.S of a dog is important.

Happy Training!

Mecca Curtice, CDBC, CCDT, FDM

© 2024 Mecca Curtice

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