Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Dogs At Play - Videos

I dog-sat a wonderful 9-month old mix-breed dog named Rocky last week. He is awfully cute and was extremely playful with every dog he met. I videotaped him interacting with other dogs. Below are eight short and fun video clips.

Here's a video of Rocky (the taller one with black muzzle) playing with a 7-month old puppy named Natto. They're both young, energetic boys. Notice the soft mouthing and play bows. Very nice!

In the next clip, Rocky is playing with a 1+ year old female shepherd mix named Marley. The playing style is a little different from the video above of Rocky and Natto although they are also play-biting each other's necks. Notice the bite inhibition - they never bite too hard. When dogs are playing, they will often pause, and then continue their play. In this video you'll see Rocky shaking off at the end, a sign that he's coming down off of adrenaline.

Here we have Rocky playing with Marley again. They wrestle a little and use their paws to paw at each other. Dogs at play will often take turns being on the bottom, or being the prey versus predator.

In the next clip you'll see Rocky stalking my golden retriever Luka, and then pouncing. Dogs often use hunting behavior in play. Ruby the 10-week old puppy also tries to engage Luka by play bowing and growling. Luka is an older dog (almost 8) so he's not interested in playing with the young dogs!

Dogs love to play "keep away" where they grab a toy and keep it away from another dog or a person and be chased. Here's Marley keeping a rawhide bone away from Rocky.

Below we have Rocky keeping a rope toy away from a 10-week old puppy named Ruby. Rocky is very playful with Ruby, and doesn't guard the toy when she takes it away.

In the next video, Marley keeps the rawhide away from Rocky again. When Rocky attempts to approach the rawhide, Marley makes a playful but sudden movement as if to say, "Mine!" Rocky backs off, and then appeases Marley by licking her muzzle. "Puppy licking" can also be a sign of bonding.

Here we have Rocky, Luka and 7 year old German Shepherd Vader doing sit-stays. Rocky is young and new to the sit-stay, so he attempts to get up once. I use my body to put Rocky back in his original position. They all get rewarded in the end for maintaining their sit-stay.

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