Dog-Dog Play B-Mod
What is play?
The majority of dogs begin to play less, are increasingly selective with playmates and are less tolerant of forward behavior as they hit developmental-social maturity. Before beginning play b-mod, we must first be sure the dog wants to play and is not upset by other dogs.
Types of Dog-Dog Play Issues
There are two main types of play issues with dogs that are social and enjoy play.
- Bully: These dogs target other dogs and bully them. They are pretty specific with the type of dog they single out.
- Play skill deficit: These dogs have few or no meta-signals (the wink that says this is just play- bouncy gait, inefficient movements, play bows, play face, and paw raises.), fail to reverse roles, change activities or self-handicap sufficiently. They can heat up easily and topple over into a fight and or they can get themselves in trouble with other dogs who are not tolerant of their lack of social skills.
- The dog can have a bit of both!
The 1,2,3 of Modifying Play
Step 1: DRI (Do this instead.)
- Recall - teach solid out of context first
- Self-check-ins- Reward all unprompted check-ins. Prompt with kissy noises.
Step 2: Interrupting "slow down"
- Warning cue when heating up/reduced self-handicapping
- "Slow down" --> Haul out --> Sit --> R+ --> "Go play"
Step 3: Time-outs
- When This will be happening a lot at first, so have your coffee!
- Bullies: All non-consenting & overly rough play. Define criteria based on dog's patterns.
- Play Skill Def.: After prompt jumping 50% with "slow down" (you say "slow down" and the dog slows his roll before you have to go in and haul him out) or if non-compliant.
- How This is a messing business, so gear up and use the warning and time-outs cues to aid in your timing.
- Long line clipped on back of harness.
- Be sure to have on gloves to prevent rope burn or use biothane long lines.
- Magnitude The bigger the fines you give out the faster the dog will make the connection and start changing their behavior so they can keep playing.
- Bullies: Go big!! All play opportunity stops immediately for the day.
- Play Skill Def.: Bigger the better, but moderate fines are effective too.