How do 6 month old puppies play?
Silently. Watch this video clip and you’ll see something remarkable. This is Ounce playing with her sister Pixie. They are having a great game, very interactive and pretty lively, but they make no sound. As I am saying in the clip, it’s as though they don’t want you to know what they’re up to!
I think for dogs, when it really is just a game, they don’t make any noise. As soon as one of them is not happy though, you can hear something. This was demonstrated perfectly (though not filmed, unfortunately) later on in the visit. Ounce came to have a fuss from Hollie, Pixie’s owner and Pixie didn’t like it. She was a bit jealous, so she immediately started growling. In fact when it happened again a bit later, they were right on the edge of a full-on fight. I yelled at them and it stopped, fortunately.
Funnily enough we were talking about fighting at school yesterday when I went in with Busy. We discussed ‘play fighting’ and whether it was OK. We decided it usually isn’t, because someone gets hurt. “It’ll end in tears” is said for a reason, after all.
With dogs, a bit of lively play is completely fine, if the pair are evenly matched and the play is supervised. I would never leave two pups this age together without being present; I know it would end in a fight and someone would get hurt.
When Pixie first arrived and they had overcome their initial shyness and started playing, I grabbed a camera to video it, but they then stopped, as they had already run out of steam. They started again later, but it went on like that, with them taking a break now and again.
I believe that dogs (and children) are much more likely to fight properly when they are bored, tired or hungry. That was the approach I took with my sons anyway, and I think I do the same with my dogs. If trouble starts, there are no recriminations. I just separate them and distract them. I expect it to happen if they are allowed to carry on for too long and I do not expect them to manage themselves particularly well.
Oh and by the way, do you think Busy was pleased to see her daughter today? No, she wasn’t. She doesn’t like other dogs much and having a stupid puppy trying to say hello is just annoying, quite frankly. That’s why it is not possible to get a pic of Busy and Pixie next to each other.
Finally, have a look at this clip. What is this game called? Peekaboo? Hide and seek? Let’s see how long we can play this before the curtain get ripped? Funny girls. It was lovely to see Pixie, Sarah and Hollie today. I am excited to see the Hollie and Pixie partnership up and running in the future – great things may happen!
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