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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 19460
Experience:  Behaviorist /Trainer and Dog breeder 18+ years
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I have a rescue dog that probably is part golden retriever

Customer Question

I have a rescue dog that probably is part golden retriever and sight hound, about 45 pounds, golden auburn shorthair. He is smart, a quick learner, endowed with a sweet disposition and friendly toward other dogs and people from the time I got him at about 4 months. (He suffered some neglect.) It took me a while to get him to stop mouthing me and he has always had a bit of a tendency to want to sometimes do his own thing, something I chalked up to adolescence and being a male. I did something Dr. Dobson recommended and stopped letting him get up on the furniture, thus not letting him be at my eye level. He completed the beginner and intermediate classes at Pet Smart. He plays very hard.
About eight months ago, my mother's older dog, a 2nd generation female labradoodle injured a back leg, dislocating it. She had surgery that didn't seem to work and my mother just let the leg heal on its own, which it seems to have done. My dog, Miguel and her dog, Kitten, have always gotten along and played very hard. We do not know if Kitten stumbled in a dog dug hole in the back yard, had her leg bitten or pulled by my dog, or what happened that caused the injury. My mother would not let Miguel and Kitten play together. She was going to let them, but as soon as she saw Miguel bite the older dog's legs, she put her dog in the house.
I have concerns apart from some over protectiveness of my mother. When my sister brought her new 6 month rescue puppy, Posy, to stay during a 6 day vacation, they played very hard. I had never witnessed my dog get jealous, but she did and she became aggressive in her play and show of annoyance; the puppy was very annoying. She showed this by wrinkling her muzzle, showing her teeth and leaving nicks where she had bitten. The puppy yelped a few times, but the dogs resumed play. I separated them for resting. The puppy also played with the labradoodle some of the time.
What can I do to lessen the aggressive play? I am willing to work at this with my dog. I expect I can extend our walks from 2 miles to 4. I am invested in this pooch and my cat. I will let you know that I also suffer from depression. Is there a possibility that the dog picks up my depressed mood? I am at home, retired. ***@******.***
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Training
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year ago.
Hi JaCustomer,
My name is ***** ***** I’ve been involved professionally with dogs in the health and behavioral fields for over 18 years. It will be my pleasure to work with you today.
In order to supply you with an informed answer, it is necessary for me to collect some additional information from you. When I receive your response or reply, it will likely take me between 30-45 minutes to type up my reply if I am still online when I receive notice that you replied. I hope you can be patient.
Does the dog have a problem with the cat?
So posy is 6 months old?
Is Posey spayed?
If not, is her vulva swollen?
Did posey show her teeth or your dog?
I thought your dog was a male?
Was there just nicks or blood show?
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year ago.
JaCustomer,
I was hoping to get some responses back from my information request, but I also want you to have an answer.
Dogs normally do play extremely rough. In addition, a dog can dislocate a knee or injure the meniscus without much trauma but it usually requires significant force to dislocate a hip unless the dog has a shallow acetabulum (where the leg bone sits in the hip. I would think that if the other dog caused this injury you would have seen more evidence of it such as severe punctures. Now the other dog might have fell from a height or caught the leg in a fence slat, etc.
If they are not playing, their body language will indicate that. Let me show you some sites that discuss body language so you can be sure they are only playing.
http://www.apdt.com/petowners/park/body-language/
http://www.pawsacrossamerica.com/interpret.html
http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/virtual-pet-behaviorist/dog-behavior/canine-body-language
Since Kitten has had surgery for a dislocation, you won't be able to let him play rough by pulling legs. So leash him and reintroduce them. Each time he goes for a leg, give him a reprimand of a short tug on the leash and a firm low toned "NO". When he plays with her and doesn't touch the leg, give him a hot dog sliver as a reward. He will learn that he is not allowed to play with her legs and find a different way of playing. Stopping play can also work, but often the dog does not associate the pulling of the leg with stopping playing.
I hope this information is helpful to you. If you need more information or clarification, please reply and I'll get back to you as soon as possible. If you are satisfied, please take the opportunity to rate.

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