Play wrestling with dog??

    • Bronze

    Play wrestling with dog??

    Ok, here's my question.  Is it ok to play wresle with your dog?? 
    When I got my black lab he was a bit aggressive with other dogs and he's a big black lab so I never wrestled with him.  We play tug of war and train but we don't get down and wrestle.  He now has a recovered broken leg from an accident so I would never even think of it or allow my boyfriend to. second dog a golden retriever who is sweet as can be but a little possesive of her food with other dogs.  She is not aggressive towards humans at all.  Not even little kids who pull her tail.  My boyfriend moved in and he started wrestling with her.  She loves it and comes back for more and more.  She's great at knowing when to stop to.  We were playing around last night and when I said down...she plopped down faster than she does when we are training. 
    Is it ok to play wrestle with her.  I'm not talking about pinning her down aggressively or grabbing her and throwing her down...I'm usually giggling and she's not growling and she wags her's more like a tustle I guess. :)
    Anyone else do this with their dog??  
    • Silver
    I've been told not to but always have.  However the main reason I was told not to was that people would lose and I don't lose.   I really do throw them and pin them to the ground.  First though I teach them to never bite hard and make sure to wrestle very gently with the puppies as well as teaching them a command to stop playing/wrestling.  Gotta have a fail safe if your gonna get rough with a big dog.  I don't do tug of war because I don't want a dog to ever learn to close hard or lock it's jaws on anything especially me.  Our wrestling matches are mostly who can get their leg or arm over who's shoulders and then ;push them sideways to the ground until they yield.  No biting takes place or the game stops instantly.  I can definitely understand why people would be against wrestling with dogs when the dog is allowed to bite hard or pull on clothing.  Especially if the game ends when the dog pins it's human.  That would not be a good way to play especially if your already having trouble with a dominant dog.
    • Bronze
    Abigail is only 55lbs and she would never be able to or ever tries to pin us.  She plays with me and my boyfriend kind of like she plays with Jackjack, my black lab.  She gently tries to bite our arms.  She never bites hard enough to actually hurt me and she paws at us as well.  We both just try to grab her legs and she is funny getting us back.  I don't think her behavior is dominant with us at all.  She tends to lay down on her back and let us play with her like that as well.  She just mouths us a bit.
    I've heard that mouthing isn't good because it teaches her to be mouthy with others but she is very gentle when people come pet her.  She leans on them and just wants pure love. :) 
    • Gold Top Dog
    When you wrestle with a dog you teach the dog that it's ok to play rough with humans.  Then you get angry when your dog does it to the 5 year old next door, or your toddler aged son.    Wrestling and playing rough with a dog teaches that rough play is acceptable.  It doesn't matter who wins or loses the match, the final outcome is that the dog learns behaviors that could injure or kill someone.
    • Gold Top Dog
    I have never believed that playing in any physical manner with a dog is a bad thing, they love it!!  Including tug a war.  The important thing is that the dog learns that YOU start the game and YOU stop the game!  If he gets to ruff, game over!  You should just stop and walk away; he will realize that he is not playing nice.
    For the mouthing you should teach bite inhibition if you haven#%92t already.
    Have fun and playing with your dog.
    • Gold Top Dog
    Luke LOVES it when I have a little mock-wrestling/boxing match with him.  I don't do it often because his 92lb mass knocks me over pretty easily, especially when I'm on my hands and knees.  [;)]  I'd probably call it more of a one-on-one floor play session than actual "wrestling."  I goose him in the butt and he spins (and knocks me over...) and I'll "box" him with my forearms as he tries to pick one to "attack."  I put him in a headlock that he scoots out of and then play-bows and comes back for more.  It's really quite entertaining, but we both have to be in a certain mood to instigate it.
    Usually I pounce him when we're cooped up inside due to weather or something.  [:D]
    • Gold Top Dog
    My husky she lives to wrestle with men (she won't wrestle with me for whatever reason though). I got her while in college and the guys were constantly wrestling with her. So whenever a new guy comes around she tries to get them to wrestle with her (I always have to explain it's not aggression, she just wants to play!)
    Either way, she's never had any problems with people because of it.
    • Bronze
    Thank you for all the feed back. 

    [link>]Xerxes[/link]  I understand your thoughts about wrestling.  I think I would completely stop if I saw that she iniciated the playing like this with my neices and nephews who she is around often.  She never starts this with me and I am always the one who starts and end games and contact with her in general so I think she knows her place.

    I appreciate everyone reply and I feel better that I'm not the only one out there ;play wrestling with my dog. :)

    Thank you!!!
    PS.  Jewlieee-   Neiko is the cutes dog I have ever seen!!!!
    • Gold Top Dog
    Thank you! [:D]
    • Gold Top Dog
    It depends on the dog.

    I wrestle with my vizsla all the time, it's great fun. I treat it like tug. I initiate play, and I end play. Teeth touch me and game is over.

    I wouldn't wrestle with my last dog, she wouldn't get it, and would definitely have attacked me. To speak to Ed's comment, I wouldn't wrestle with any of the sighthounds I have known... they're too intense and independent, I feel as though there could be a misundersatnding.
    • Gold Top Dog
    definitely depends on the dog. If your dog has great bite inhibition, and waits for you to initiate the game, and doesn't get too worked up about the game, go for it. Wouldn't recommend trying it with puppies, wait until they get a bit older so they don't get confused about appropriate ways to play with humans.
    Tug is a great game and is safe for many more dogs than wrestling.
    And it's a myth that you "always have to win". You're playing a game. If you both have fun, you both win.
    • Gold Top Dog
    Agree with mp, depends on the dog and how they react.

    Conrad I do not play roughly with. He has poor bite inhibition, gets very worked up and starts to play with me as if I were another dog (and his play is too rough even for many other dogs--it's generally the rough-playing breeds he gets along best with). Not good. So if he starts to try to play with me in any way other than fetch or tug, I cross my arms, and turn my back to him until he can come over and sit calmly next to me.

    Marlowe I can play with and chase around and have him chase me and he never has laid a tooth on me, never body-slammed me, and does not at all play with me the same way he plays with Conrad, and he knows when to stop. If I stop, he stops.

    Know your dog and make the decision based on that. Do not encourage rough play with a dog who is clearly playing with you as if you were another dog (and dogs play with their teeth, and by serious jumping and body-slamming--you do not want to be in the middle of that). That can spiral out of control very quickly. We let Conrad get away with it for far too long before putting on the brakes and he still trys to play that way with us every once and a while.
    • Bronze

    Hehe, thats cute