Actually, its not a dog fight at all. Titan and Kai were just playing a couple days ago and I snapped these pix.
She loves to play, roughly, of course with the big dogs. Normally Lucky is in a big tumble with her but Ti gets into the fray also.
The great thing about these shots is that it shows how dogs use their bodies to rough house. See how Ti uses his body to "intimidate" Kai, pushing her down into a submissive position?
In all this play they are "telling" each other who is the top dog and who is lower in the pecking order.
But in the tumble sometimes the big dogs let Kai be the big cheese. But only for a second...
Our big dogs use their huge paws to box each other. Here you can see how Ti is using paws to give Kai the business.
Even with all this rough and tumble, the big dogs don't ever hurt Kai. If she gets scared she yelps and they back off. But mostly she's the instigator. They are very patient with her constant bouncing around. When they have had enough they just get up and move away from her. She can be The Worlds Most Annoying Little Sister sometimes. But mostly she's just fun.
Watching the dogs play reminds me of how we use similar body language with our dogs. Even when we play we never let the dogs get the "upper hand." The big dogs know they may never ever "mouth" or play bite on me. Kia is learning this too.
She is also learning that she may not box me or put her paws on me, especially if she is being pushy or wants something. In fact, we don't teach our dogs to "shake hands" because its too close to this "boxing" which is a dominance behavior. Good dogs keep their paws on the floor.
I also use my body when I'm working with the big dogs. Its not unusual for me to push and or "hip chuck" them if they are crowding me. Or just goofing around. Normally, tho, we don't wrestle with the big dogs.
And it would be a very sad day for a dog who jumped up on me. We had to break Lucky of this bad habit. I think he did it twice after he came to live with us.
When we play with Kai on the floor I mimic how Titan plays with her. I don't let her "get the upper paw" and I also make sure that I stand, kneel, or just lean over her. Then I decide when we are done playing and take her back to the dog area in the kitchen. Its important that your hard workin' farm dogs know that you are top dog and these are ways that teach them who's boss.
Twice recently I heard from other people about how their dogs growl at them. Friend, I'm here to tell you that your dog should never, ever growl at you even if you think its play. You should be able to walk up and take anything from your dog (food, toys, chew bones) without incident and certainly without growling. Because we've always reinforced that we are the Boss Dog we've never had a problem. But if you dog is growling at you, run, don't walk, to get help from a dog trainer.
Its just one more lesson our little Kai is learning about how to be a good dog. Good thing she has a big brothers to teach her the ropes!
Happy Tuesday everyone! Now, who has a good dog?