I was always a bit fuzzy on whether Play Bow was instinct or learned... looks like it's learned as demonstrated by this super cute French Bulldog father & kids combo!
Darwin was staying over at Isis's for the weekend so Mac went to visit his old pal. Unfortunately things did not work out and they did not exactly get to play because there was a burger in the picture, they ended up spending the entire time staring...
Blue's owner Chi is back from Korea and she invited Mac & Sumo over for a little play date. Mac and I got to Chi's house first and we let them loose in the backyard. As expected, Mac was quick to mark his yard and established his play boundary. At one point things got too physical and Mac let Blue know his limit like a jerk. Thankfully Blue is super easy going and happily accepted the "no touch" play style Mac prefers.
Just because I post happy pictures of Mac does not mean it's always sunshine and rainbow!
Things got much more interesting after Mac's new hiking buddy Sumo the 3/4 Frenchie + 1/4 Boston joined us! He is still a puppy and is super energetic and playful, while surprisingly polite. Him and Blue hit it off right away and wrestled the entire time, Mac happily took a backseat and instead hammed it up to people and joined in once in awhile for a little chase. All in all a great day of fun!
Sumo showing off his [Left] Side Roll evade move!
Sumo and Blue = Instant BFF!
A little fun with Cha Xiu - the 3 year old English Settler during the morning hike!
I was hoping Mac would be picking up the kong toy with his mouth and giving it the death shake while scattering treats everywhere... alas, it was not meant to be.
This may sound like an odd one for most dog owners, but some of us live with very serious dogs that simply show no interest in playing.
There are many types of play, whether it is with other dogs, with people, with toys... etc. A recent thread on the Shiba Forum prompted me to look more into this because while Mac plays with people and often time other dogs, he never touches toys unless food is involved. So far he only plays with: Kong Wobbler, Squeaky Tennis Ball, Cardboard Papertube.
The search led me to two great resources:
- The book Play With Your Dog came highly recommended
- An article from Clean Run (dog agility) magazine: http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cleanrun/0509/#/62
I have ordered the book and read through the online article. The article highlighted some steps for introducing toys to dogs that I will be trying with Mac (there are also tips in there in initiating human - dog play and recognizing when your dog wants to play), hopefully he will be shaking the stuffing out of a chew toy in a future update!
First, thank you mc for your very detailed and informative respond on how your Shiba interact with other dogs, it was a big relief for me to know growling is sometimes part of Shiba's play! Armed with the knowledge that sometimes growling is just part of the game for Shibas, I wasn't as concerned with Mac meeting up with Blue the Husky and Buck the Retriever again.
A little bit of background between the dogs -- Mac met both Blue and Buck individually before, and both times turned out to be a growling / barking fest, especially when Mac met Buck the first time, Mac was barking non-stop. Knowing that Buck has a very gentle + tolerant nature and Blue has a playful + friendly nature, AND with mc's observation that there is potential with Mac and Blue's relationship based on the video, I figure it will be nice to give this friendship another go.
Glad we did!
Buck and Blue definitely hit it off well -- Buck was trying to mount Blue half the time, lol. There were very minimum initial growling from Mac but even that was completely gone by the end, which was great! It was a lot of fun watching Buck and Blue wrestling and playing while from time to time Mac would run in to play, complains, and walks away like a grumpy old man. Regardless, it was fantastic to let Mac see how dogs play and even a chance to join in when he deemed ready. As time goes by, he seemed completely at ease and comfortable, nice!
I think one key thing that really helped today may be the fact that there were three dogs instead of just two. When it was one on one, there would be constant contact and it would be harder to escape; versus if there is another dog, Mac can withdraw from interaction easier whenever he started feeling uncomfortable, which seemed to help a lot today since he was not under constant pressure. Or maybe Mac just remembered them two!
I learned quite a bit today, many thanks to Buck & Blue's owners for more dog training tips!