Chewing on each other - playing or fighting?

  • So Tayda and Lenny seem to be playing a lot more lately, which is really cute.. or so I think. Usually Lenny will come stand over her and then open his mouth and put is around her head. Not viciously or anything, really gently - as if she won't notice. lol. then he'll start chewing on her face/neck with little teeny bites… and then usually she will do the same to him, nibbling on his neck/face. he'll move on to her leg sometimes and put his mouth around her whole leg. This whole exercise is silent for the most part. This gradually escalates until they are wrestling on the floor and chasing each other around - and then it gets more vocal. I'm assuming this is play? Sometimes one will yelp and the other will back off. The whole things is funny to see... I think Tayda used to get annoyed by Lenny, but these days she's been playing a lot more... which makes me happy to see them getting along! 🙂

    Anyone else's B's "play" like this?

  • Yep, this is how Querk plays with the girls. He is more vocal with some than others…he yells at Ariel all the time, I think because she 'fights' back more than plays. But they enjoy it, even though we are thinking 'shut up'!

  • I am glad that it is normal. I was starting to wonder about Wyatt and Sawyer. Most nights there is a mash up between NASCAR and WWE (or F)? in my house. They do the B-500 and bounce off of eachother and the furniture. They bounce off of the back of my couches the same way that "pro"-wrestlers use the ropes in the ring. I have to move furniture and rugs back to their original positions every night:o They chew on eachother during the whole process. They almost never yelp and when one does, they back off. They do this at the dog park as well with eachother. I see some people look on in horror, but they play normal with other dogs. They just play rough with eachother. I would love to see how they play with other Basenjis.

  • I WISH mine would play together like that.
    They do the Basenji 500 together,which is very cute and a little dangerous for anyone in their path.
    But Keoki is CONSTANTLY grabbing Jazz roughly by the neck and dragging her around the room. Even when she yelps, he does not stop and we have to intervene. Actually, we intervene before it gets to the yelping stage if we see it soon enough.
    We tell him "no" and I usually have to grab under his neck before he'll let go – if you try to remove him in any other way, he just holds on for dear life and she gets dragged along. Once I get him off, he will keep diving at her, trying to get around me to do it.
    He is getting better -- usually I can firmly say, "ENOUGH!" and he'll back off -- for a minute. A treat works also, but only for as long as it takes to eat it,and then he's back at her again.


  • Ours play very rough sometimes too. It is funny (strange) though that they usually do know when they have went to far with one another , like when one of them yelps. Actually, Wrigley will bug Bella until she gives in to play and Dane is up for a romp just about anytime.

  • @Tayda_Lenny:

    Lenny will come stand over her and then open his mouth and put is around her head. Not viciously or anything, really gently - as if she won't notice. lol. then he'll start chewing on her face/neck with little teeny bites…
    Anyone else's B's "play" like this?

    Yikes! Scarey to watch, isn't it? Duke does this to Daisy sometimes - I don't know how one of his teeth don't poke an eye out! I think he does it to initiate play or else to tell her he's the boss!?! And like Tayda and Lenny, they might end up rough housing - If I don't tell Duke to be a "good boy" with a long "Duuuke? Be nice" . . . And I've seen them both do the rear leg bone grip and trip thing to each other. What a move! But I think they're having fun. Like today, they were all over the house - Daisy is a quiet player, while Duke sounds like a Tasmanian Devil - they were having a blast. They're very entertaining - never a dull moment, even when they nap - I like that too. 🙂

  • Goober plays with luna like this. It is very annoying when you are trying to sleep.

  • My boy likes to play rough with our girl. At fist I was worried because she never played back (we've had her now for 3 months and she came from a home where she was neglected) but now she rough houses with him as well. We do stop it when we see one or the other getting really rough, usually it's Champ being rough with Belle but I do agree when they play nice it's great fun to watch. I literally just stare at them for whatever time they play. It's great to see them interact together.

  • BUt it can get a little stressing for example last night my husband and I were having some wine on the sofa and suddenly they jump on top of dh and the wine goes everywhere. Luckily we had seltzer so no damage was done to the new red leather

  • This thread answers many of my questions - but how does one know when the playing is turning into fighting? My baby B has a set of bite marks on his neck & a couple of scratches on his chest. Last week I found a big scratch on his belly. My Bs get crazy all of the time, but sometimes it looks like Trinity is pulling Denver's coat off of his body at the neck. Sometimes Trinity will just stare at Denver from across the room for a minute, then charge at him & slam him right into the wall; or at times he'll jump in the air while they're playing, but she jumps higher & body slams him to the floor. They get along quite well - groom one another, sleep right next to each other, share toys & one can even dip his nose in the other's food dish without incidence. If I think Denver needs rescued, I'll whisk him up from the floor, only to have him squirm to get right back to the action, attack & then run behind my legs 10 seconds later after I hear a loud yelp. Obviously dogs can't talk, so can anyone tell me what behaviors will tell me when to break it up?

  • Typically when you hear "noise"… you don't need to step in... a silent fight is one that is usually the problem...
    The situation you present... I would not step in

  • Silent fights like what? I've observed them rough-housing without much noise, which then turns into a yelping situation….

  • Silent fights.. there is no noise at all… just fighting..... it is easily seen as not rough-housing.... yelping is a reflex and used to let the other know that they have gone too far... silent fights are typically between same sex, in-tact dogs.... and draws lots of blood... and if you see a dog go after another it is for no real reason... and just look at their eyes... glazed and determined to "kill" the other.... that is so different then rough-housing...

  • Blood - that I've not seen, nor do I want to. So, Trinity will get a crazy-wild look in her eyes while she is breathing hard, long breaths - much different than the glazed look you spoke of? I don't mean to sound slow, but I've not been around animals much my whole life & have ever owned only these 2…

  • I know an intervention is at hand when the tone of their voices change. It's not just a change in volume, it's like a half octave leap up and what you could almost say is a major chord change to a minor chord. My 2 always have the voice change when one or the other has gone too far when rough housing.

  • @snorky998:

    I know an intervention is at , it's like a half octave leap up and what you could almost say is a major chord change to a minor chord. My 2 always have the voice change when one or the other has gone too far when rough housing.

    I agree with this. My bad fights (where I thought they wanted to kill each other) haven't been silent…but it is a different kind of noise than warning, or playing or just sound might be hard to know what we are talking about until you experience it, unfortunately....

  • The silent is when there is ongoing "hate" between two or more dogs… and is usually a build up after a fight when you did have the change in voice.... but sometimes, such as with two bitches it is just all out for blood... when one thinks the other should be gone...

  • Once you see a 'real' fight, there is no question. It is not rough play, it is deadly serious. Basenjis can play so rough it is amazing, but as long as tails are wagging and they keep going back for more, let 'em have at it. Scratches are bound to happen, just think of a yard full of 2 or 3 year old kids, they play and yell and scuffle and get a scrape or two, then are best friends in 2 minutes. When the tone changes, or one seems to be getting serious, it's time to distract them with a walk or something.

  • Well, ok - thank you all for your replies. Since I have no idea what any of you are talking about, I'm assuming I've yet to experience a real fight. I'm protective of Denver because he's little (at times he still falls over when he tries to reach somewhere on his backside or far underside :)). Sometimes I can't wait until he's bigger than Trinity - then we'll see who romps on who! What goes around comes around! - that's the mamma's boy side of me coming out… 😉

  • I know this is an old thread, but it seems to be what we are experiencing…so rather than start a new one, I thought building on an old one would be best.

    We adopted a brother/sister pair of 5 month old Bs. They do well with other dogs, rarely nip at other dogs (unless they are overly excited and the other dog is a little too friendly - nothing serious so far), but my goodness do they roughhouse with each other.

    They will start the B-500 while taking them for a walk, and wrestle and tackle, nibble, grab each other by the throat, ear, leg, etc. Sometimes there's noise, sometimes not, lots of legs flying everywhere as they wrestle each other to the ground. By what I've read so far using the search feature, this seems pretty normal B behavior. But occasionally we fear someone's going to call the police and tell them we have a dog fighting ring going! Luckily for us it's only with each other that they wrestle. Other dogs don't interest them except to prove they can run faster.

    So the $64,000 question is...should we try to train this out of them, or do we just need to learn to live with it - as long as they keep it to themselves and don't involve other dogs.

    Many thanks!

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