February 3, 2015 – GOLDENS, BORDER COLLIES AND MASTIFFS…OH MY!

Recently, we had a couple of Mastiff-type dogs who are students at Good as Gold, playing in the front field. As the 2 dogs ran around and chest thumped each other, running at full speed and ramming into the other dog, I hear their humans say “Oh, look at how well they are playing together! It makes me so happy to see my dog play like that”. I thought to myself “you call that playing? We Goldens DO NOT ram into other dogs! That is not how we Goldens like to play!” I then heard one of the trainers say..”its because they are a similar breed”. That statement made me pause…and think how true that is!

When you think it about it, it makes complete sense! Lets look at Golden retrievers. They love to retrieve, run and frolick. They are a physically insensitive dog and love to grab each other by the scruff and shake and pull while wrestling each other to the ground. Now border collies are the complete opposite! They are very touch sensitive and generally do not like to wrestle. But they LOVE to chase and be chased playing fast-paced games of tag with each other. When other dogs do not seem to understand the border collie game and start playing their own game, the border collie will often nip at their heels to get their attention. Mastiffs and gladiators! Powerful and independent. Sometimes they could care less if another dog was around but when they do play, they play hard simply because they are so large and strong.

The issue then becomes that one breed could misunderstand another breeds intentions or they could simply dislike that breed’s style of play. I have seen border collies reactive quite strongly to a powerful dog’s approach to play or Goldens show total disinterest in the chase game of a border collie. Humans need to be aware of these differences and the challenges that could arise as a result.

At the end of the day, we are all dogs! there are some similarities but it is not unusual for us to prefer to interact with our own breed. Who better to understand us? LOL

Beamer
Good as Gold Mascot

2 Comments

  1. I never would have thought about dogs playing differently, that is so cool.

  2. Wow, I’d never thought about dog play in those terms. It greatly explains why Ryker (the Mastiff you mentioned) gets along better with some dog breeds than others. He doesn’t seem to like border collie and sheltie types too much, but loves anything that he can play hard and rough with! Now it all makes send…thanks for clarifying that, Beamer!

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