A great way dogs get fit is by playing. I’m pretty sure that dogs burn a lot of calories when they play.
Kelly isn’t too experienced at playing. She’s lived with two senior dogs before–first our yellow lab Hudson, then our 11 year old golden rescue Brooks, and they never played with her. But Ike is 6 years old and very playful. Kelly is a bossy female and likes to be top dog. We just wanted Kelly and Ike to be able to live together peacefully. But lately Ike has been starting to initiate play. At first Kelly whined and retreated. Now she’s starting to play. I wasn’t sure if their interactions were friendly or bossy. Could they escalate into something too rough? So we took a video and showed Shelagh, one of the wise and experienced people at our rescue group.
What do you think? See if your interpretation agrees with the expert!
What She Saw: Shelagh said that both dogs were interacting pretty well. She noted that they both initiated some play, and that Ike responded well and backed off when he should. She saw that Kelly shut down a bit when Ike stood up, indicating that his size intimidates her. On the plus side, she said, Ike did a good job at staying down on her level. Toward the end, when Kelly puts her paws on Ike’s head and stands above him, she was telling him “I’m boss and top dog.” Then her play gets a bit more frantic and she gets snippier. Shelagh said that I picked the right time to call it off, and noted that Kelly retreated to her favorite spot to chill down.
This interpretation made me feel hopeful that Kelly and Ike will be okay!