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Playing or Bullying?

1530 Views 5 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  beagletails
OK, to all who have 2+ beagles...gotta get your experience with this. Ruby initiates what I think is play flighting with Bailey every day. Keep in mind that Bailey is older, much more laid back, and would rarely initiate anything with Ruby. He's more the couch potato/lap dog type - a very gentle sole. Ruby is a very energetic teenage girl, and was the first dog. She tends to position herself as alpha. She has to walk in front of him, and almost always rushes in front of him when he runs to me, or to the landing on the stairs where they both like to perch.

Ruby will usually start by approaching Bailey and stiff him everywhere, then start to lick his ears and face. He'll let it go for a while, then tire of it and flare at her some, then the action starts. Ruby will grab is ears and mouth them or pull them. (She also does this in her initial approach instead of licking, or out of jealously when he's around me.) During the playing/fighting they mouth each other and wrestle around. If I hear growling, I stop them. I'm starting to worry a bit more because Ruby is starting to grab his neck and pull it. And more and more, Bailey is hiding or sticking his head under the coffee table oe a chair, so Ruby will leave him alone. He'll give her all of the signals to leave him alone, but she'll normally ignore them. However, Bailey can bark -- he'll growl and bark at her if she gets too close to him when he has a toy or food, and she backs off quickly. But during this playing/fighting he doesn't make a sound, unless is gets elevated sometimes.

We're still fostering Bailey, and are thinking about keeping him. But if these are signs a bullying relationship, it may not work.

I'd like to hear how other sets of beagles play, and get along. Is this behavior normal, or is Ruby being a bully?
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When they play here it goes very rough.
The growling is a part of the playing.

I think it's best to let them go. When Baily is tired of her he'll really let her know.

Over here Charlie is in charge. When Levi wants to play, he grabs Charlies neck or ears. Then Charlie can do 2 things.
1) he stands up and the playing can be very loud

2) he doesn't want to play and he tells Levi by being not so very nice.

I never come in between.
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Violet is the same way, she wants to play rough all the time. Sometimes Duke is good with it and sometimes he's not and when he's not, he lets her know. But then there are also times when he initiates it (though not as often), like last night, when I watched him grab her ear with his teeth! Once in a great while, it gets really serious and I'll make a loud noise to stop them, but 95% of the time, they're just rough housing and playing.
Cole and Roscoe play fight all of the time. At first we stressed over it but realized this is the way they play! Sometimes if I am tired or had a long day the growling and strange noises they make can get on my nerves but other than that they are ok with each other. When the fighting is over, they wind up cuddling and cleaning each other!
It is interesting that you posted this because I have been wondering the same thing about Buzz and Moose the past couple of weeks. Buzz is 2 and very energetic and is constantly harrassing Moosie (who is also energetic but 8 years old and therefore a little bit slower). Popcorn often joins in, and before we had Buzz would do most f the harrassing of Moose, but since Buzz arrived he has taken over the lead - and sometimes it gets quite loud and sounds quite aggressive - increasingly so over the past few weeks.

I am therefore worried that Moosie is not enjoying this, although he doesn't really make any effort to get away (and often runs away sort of taunting Buzz to follow him... or that is what it looks like to me). And I do believe that Buzz is able to adjust his play level when the recipient of his attention clearly wants to play more calmly - since he is able to get Booker to play in a much more subdued but still spirited way - which is no mean feat since before Buzz I rarely saw Booker EVER take part in play.

So, to answer your question - I just don't know but am most interested in what others are saying. I do think it sounds like Bailey is able to tell Ruby off when he wants to - and she listens to him - so I would probably then take that to mean that if he isn't protesting during the play he isn't at the point where he wants it to stop...
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My three can sound like they are killing each other, but I have never heard any of them yipe when playing so I just let them do it. Sometimes it gets very loud and then jokingly I tell them to Take it Outside or Use your inside voices. It's our beagle/lab that can sound the most ferocious, but even our little male pure bred beagle can get a little rough. They do tell each other when they are not in the mood for playing also which is another reason I just leave them be. If I get tired of the roughness I will just kennel one temporarily until they have all settled down.
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