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My ACD likes to chew on his friends

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Avery

I'm always ready- to party!
 
 
Barked: Tue Feb 12, '13 5:45pm PST 
Hi there! Thank you in advance for reading! I am looking for some input/advice on how to work with my 1 &1/2 year old, neutered ACD to stop playing so rough with his "friends".

We adopted our ACD, Avery, when he was 9 months old and have worked through many not-so-preferred behaviors and while we have come a long way (and Avery, of course!) this is one behavior that has been difficult to address and seeming to increase in intensity. Avery, used to play very well with other dogs at the dog park. No biting, good soft romping around. He met a heeler at our local dog park that went crazy nippy and barky at every dog in the park while chasing them around, and naturally Avery thought this was so cool! Since he has been exhibiting the same behavior of growling, biting the neck and chasing intensely to "catch" the other dog with his mouth...

While I feel very confident he is not hurting the other dog, some people including some overbearing dog owner friends, are not too ripped about their dog getting chewed on by mine. I tell him "hey" or "no" and he listens about 90% of the time, but this seems to be his go-to play style. It also doesn't seem to help him make friends. The other dog seems to get tired of being nipped at pretty quickly and reverts to dodging or ending play all together. He also doesn't seem to understand the message the other dog is trying to communicate here and still keeps at it. Sometimes I wish a very balanced dog with just lay him out and "make" him get the message, but he seems to dominate every playmate.

He goes to doggy daycare and I have gotten nothing but good reports from him and they say they don't allow the herding nipping behavior, but there Avery doesn't do it at all. Any suggestions?
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