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Archie Ivy dogs playing

Ivy is a border Aussie dog I used to professionally walk for a client. Their main concern was that Ivy was beginning to play too rough and had low recall issues.

The reality was that she was just a high energy breed that was still a puppy. She needed boundaries, but she was very socially aware already, so really what she needed was to play with a social pack to learn what was acceptable. This video shows a great friendship between dogs a year after they last met.

Ironically about six months after the walk sessions started, Ivy’s regular structured off lead pack walk time was stopped. You could give many reasons, but most owners think that their dog is ‘fixed’ so they can just reduce the sessions.

In truth the decision is often about money. And that is understandable, everyone budgets for what they prefer to spend money on. The issue for many of these dogs is that the owners rarely take up the slack and replace the off lead dog walks with walks of their own, which leads to anti social behaviour. Thankfully for Ivy, she was so well adjusted already, that whatever walks her owner did organise, they were enough to keep her with her sunny disposition.

The litmus test for most dogs is how they interrelate with my very social dog. A good breed for being social (a spoodle / cockapoo) and two walks per day ensures that my lead pack dog (in my professional dog walking business), knows how to socialise with almost any breed of dog.

What you will see here is understanding far beyond simple socialisation.

The reason that I say this is that as many aussie or general border collies approach adult hood, they go through a transition from extremely social puppy play to herding and anti social behaviours. Without sufficient walks and socialisation off lead many working dogs become obsessed about an object or behaviour (such as herding, ball retrieving, water obsession, shadow obsessions etc). This is not the case with Ivy.

In this video you will see some dog magic between two dogs of similar ages and very different breeds that had not seen each other for over a year.

This video is only a small snippet of the entire play they had, as I only thought to record it after about half the play had happened. Ivy the aussie has about 10kg extra weight than Archie, but they both still know to puppy mouth without causing bite damage.

I played this in slow motion (50%) so you can see the intricacies of their interaction. A kind of intricate play ballet. twisting and turning in circles to get physical advantage. Its all about asserting their position in the pack, but looking at this play you can tell that the dogs are having some real fun.

Ivy was the original ‘aggressor’ however Archie’s dominant streak and talking (barking) soon lets Ivy know that he isn’t going to give up his position that easily.

It is a very short video but I think you will agree that this tussle is in fun and very evenly matched. Another dog is seen trying to get involved in the play but these two only have play for each other.

It was great to see Ivy still out and about on the grass playing off lead, and still maintaining the great social skills she learned as a pup.

Article by Bruce Dwyer. If you wish to use any of this information please refer to the article as a reference and provide a link to

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