Pyrrha has a play-date of her own

One of the interesting results of having a second dog in the house is that Pyrrha’s play style has changed. Since adding Eden, she has (1) become more testy in our yard when we have dogs over, and (2) become less engaged in play, particularly if we’re not in our yard.

Pyrrha and Fiona get to play

Both of these consequences have been interesting and frustrating at times. This past week, we had to take care of Fiona for the evening, and I decided I’d just take Pyrrha with me. (Side note: Eden’s play behavior with Fiona has become increasingly untenable. Essentially, she takes advantage of Fiona’s strong submissiveness, and won’t let Fiona off the ground for the first 10–15 minutes of every play-date. This, obviously, has made Fiona rather fearful of her. We’ve been trying to work on this, by helping Eden calm down with a “pack walk” — with Fiona at a distance, and they only get to greet each other when Edie is in a calm, collected state — but it’s still a work in progress.)

Pyrrha and Fiona get to play

That said, Fi and Pyr had a lovely evening romp together. It was fun to see Pyrrha really enjoy herself with another dog (without her pesky little sister tagging along). She actually played with Fiona, something she hasn’t done since Eden joined the family. Pyrrha seemed genuinely happy to play chase and tag with Fi, and Fiona just adores Pyrrha (kind of like a little girl looking up the cool, older girl in school). It was very sweet to see them together.

Pyrrha and Fiona get to play

In short, the evening was a good reminder that it’s sometimes a good thing to break up the sisterhood and let the dogs do things on their own.

Do your dogs behave differently when they’re not with their canine siblings? Do you ever create solo outings for this reason?

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3 thoughts on “Pyrrha has a play-date of her own

  1. I’m glad she still knows how to play. Now whenever you think she needs a break, you can set up some personal play dates for her. It’s a good tool to have in your toolbox.

  2. Yep! We definitely do our best to split up Moses and Alma on a regular basis – with socializing and with just general walks so they get some one-on-one. With Moses and Alma together, Alma definitely has more energy and a stronger personality, so she dictates play and gets the other dog(s) to run around with her, often leaving poor Mo on the sidelines (he’ll usually find a stick and lay down somewhere to chew away happily, but it kind of defeats the purpose of setting up socialization opportunities). When it’s just Mo and a buddy, then he has someone to wrestle with and he gets more play time.

  3. Each of our dogs who has become the alpha actually does a lot less playing in a group. I think it’s a status thing. They do behave differently when they don’t have to maintain that status, though.

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