I have American Staffy female rescue from the pound 5 months a go friendly with other dogs love the play yesterday got rescue Staffy shorter breed both same age he's a male he's very friendly as well they seem to get along very well not aggressive with food but cautious early days.

When they play I'm worried they get a little bit too rough she likes to jump on top and pushing down even try to hump him and when he said enough and goes to lay down she still wants to play no aggressive growling she's constantly wanting to get on top of him and play when he's lying down.

The Chase around the house plane I'm just worried if she's trying to be dominant as she is 10 kilos heavier at 27 kilos and he's about 17 kilos I can see no really loud aggressive tones when they're playing I've got a video of them playing few times it looks OK but the first time having two dogs. I've always had one dog so having two dogs how do I know if it's going to go into far they walk together great sleep in same room on the bed the great together little growl but nothing new for new dog.

  • sounds very normal. They can come across as rough, as they only have their bodies and sounds to communicate with. They will play fight and it's ok. There's a huge difference between play rough housing and real fighting. It's particularly good there's no food aggression.
    – user6796
    Commented Jan 26, 2020 at 2:24
  • Thanks for your reply. Yeah looks like that too they just run around playing. She does like to play a lot more when he gives up and lies down. she's more persistent to continue playing . She goes for his legs as well not hard but very gentle Little nibbles where you pull a skin they pull each other's cheeks nothing hard but they do pull them a lot is that normal
    – John d
    Commented Jan 26, 2020 at 3:56
  • She does constantly like to get on top start to dry humpind on him.humping & when there playing under the bed is she still likes to crawl on top and put him down hump him .i thinks shes just trying to be in charge as she's been here the longest cos they're both sweet dogs.
    – John d
    Commented Jan 26, 2020 at 4:29
  • Yep, it's a way of showing dominance. it doesn't sound like anything to worry about and they're both puppies, they will settle down as they get older.
    – user6796
    Commented Jan 26, 2020 at 5:50
  • This is just a postscript to some good answers, but IMO terriers need some managing in learning to play. They are more prone to excitement and stress, and can wind themselves up into a bit of a state, or miss/ignore cues from other dogs that they've had enough and refuse to leave them alone. At intervals, and especially if play gets hectic, call or lead the dog apart from the others, settle them down, and reward them for being calm / sitting. This reinforces the idea that disengaging and calming down is Good. Commented Apr 7, 2020 at 14:08

3 Answers 3


I have play fighting alot with my 2 GSDS one likes to play slightly rougher than the other. What can be misconstrued as rough is just how dogs tend to play.

Chances are that if one crosses the threshold of the other being too rough their body language will change and they might let the other know its not OK.

If one crosses that line then the dog feeling uncomfortable will likely do one of two things;

  1. be come disengaged and try to distance themselves from the situation and become unresponsive to the other dog trying to encourage play. You must stop this. It could turn nasty if the dog trying to disengage itself starts to get annoyed.

  2. The the dog will communicate to the other dog that its too rough vocally by either barking/squealing with discomfort or nipping and barking loudly at the dog being too rough. You will generally tell the difference between a play bark which is typically high pitched and a serious bark which is lower in pitch.

Both scenarios just separate them for a while to let them calm down otherwise it could escalate to a confrontation.


Sounds very normal. They can come across as rough, as they only have their bodies and sounds to communicate with. They will play fight and it's OK. There's a huge difference between play rough housing and real fighting. It's particularly good there's no food aggression.


Being in Pet Care (I walk dogs, do drop-ins, doggy daycare, etc), and having had pets all of my life, I research everything that I can that has anything to do with the animals that I care for (most often they are dogs).

One bit of information that I found in my research, that I thought was quite interesting--and that I have actually witnessed multiple times, causing me to believe the information to be accurate/correct--is this:

When dogs are playing that way (rough-housing, play fighting or playing rough), they make a sort of 'snuffing' sound--short bursts of sound, almost like a sneeze--that seems to come from their nose and mouth almost simultaneously. It's almost as if they're spitting in each other's faces--which, to us humans, doesn't seem very nice at all!

They seem to do it repeatedly, and often--at least in my experience, as my dogs seem to it almost continuously.

Apparently, this is just one of the many ways that dogs have of communicating with each other. So, in this way, essentially they're saying to their playmate, "Even though I may be behaving in a fairly rough or seemingly 'aggressive' manner, I'm not actually feeling aggressive and I wish no actual harm to you" (their "opponent"). They're just letting them know that they are friendly.

The next time your pups are playing, you may notice this 'snuffing' sound, which apparently is a good thing.

As for your female pup and the 'mounting' behavior, she is telling/reminding the other pup that she is 'top dog,' period. But, she's being 'nice' about it... for now.

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